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Friday, February 18, 2011

Healthier Banana Bread

A good banana bread recipe is a family staple.  The smell of a fresh loaf coming from the oven is warm and comforting. It requires great strength from any one around to not slice the loaf before it cools.  What other dessert or snack do you get use "rotten" fruit?  It's great, you can actually not worry about eating bananas before they age, because if they go black you know you have a reason to use them.  You can even freeze black bananas to be used at a later date. I think I always have a couple sitting in my freezer, just in case I have the urge.  I know my sister does too.   Although most banana breads are generally not too healthy for you. it's easy to get a small feeling that it's not quite as bad as that cookie you avoided.  Although I have a love for baking, I also am on a continuous quest to be healthy.  I am a schizophrenic baker/eater.    I wanted to try and come up with a recipe that actually was better for you than most banana breads but still moist, delicious and full of banana flavour.    I took a recipe from my William Sonoma book and did several tweaks; this is what I came up with..

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 1/4 cups (360g) AP flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup (62g) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup (105g) brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt (plain or vanilla)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2-3 Bananas - peeled and mashed
  • 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts or almonds or whatever nut you like.  I used hazelnuts but probably wouldn't again.
INSTRUCTIONS:
1) Preheat oven to 350F, spray a 9 inch square pan and line with parchement. 
2) In a bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.  In your mixer bowl or a large bowl beat together the butter and brown sugar until creamy.  Add the honey and beat until blended.   Add the eggs and yogurt and beat until incorporated.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet until semi-incorporated then add the mashed bananas and beat on medium until smooth.


3) Spread the batter evenly in the pan.  Sprinkle the nuts over the top. 
4) Bake on the middle rack about 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.   Let cool in the pan and store in an airtight container or wrapped in saran wrap.

I have made a lot of banana bread in my life and I have eaten a lot of banana bread in my life. I would have to say I was actually quite happy at how this recipe turned out given how much I tweaked it.  Greek yogurt is becoming my new best friend in so many ways.  This bread had all the great comforts you would except without the banana bread guilt.  My only complaint would be the hazelnuts, really not the right nut of choice.   I will stick to a more common baking nut next time.

MEG's RATING : D-EEEE-LICIOUS!!  (It only lost an E b/c of the nuts)




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