Thursday, June 27, 2013

Healthy(er) Banana Bread

 I am not a baker. 


Which is very odd considering my mom and my grandmothers on both sides are excellent bakers. 

Every year at Christmas my Grandma will make 200+ dozen cookies from scratch with about 20+ varieties, all of which are over the top delicious and worth every pound they add to my hips.  My grandmother can make the absolute best biscuits to ever grace your taste buds; buttery, flaky and melt in your mouth deliciousness.  And don't even think about passing up the sausage gravy when it comes your way as a gesture of kindness to your waistline; that would be the biggest regret of your life.


Sadly enough, the baking gene must have skipped a generation.  


I just don't have the patience for it.  It takes to much precision, too much measuring, and I'd rather run a marathon (ha!) than to have to actually sift flour - what a complete waste of time (note the whisking trick below).

Baked goods that come from my kitchen are generally courtesy of our good friends over at Ghiradelli.  Scott isn't complaining; their brownie mixes are insanely delicious (in fact, I'm certain I couldn't do better even if I spent years developing a recipe).


There is one exception to this rule, and that's for banana bread.  I love banana bread.  It's the perfect quick breakfast, afternoon snack, or even dessert, and I typically have a few bananas left over at the end of the week that are a little too ripe to eat.   It would be sinful to let them go to waste.  


I made my first banana bread from a recipe that I am pretty sure I got from my mom.  It was a traditional banana bread complete with white flour, lots of white sugar and lots of butter.  In other words, it was pretty damn tasty. 

However, as I became more conscious of my health over the years, I began to tinker with the recipe to make it a bit healthier each time I made it.  First I used half white flour and half wheat flour, then I went with all wheat flour, then I replaced white sugar with brown sugar, and then with raw sugar, and then with a mix of raw sugar and honey. 


Recently I was trying to think of ways to reduce or possibly eliminate the butter all together.  I had seen a few recipes for banana bread incorporating Greek yogurt, so I decided to try adding it to my recipe.  It just so happened to be the perfect time to experiment with finding the right amount of yogurt for my banana bread because a couple of weeks back Chobani kindly sent me a large shipment of their Greek yogurt to use in my cooking.  Ah-mazing.  


After a couple of attempts, I discovered that a mixture of coconut oil and Greek yogurt in place of the butter produces an equally moist (if not more so) banana bread (I did add a pat of butter for the picture, but you really don't need it).  The Chobani worked like a charm.   My tinkering days are over; I have finally created by perfect healthy-ish banana bread.   


Healthy(er) Banana Bread:
Makes:  1 loaf
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time:  1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients:  
1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup Chobani 0% Plain Greek Yogurt
3 very ripe bananas 
2 eggs, beat
1/4 cup coconut oil, heated to liquid form (slightly warm but not hot!)
1/4 cup raw sugar
1/4 cup honey 
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
Pinch of Salt

Add ins:  Fresh or frozen fruit such as blueberries or strawberries, nuts such as pecans or walnuts or almond slivers, chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, coconut flakes, or whatever your little heart desires.  I generally add a cup of fruit or nuts, but only about a half a cup of chocolate chips (really a preference thing).

Directions:  
In a large bowl, mash bananas with a wooden spoon.  Stir in eggs, yogurt, coconut oil, sugar, honey and vanilla.  In a separate bowl, add flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt and whisk together (this will help aerate the flour much life a sifter would).  Stir flour mixture into banana mixture.  If you are adding fruit, nuts, chocolate chips, etc., stir them in now.  Pour batter into a greased (or parchment paper lined) 9 x 5 loaf pan.  Bake at 350 F for 1 hour.  

Disclaimer:  Chobani did not pay me to write this blog post; they were, however, kind enough to send me a large box of Greek yogurt. Notwithstanding, my opinions of the yogurt are my own. 

9 comments:

  1. This looks AMAZING, April! Banana bread of any kind holds the key to our heart...especially banana bread w/ CHO. ;)

    Amy, @Chobani

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Amy! The Chobani was just what I needed to eliminate the butter without losing the texture. Thanks again!

      Delete
  2. Nice recipe,
    Don't mind but those bananas are a shade over ripe.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No kidding??? That's WHY author is making banana bread!

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  3. Replies
    1. To be honest, I am not sure. You can try entering the ingredients into a nutritional calculator like Spark People to get an estimate (here http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-calculator.asp).

      Delete
  4. When do you add the yogurt? I'm assuming you mix it with the banana? Thanks for sharing!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for catching that! I corrected the recipe. The yogurt is added with eggs, coconut oil, etc.

      Delete
  5. This is seriously the best thing in my life. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete

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