I know, I know- there are countless banana bread recipes out there. And like I said in my last post, most kinds of banana bread are really awesome. It's tough to make a bad-tasting banana bread no matter what recipe you use.
So what's so special about this particular banana bread? The health aspect, of course! This is the healthiest banana bread I have ever come across, and as far as taste goes, it's right up there with the more sugar-and-butter-infused banana breads. The other thing that I love about this recipe is the versatility of it. It's a very good base that could really be elaborated on to become as fancy as you like. It is also incredibly simple and easy to put together and can be prepped in about 15 minutes. And on top of all that, it has apples in it! (Apples compete with peanut butter for my affections).
I found the original recipe in the Apple Cookbook, but I have adapted it so much from that recipe that I can definitely call it my own. So here it is! It's the weekend now so take an hour to bake a lovely loaf of banana bread, and feel free to make any alterations that you so choose.
- 1 3/4 cup whole wheat flour - 2 tsp baking powder - 1/2 tsp baking soda - 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon - 1/2 tsp ground ginger - 2 ripe bananas, mashed (makes about 1 cup) - 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce - 1/2 cup Simply Egg Whites - 1 tsp vanilla - 1 medium apple
1. Peel and core the apple and chop/dice it up into small chunks. Set aside. 2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a loaf pan (about 8x4 inches) with parchment paper. 3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and ginger. Make a well in the center. 4. Mash the bananas in a medium-sized bowl and beat in the applesauce, egg whites, and vanilla. Pour into the center of the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. 5. Fold/stir the diced apple into the batter and when well-combined, pour into the prepared pan. 6. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes, then turn it out of the pan onto a wire rack. Cool completely before cutting.
Vitamin B 6 (mg)
Vitamin B 12 (μg)
Vitamin A (μg)
Vitamin C (mg)
Vitamin D (μg)
Vitamin E (mg)
- This is a very light bread and the whole wheat flour doesn't affect it by making it heavy or dense, so you don't have to worry about that if the idea of using only whole wheat flour scares you! - For a more banana-intense flavor, feel free to add an extra banana. Depending on how many ripe bananas I've got lying around and how big they are I'll use 2 or 3 for this recipe. I like to mash mine up with a potato masher but not make it super smooth and creamy; having some small lumps of banana adds a burst of flavor. - If you want something a bit sweeter, you can add 1/4 cup of brown sugar (but you might want to have a little bit less applesauce if you do that). I have, however, had other taste-testers try the bread both with the sugar and without, and they enjoyed it equally both ways. The apples, applesauce, banana, and vanilla all contribute as natural sweeteners so having extra sugar really isn't necessary. Alternatively, you could probably puree some dates and add them to the mixture for a sweeter taste as a sugar substitute (but I personally haven't tried that yet). - I like to use egg whites when baking just because I eat egg yolks so often, but you can easily substitute the 1/2 cup egg whites (which is the equivalent of 4 egg whites, by the way) with 2 eggs. You'll get a few more calories and fat but loads of extra nutrients, too. - I once tried replacing part of the flour with oats, but I wasn't much of a fan of it and no one else was either. It seemed to take away from the essence of the banana bread! So even if you're an oats lover, you're probably better off just sticking with regular flour. - The parchment paper is my new love- no need to even use non-stick spray in the pan! But if you haven't been able to find it at the grocery store (its with the aluminum foil and such), or are too excited about this recipe to bother with going to the store to pick some up, you can easily spray the pan with non-stick spray instead. - Have fun experimenting with this recipe! You can replace the apple chunks with chocolate chips, nuts, dried fruit and so on. Or you can keep the apple and just add the extras in as well.
My bananas weren't quite ripe enough in the morning, so I set them between a couple apples and the apples did their job of ripening them really quick! The chemical reactions between fruit is amazing.
Diced apples ready to be added to the batter (and my excellent potato masher for mashing up the bananas):
Freshly baked loaf!
I don't usually wait very long before cutting myself a slice:)
Have a great weekend and if you make the bread, let me know what you think of it or if you have any suggestions! Like any recipe, its always going to be a work in progress so recommendations are more than welcome.