4.12.2010

Banana Nut Bread




I'm always looking for recipes for "healthy sweets".  I like sweetbreads, cakes, and my all time weekness - cookies! I found this recipe for Banana Nut Bread in the May 2007 issue of Runners World.  The original recipe was from Flours Bakery in Boston.  The owner of the bakery has run the Boston Marathon 15 times.  My thoughts were that this must be a healthy sweetbread recipe.  I made some changes like using 100% whole wheat flour.  I reduced the oil by half and added applesauce.  I added more walnuts, because as you should know by now I LOVE, LOVE nuts! 

In honor of the Boston Marathon, which is one week from today, I decided to make the Banana Nut Bread.  My husband, sister-in-law, and I will be running in the marathon.  This means we will need all the energy we can get and will be carb loading like no other and eating the best we can.  Why not treat ourselves to a healthy snack since we deprive ourselves of the good stuff for months. 




What else are you going to do with these over ripe bananas?  I have to hide them from my dad who prefers ripe banana's.  He likes to put them in his smoothie.  I like to put them in my banana bread.  You will need 3 1/2 very ripe bananas.





Peel the banana's and put them in a bowl.  Take a fork and mash them.





You will have a bowl full of mashed banana's that looks like this.  Try to get out as many lumps as possible.  Unless you like chunks of banana in your bread. 





Remember "mise en place"?  That's french for "to put into place".  You need to do that.  Gather all of your ingredients and have them ready to do.  You will need eggs, sugar, oil, applesauce, vanilla, pureed bananas, sour cream or yogurt, baking soda, salt, whole wheat flour (you can use white) and walnuts.  Once you have prepared your ingredients, the rest is a snap and will mix together in just a few minutes. 





Before you begin mixing, lightly butter a 9 x 4-1/2-inch bread pan.  Set aside.





Take the eggs and sugar...






...put them in a large mixing bowl.




Beat until creamy and light yellow in color.









Add the oil.  I like to use extra-light olive oil. 





Mix well.





Add the applesauce.  Made it myself last fall.  It's so good.





Add the lowfat sour cream or yogurt.  I'm using nonfat plain yogurt because that is what I have.








Mix.





Add mashed bananas.





And vanilla.





Mix well.





The batter will be very thin.




Add the baking soda and salt to the flour.





Give it a whisk.





Add flour to the banana mixture...





Beat on low speed just until the flour is mixed in completely.








Fold in the walnuts and you are done!





Pour the batter into your buttered pan.  I always sprinkle more walnuts on the top just in case I didn't get enough on the inside.  Put in a preheated 350 degree oven and bake for 45-50 minutes.  I always do the toothpick check.  Insert a toothpick into the center of the bread.  If it comes out clean, it's done.  If you still have batter stuck to the toothpick, continue to bake an additional 5 minutes.  Every oven is different, so keep a close eye on it.  Don't let it burn. 





Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack for about 10 minutes.








After 10 minutes carefully remove from the pan and put the loaf on a cooling rack until completely cooled.  After the loaf has cooled completely you can store it in a plastic bag.





I actually like it better the second day.  I think the flavors meld together well.  You'll be amazed at how moist the bread is.  Can you believe we only used only 1/4 cup oil?





I still think it could use more nuts!





There you have it.  Moist, healthy banana bread.  Now go train yourself for a marathon.  See you in Boston!



Banana Nut Bread
Recipe for high altitude - approx. 4500 ft.


1 2/3 + 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup oil (I use extra-light olive oil)
1/4 cup applesauce
3 1/2 bananas, very ripe and mashed
2 tablespoons low-fat yogurt of sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside.  Lightly butter a 9 x 4 1/2--inch bread pan then set aside. 

In a large mixing bowl beat sugar and eggs together.  Add oil and applesauce continue beating.  Add bananas, yogurt and vanilla.  Stir in the flour mixture and fold in the nuts.  Pour into prepared pan.  Bake in preheated oven for 45-50 minutes.




