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Community

Peel away banana bread calories

Recipe adjusted to accommodate healthier eating

Banana nut bread fills a home with its alluring aroma. There’s nothing quite like coming home, opening the door, and smelling that hot bread.

This week I tackled Makeover Banana Nut Bread from Taste of Home. Looking at the kitchen table, I discovered my two bananas were past the point where I wanted to eat them unless they were disguised. What better disguise than banana bread?

The problem, of course, is that banana bread has a few more calories than I was willing to spare. I was saved by this recipe. Later, if you’ll compare the recipe with the number of my bananas, you’ll see I came up short. I looked at the original recipe when I started and only later discovered I was two bananas off.

Don’t be afraid to take small steps to adjust a recipe to what you have available. I simply substituted more applesauce to fill in for the missing bananas. It came out tasty. It was good right out of the oven, and it was better “cold.”

My only complaint with my substitute was the banana taste was subdued.

My other change was a family preference – I left out the nuts.

When I got down to business, I continued my blundering through the bread. I got out the bowls, and after putting in the ingredients realized I needed my electric mixer. At that point, I didn’t want to bother with transferring things, so I used my spoon and my muscles. I thought I’d never get done. One good point would be I got my exercise in for the day and should be well on the way to sculpted upper arms.

The baking process went well. When it got close to an hour in the oven, I inspected the bread closely. It was starting to pull away from the sides of the pan. I got out the toothpick and tested. Done. Out of the oven, onto the rack, and ready to eat. Did I wait long before trying it? What do you think?

Makeover Banana Nut Bread

2 tablespoons butter or stick margarine, softened

3⁄4 cup sugar

1 egg

1 egg white

2 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 4 medium)

¼ cup unsweetened applesauce

¼ cup honey

1 teaspoon vanilla or rum extract

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

2/3 cup whole-wheat flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

¼ cup chopped pecans

In a mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar for 2 minutes or until crumbly. Add egg, then egg white, beating well after each addition. Beat on high speed until light and fluffy. Stir in the bananas, applesauce, honey, and extract. Combine the flours, baking soda, and salt; stir into banana mixture just until moistened.

Pour into a 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan coated with nonstick cooking spray. Sprinkle with nuts. Bake at 325 degrees for 60 to 65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack. Makes 1 loaf (10 slices).

Nutrition: 266 calories, 6 grams fat (2 grams saturated fat), 27 milligrams cholesterol, 280 milligrams sodium, 52 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams fiber, and 4 grams protein. WeightWatchers PointsPlus: 7.

From Taste of Home’s “Light & Tasty” 2003.

Banana Nut Bread (original)

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 eggs

1 cup mashed ripe banana (about 2 medium)

2 tablespoons milk

1 teaspoon vanilla or rum extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup chopped pecans

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the bananas, milk, and extract. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; stir into the banana mixture just until moistened. Fold in nuts.

Pour into a greased 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 65 to 75 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack. Makes 1 loaf (10 slices).

Nutrition: 287 calories, 17 grams of fat (7 grams saturated fat), 68 milligrams cholesterol, 352 milligrams sodium, 55 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams fiber, and 5 grams protein. WeightWatchers PointsPlus: 11.

From Taste of Home's "Light & Tasty" 2003.

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