Only because I’m prego would I consider making or eating something just because it’s healthy. Healthy is often a euphemism for tasteless, strangely textured, non-fat, sugarless, egg-whited, vegan grossness.
But my sister insisted that she had a low fat banana bread recipe that was “so moist!” Moist.
Just in case it wasn’t quite as “moist” as she promised or as tasty as “low-fat” made me anticipate, I made a full on butter, full-fat sour cream version. Just in case.
And then I had everyone in my family taste it:
Aunt. With 14 marathons under her dri-fit belt, my aunt fits into clothes of mine that I wore when I was in my early 20s. She loved the egg-white only, yogurt based, sugarless version. She said, so healthy. Healthy.
Mom. I am my mother’s daughter. Hands down the butter version is her choice.
Sister. Healthy one is palatable, butter version delicious. (But not as “healthy.” She doesn’t say so, but I can hear her thinking it.)
Brother-in-law. Addicted to sweating, this guy will find a gym anywhere and sweat. And I mean sweat. His record for body water weight loss during a workout is seven pounds. He’s also the guy who goes to a burger joint and orders the grilled chicken sandwich and forgoes the fries for a garden salad. To be fair, I should add that he will order a junior burger because he’s not entirely without fun and tasty for the sake of “healthy”. He says the low-fat banana bread would taste great toasted with peanut butter. That is the first time I’m sold on the low-fat version.
Me. I called Squeezable Companion and told him that I’m going to make the same banana bread for him once I get back and he’s going to fall in love with me all over again.
Banana Bread #1: Looneyspoon’s Banana Bread (Adapted from Looneyspoons: Low-Fat Food Made Fun! Podleski, Janet & Greta. Ottawa: Granet, 1996. 59.)
Serves 8 to 16
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup unpacked brown sugar (totally forgot to add this)
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
3 egg white (I added a little yoke in there because my “skills” in separating the yoke from the whites is middling.)
2 tbsp butter
3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups mashed ripe bananas
1/2 cup chopped walnut and more to top the bread
Preheat oven to 325°F.
Combine flours and the next 5 ingredients in a large bowl. Set aside.
Chop the walnuts, enough for two banana breads and more for topping the breads.
In a medium bowl, beat egg white, butter, yogurt, and vanilla with a whisk until smooth. Add bananas and whisk again.
Add banana mixture to flour mixture. Stir until dry ingredients are moistened. Stir in walnuts.
Line 9×5 loaf pan with parchment paper. Pour batter into pan.
Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from pan and let cool.
The book says that the loaf makes 16 slices and each slice contains 176 calories, 4.1 g of fat, 31.6g of corbs, 4.4 g protein, 162 mg socium, 4 mg cholesterol. If this is important to you when you reach for a slice of banana bread.
Banana Bread #2: Martha’s (Stewart) Banana Bread (Adapted from Martha Stewart.)
Serves 8 to 12
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature, plus more for pan
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups unbleached flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup mashed very ripe bananas
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Butter a 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan; set aside.
In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. This is a really important step. All that air beaten into the butter makes the cake light and fluffy. Add eggs and beat to incorporate.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to the butter mixture, and mix until just combined. Do not over mix or the cake will become chewy.
Add bananas, sour cream, and vanilla; mix to combine. Stir in nuts and pour into prepared pan.
Bake until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 1 hour. Let rest in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool.
For more photos, go to Flickr.