Monday, March 22, 2010

Almost No Fat Banana Bread

I know what you’re thinking…”There’s fat in banana bread? But I thought bananas were good for me!” Well that depends on how you use them…banana split? Not so good for you. Almost No Fat Banana Bread? Not only a pretty darn good snack, but it gets bonus points for not (banana) splitting your pants.

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup white sugar
1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 egg whites
1 cup banana, mashed
¼ cup applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and use spray Pam to grease an 8x4 inch loaf pan. Stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon. Add all the remaining ingredients.
Now for the helpful hint section. Learn from my mistakes - always separate your egg whites in a separate bowl so you don't mess up the dry ingredients. Make sure your bananas are good and ripe before you start – they should be brown on the outside and probably past the point where you’d chow down on them. Two bananas equal a cup, give or take. Be sure to really mash those bananas – the first time I made this, my bananas weren’t quite ripe enough and I was lazy and didn’t mash them thoroughly and ended up with chunks of banana throughout the bread. Not a bad thing taste-wise, but it didn’t look too appetizing. I added the vanilla to this recipe, because personally, I think everything tastes better with a dash of high quality vanilla. I prefer Watkins brand, but it’s pricey and not available in the grocery store. I used White House apple sauce (plain, with no added flavorings) the first time I made this and Motts the second time because it was all I could find. I prefer White House…it just seems thicker and less watery.
Back to the directions...don't stir the batter too much - just until it's all combined. Pour it into the prepared pan. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of loaf comes out clean. Turn out onto wire rack and allow to cool before slicing.

The real key to this bread is patience…the “crust” tastes a little on the rubbery side at first. Not a winning sales pitch, but just wait! The older it gets, the better it gets. I’m usually not one for eating “old” food, but trust me…this bread just starts to reach its peak two to three days after baking.

Here’s the best part – each slice is a measly 127 calories and only .2 grams of fat! You can work off those few calories as you walk to the kitchen for another slice.

(Click here for printable recipe)

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