Recipe of the Week: Classic Banana Bread with a Healthy Twist

My friend Kristi requested a healthier banana bread recipe. We concocted this one by reading a few classic recipes and adding our own substitutes. If you have an abundance of bananas at home, try it out.

1 cup organic evaporated cane juice (or honey or sugar)
1/2 cup butter, softened (or 1/4 cup butter & 1/4 cup plain yogurt)
2 large eggs, cage-free
1 1/2 cups very ripe bananas, mashed (approx. 3)
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (or other flour of your choice)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Garnish: chocolate chips, chopped nuts, various seeds

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Grease bottoms of 2 loaf pans (8 1/2 x 4 1/2 or 1 9x5x3 or 4 mini loaves) with butter or olive oil spray.
3. Mix evaporated cane juice and butter/yogurt in large bowl.
4. Stir in eggs until well blended. Stir in bananas, buttermilk and vanilla; beat until smooth.
5. Stir in flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon until moistened.
6. Divide batter evenly among pans. Sprinkle chocolate chips, chopped nuts or seeds on the batter for garnish. Bake 8-inch loaves for about 1 hour, 9-inch loaf for 1 hour & 15 minutes and mini loaves approximately 45 minutes. Use toothpick inserted in center to test. Make sure toothpick comes out clean to determine if it's done.
7. Cool 10 minutes in pans on wire rack. Loosen sides of loaves and remove from pans. Cool completely.

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