Grandma's banana bread, in lighter version, takes the cake
By Elaine Magee
Knight Ridder News Service
Q. My grandmother has made this bread for years, and it truly is the best banana-nut bread ever. I recently got the recipe for it and would like to make it at home but think it could definitely be lightened.
A. I don't like bananas, there's no pretty way to say it. But add some sugar, fat, flour and nuts to make banana-nut bread and it's a whole different ball game. I've lightened a few banana bread recipes in my day but this one tops them all so my recipe doctor's hat goes out to Grandma!
I ended up making three different renditions of the lightened recipe, one using all white flour, one using half whole wheat and half white flour, and one using white flour plus ground flax. Each worked well, but the white flour one looked the best and had a perfect fluffy texture. So to add whole wheat flour or not to add I'll let you answer that question yourself.
You can sprinkle the nuts over the top of the batter in the loaf pan before baking, instead of stirring them in, if desired.
The original recipe had 300 calories, 14 grams fat, 2.8 g saturated fat and 35 mg cholesterol per serving.
Grandma's Banana Nut Bread
- 1 1/4 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 3 bananas)
- 1 cup dark brown sugar (ordinary sugar can be substituted)
- 2 cups flour (1 cup whole wheat pastry flour can replace 1 of these cups)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup egg substitute
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 cup Smart Beat margarine, softened (canola margarine, shortening, or butter can be substituted)
- 1/4 cup fat free or light cream cheese
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup walnut or pecan pieces
- 3/4 cup raisins (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and coat three baby loaf pans (6 by 3 1/2 inches) or one regular loaf pan with canola cooking spray.
Add sugar to mashed bananas in mixing bowl, stir and let stand for 15 minutes.
Add flour, baking powder, and salt to another medium bowl and stir with whisk to blend well.
Stir egg together with egg substitute in small bowl with fork.
Dissolve baking soda in a tablespoon of warm water in custard cup.
Add margarine and cream cheese to mashed banana mixture in mixing bowl and beat until well blended (2 to 3 minutes on medium speed).
Add dry ingredients, the baking soda mixture, egg mixture, vanilla, walnuts and raisins, if desired, and beat on low just until blended.
Add to pan(s) and bake until tester inserted in center comes out clean (about 35 minutes for the baby loaves and 50-60 minutes for the large loaf).
Makes 12 servings.
Per serving with nuts: 253 calories, 5 g protein, 40 g carbohydrate, 8 g fat (1 g saturated fat, 4 g monounsaturated fat, 2.2 g polyunsaturated fat), 18 mg cholesterol, 2.7 g fiber, 323 mg sodium.
Calories from fat: 32 percent
Omega-3 fatty acids: 0.1 g
Omega-6 fatty acids: 1.1 g
Weight Watchers points: 5
Per serving without nuts: 220 calories, 5 g protein, 40 g carbohydrate, 4.5 g fat (.8 g saturated fat, 2.1 g monounsaturated fat, 1.2 g polyunsaturated fat), 18 mg cholesterol, 2.2 g fiber, 323 mg sodium.
Calories from fat:
Omega-3 fatty acids: 0.01 g
Omega-6 fatty acids: 0.13 g
Weight Watchers points: 4
Note: If you use half whole wheat flour, the fiber will be about 1 gram higher per serving. Or, if you replace 6 tablespoons of the white flour with ground flaxseed, the fiber will increase by 1 gram per serving.
Elaine Magee is the author of "The Recipe Doctor Cookbook" and "Tell Me What to Eat If I Have Acid Reflux." Her new "The Flax Cookbook" is available in bookstores and at amazon.com. Write to her through her Web site, www.recipedoctor.com. Personal responses cannot be provided.