I love desserts.
Since I am on a weightloss journey, I am on a quest to create desserts that has healthy ingredients in it. While in phase 1 of South beach diet, I try not to eat anything sweet. You can use Stevia or Splenda or any other sugar alternatives but I prefer to go in the natural way. I tried stevia for some days but couldn’t really tolerate its after taste. Hence I try to avoid anything sweet in Phase 1. Once I move to phase 2, I enjoy desserts once in a while. If I eat an ice cream, I burn that extra calorie in the gym. One fine day I thought to myself to bake a muffin or cake or bread with all natural sweetener and whole grains. That will make me feel less guilty after eating a serving. One key thing to remember during weightloss is that its OK to indulge in high calorie foods but you need to watch your serving size. Restrict yourself to one piece and STOP with that.
My son loves banana bread and that gives me a reason to bake it often. From the time I started to use whole wheat flour in baking, I have not bought all purpose flour for a long time. I use our good old Indian atta. The flour which Indians use to make chapati / roti (Indian griddle breads). I feel incorporating whole grains in baking is a good step towards eating healthy. Then I had to come up with alternatives to white sugar. I feed my son coconut palm sugar, honey or jaggery and till date he has not been exposed to white sugar at home. Ofcourse when he dines or eats at friend’s place, he is exposed to dishes made with raw white sugar.
What is apple butter?
I have been using apple sauce and apple butter from the time from son started solids. Once while I was feeding Gerber’s apple puree for him, I tasted and realized how wonderful they will be as a part of any baked goods. They will add so much sweetness to a bread or cake, I thought to myself. That’s when I started exploring with apple sauce or apple butter or plain Gerber apple puree. Apple butter is a highly concentrated form of apple sauce which is in deep brown color. They are slow cooked for a long time with water or cider to a point where the sugar in the apples caramelizes and turn the liquid into a delicious sweet tasting pulp. It has nothing to do with butter but gets the name because of its thick, soft consistency. I use apple butter as a spread for breads. My son loves it with peanut butter.
Hence to make things more healthy for my son, I baked banana bread using ripen bananas, apple butter and honey for sweetness.There is no egg in this recipe and that makes it great for my vegetarian buddies. It’s free of butter and you can replace honey with maple syrup or agave nectar and that makes it vegan too. Thanks Cheryl for telling me about the vegan option.South Indians use a coconut oil for cooking and I can see the popularity the oil has been receiving it in the US. Dr.Oz even aired a show highlighting the health benefits of coconut oil. For today’s recipe, I have used organic coconut oil to moisten my bread. The original recipe can be found in my good friend Rose of Magpies Recipe’s homemade coconut kissed banana bread post.
HEALTHY WHOLE WHEAT BANANA BREAD WITH HONEY AND APPLE BUTTER
Source: Rose’s Banana bread (vegan)
Yields: 19×5 inch loaf pan
KEY POINT: Add the ingredients in the order listed below
- 2 ripe bananas peeled and mashed well till no lumps remain ( the riper the bananas the stronger the banana flavor.)
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- 1 cup honey (use maple syrup or agave nectar if you are a vegan)
- 1/2 cup apple butter or apple sauce
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 3 tablespoon water, 3 tablespoon coconut oil, 2 teaspoon baking powder,1/4 teaspoon baking soda (all mixed together in that order and kept aside for about 5 minutes prior, not much more ahead else it may lose some of the fizz require to make the cake rise)
- 2 teaspoon vanilla essence
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Grease and flour a 9X5 inch loaf pan. ( I used PAM canola oil cooking spray to grease the pan and didn’t flour it, but lined the bottom with parchment paper)
- In large bowl, mix all ingredients in order given ( if you don’t follow the order, things may not work so its VERY IMPORTANT!). Pour into pan and bake 40 to 50 minutes.
- Add some roasted nuts like walnuts or pistachios for extra crunch.
- You can replace coconut oil with rice bran oil or canola or vegetable oil.
- I serve this bread with some nutella smothered on top or with a scoop of my homemade vanilla ice cream.