Infusing banana bread with mineral-packed ingredients has a double benefit for you-you get to eat a sweet treat that is also good for you.
However, since sugary delights and healthy don’t go together, our first job is to make the banana bread base healthier by changing some of the basic ingredients.
It’s All About the Banana Bread Base
To prepare a healthy banana bread you need to change the recipe base first. Just follow these easy steps to transform your banana bread into a healthy snack:
– Replace regular flour with whole wheat, oatmeal, coconut flour, almond flour or soy flour;
– Replace regular refined sugar with honey, pure maple syrup, molasses, agave syrup or stevia;
– Use unsweetened applesauce or coconut oil instead of butter;
– You can even ditch the eggs if you wish and use flax or chia eggs.
Calcium Banana Bread
Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body. Almost whole of the body’s calcium is stored in the bones and teeth. Eating calcium-rich foods is important for optimal nerve transmission, blood clotting, hormone secretion, and muscle contraction as well. It is a fact, however, that many people don’t eat enough calcium-rich foods.
Calcium deficiency symptoms are osteoporosis, muscle tension, tooth decay, and high blood pressure.
Here are the calcium-rich foods that can be included in banana quick-bread:
Raw milk. During the pasteurization process (which involves high heat) most of the nutrients in regular cow milk are destroyed, including calcium. That is why the word “raw” is important here. Adding ½ cup raw milk contributes softness and moisture to your banana loaf.
Yogurt and kefir. Other ingredients that are used for extra softness and moisture are plain whole milk yogurt and kefir (1/2 cup). Besides calcium, yogurt and kefir are rich in protein and vitamin D. Yogurt is used more commonly, but kefir also works well in banana loaf.
You can prepare home-made kefir by using active milk kefir grains and cow or goat milk. Place the kefir grains into 4 cups of fresh milk and cover with a coffee filter or cloth. Place in a warm spot to culture for about 24 hours. After culturing is complete, separate the kefir grains from the finished kefir and store the kefir in the fridge.
Cheese Banana Bread
I love cheese in and on my banana loaf recipes. Prepare a pumpkin banana loaf by adding a cup of pumpkin puree, together with allspice and, optionally, nuts. Prepare a cream cheese filling that will be poured in between two layers of banana bread batter before baking.
Another option is to prepare a thick cream cheese frosting that will be poured on top of the bread and will transform the quick-bread into a real cake. Sprinkle some more nuts on top.
Cream cheese also works well in carrot, sweet potato and chocolate banana bread recipes.
Almond Banana Bread
Almonds are also amongst the top 10 foods rich in calcium. Add a cup of almond into the banana bread batter and spice with a tablespoon of cinnamon. Prepare a vanilla glaze and sprinkle some more almonds on top.