Banana Nut Bread
recipe for sea level

1 2/3 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup oil
3 1/2 bananas, very ripe, mashed
2 tablespoons low-fat yogurt or sour cream
1 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped

Follow the same directions as above.




In all my years of baking I have learned many things.  The most important for me is that altitude makes a huge difference in baking.  I've learned the hard way with many baking failures.  I started to think that I was a failure.  Then I learned that there are some adjustments to be made when you live close to 5,000 feet above sea level.  I have made those adjustments in this recipe.  Happy Baking.

I will address high altitude baking in depth at a later time...I just don't feel like it right now.

BYE!

20 comments:

  1. Just ate some- yummy! Good luck at Boston! Rock that Marathon. I'm jealous of your abilities. I'll be sitting on the couch.

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  2. hi janet!!! do you think you could share your recipe for apple sauce too?? i'm peruvian, and store-bought apple sauce is imported here from the states so it's kind of expensive. i've found a few recipes online but i'd love to know how you make it!! thanks!!

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  3. Hi Cristina, I make my applesauce by peeling and coring about 10 tart apples. Cut the apples into 1-inch size chunks and add about 1/2 cup water and 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Place in a large pot and cover the pot. Simmer until the apples are soft. I taste the apples and determine how much sugar I want to add. It depends on how sweet you like it. Add sugar and about 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, depending on how much spice you would like. If you want smooth applesauce, put the cooked apples into a blender, food processor or just mash with a potato masher. Does that help. Send me an email, if you would like more detailed info. It's pretty easy.

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  4. it does, thanks so much!!! :)

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  5. hi janet!!! i just came back to this recipe and realized the applesauce version is the one for high altitude. can you give me any suggestions on how i could make it with applesauce at sea level?? thanks!!!

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  6. HI Cristina, Here is the recipe formulated for sea level. You can still use applesauce:

    1 2/3 cups flour
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoons salt
    1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
    2 eggs
    1/4 cup oil
    1/4 cup applesauce
    2 tablespoons low fat yogurt or sour cream
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    2/3 cup walnuts

    Directions are the same as above. You can use 1/2 cup oil and omit the applesauce altogether if you wish.

    I hope this helps. Happy baking.

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    Replies
    1. I have polished off a loaf of this myself. It can be addicting. I hope you love it.

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  9. Hi Janet, A friend just told me about your blog and I LOVE IT! So glad!! Do you just bottle your applesauce?

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    Replies
    1. I'm so glad your friend told me about my blog. I do bottle my own applesauce, but in times of need I'm not opposed to buying some.

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  11. HI, Janet, thanks a lot for sharing your wonderful recipes first, I am from Germany and like many recipes here very much. However, I really have problems when deciding how much is 1 cup of flour cause that is not at least a common unit in Germany, and it's also different for different types of flour as I searched online. So could you please post more details on the flour amount later? Danke schoen!

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    1. I'm on it. I can convert to weight if that would help. 1 cup flour = 133 grams. Will this help?

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    2. Here is a link to a conversion chart. http://allrecipes.com/howto/cup-to-gram-conversions/

      Let me know if this helps. Thanks for trying my recipes and visiting my blog.

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    3. Ha, it is great that I can get such a quick reply! And I am right going to try it today, so it reaaaally helps!
      I'm gonna tell you the trial report, too! besides, is it fine if I want to repost it somewhere with a link of your blog this recipe (in Chinese probably)? Like many people said, you are a great cooking book!

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    4. I would love to hear how your bread turns out with the conversions. You may post this on your blog with a link to me. Thank you so much for asking. Please let me know when you post it, so I can see your fabulous skills.

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  12. Hi, Janet, one bad and one good news, the bad thing is I forgot to convert the degree from Fahrenheit to Celsius..., the good thing is, it is still quite yummy...inside.;-)(I found it started to burn after 20 min so I turned it down). So I hope this will be my last time having a well grilled bread, but for sure I will have it from time to time for it is so simple and tasty to make!

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  13. hi,Janet, I have just done it once again, worked perfectly this time! and this is my report in Chinese to you!
    http://together1984.blogspot.de/2013/03/blog-post.html

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