Sunday, April 6, 2014

Low Fat Banana Nut Bread

I recently found myself the proud owner of 15 bananas, all spotty and overly ripe.  This was due to the lucky occurrence of a parent donating the bananas for a pre-MCAS snack for my coworker's classroom.  Obviously, fifth graders aren't too keen on eating spotty bananas bright and early, so the majority of them were left after the two days of testing.  My teammate didn't want them and offered them to me.  I figured I could definitely make use of them by baking with them, and since I often buy bananas in order to let them get spotty but my sisters end up eating them, this was the perfect opportunity!

I decided to try a different banana bread recipe.  I love my jacked up banana bread, but since my family and I are in the middle of our pre-wedding diet, I thought I should find a good go-to low fat banana bread.  Enter Skinny Taste, and the low fat banana nut bread!

When you think "low fat bread," you probably don't imagine a sweet, moist bread bursting with banana flavor (there are seven bananas in there!) and studded with walnuts - but that's what you should think of when you get ready to make this bread.  It's low fat due to only calling for half a stick of butter, and it uses applesauce to help sweeten it naturally.  The recipe actually makes two loaves, and I figured one of them at least would go to waste.  I was very pleasantly surprised when my family devoured almost the entire two loaves in a couple days!  

And in full disclosure, these breads were, in my opinion, were not my finest work - no fault of the recipe's.  I was trying to use up old baking soda that was very clumpy and hardened, and some of the clumps didn't break apart.  If you've ever tasted baking soda in a baked good, it "tastes like poison" according to my mom, and she's right. And every now and then in these banana breads, you'd get some bites that tasted like chemicals and would make you want to spit everything out.  I got a bite in a slice of the bread and refused to cut another slice after that, but my family, despite poisonous bites, kept going back for more.  So, since then, I have thrown out the baking soda and bought a new box; no need to worry about poison bites in my next bread!  It just makes it even more impressive that my mother and sisters announced that this was my best banana bread ever!  Definitely need to make this again, without baking soda clumps!


low fat banana nut bread

Servings: 26 slices (2 loaves)  Size: 1 slice • Old Points: 3 pts   Points+: 4 pts 
Calories: 129.2  • Fat: 4.4 g • Carbs: 20.6 • Protein: 2.8 • Fiber: 1.4 g

7 ripe medium bananas, mashed
1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
2 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda (no clumps allowed!)
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter, softened
1 cup light brown sugar
4 large egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 ounces chopped walnuts (or 3/4 cup)
baking spray


1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease two 8x5-inch loaf pans with baking spray.

2) In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt with a wire whisk.  Set aside.

3) In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer.  Add egg whites, bananas, apple sauce, and vanilla, and beat at medium speed until thick.  Scrape down sides of the bowl.

4) Add flour mixture and walnuts, then blend at low speed until combined.  Do not over mix.

5) Pour batter into loaf pans and bake on the center rack for 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

6) Let the pan cool at least 20 minutes.  Bread should be room temperature before slicing.

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