Healthy Banana Bread

1:15 AM


In an effort to cut down on processed sugar in my family's diet and yet still enjoy yummy baked goods, I've started experimenting with new ways of cooking. I've already done things like eliminating canned veggies, boxed foods, and partially hydrogenated oils including margarine and shortening and am trying to use the most natural ingredients possible. Sometimes it takes some training to enjoy less sugary foods (it took me a while to love coffee without sugar but now I enjoy tasting the natural taste of coffee rather than a cup full of sweetness) but knowing that it is more healthy, it is worth it for me. I recently experimented with no sugar added banana bread. It turned out great! Joshua and Emma Grace loved it and even asked for seconds! (I must warn you, though, that it's not as sweet as normal banana bread.) Here's the recipe I came up with:

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup applesauce (no sugar added)*
2 eggs
3 tablespoons milk
2 cups mashed ripe bananas
1/4 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Stir together flour, baking powder, soda, and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Set aside.

In a mixer bowl, beat applesauce and honey with electric mixer. Add eggs, one at a time, and the milk, beating until smooth. Add flour mixture and banana alternately to creamed mixture, beating until smooth. Fold in nuts.

Pour batter into a lightly greased loaf pan. Bake at 350F for 40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes.

The bread tastes moister and, I think, even a little sweeter if you wrap it up and let it sit overnight. Then just slice, warm, and enjoy! We like toasting it for breakfast or tea time!

*Thanks to my friend, Lisa Eisses, we make our own applesauce! It's so simple. Peel, core, and slice apples. Put in pot. Pour just enough water to cover apples. Boil until apples are tender. Mash with a potato masher. No need to add sugar because of the natural sweetness of the apples.

Did you know...
- You can substitute applesauce for oil?
- Partially hydrogenated oils or trans fats can lead to heart disease, cardiovascular disease, and cancer?
- It's not necessarily healthier to substitute artificial sweeteners for sugar? They can also lead to many health problems.

As I get older, I feel challenged to continue to live the healthiest I can (still working on the exercise part, though!) And with heart problems running in Jeremy's family, it has challenged me even more to eat healthy now. I also want my kids growing up appreciating the natural taste of foods.

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