Friday, February 4, 2011

Banana Bread

Last weekend I met up with a friend and she baked the most delicious looking Banana Bread (which I could not eat, sadly ) and I just couldn't get it out of my head. It's something that I've been meaning to make for a while but couldn't find the time to do it. I was also worried about whether or not it would be too "bready" without sugar.

A couple of days ago Toronto got "snowed in". In the end there wasn't very much snow, but the University closed down and I got an unexpected day off. It was really great to take a break, relax and spend the day at home. My husband and I went rock climbing for a while and had the whole gym to ourselves - the one benefit of a snowstorm.

Thankfully we also planned ahead and bought lots of groceries in anticipation of a possible snow storm. I've been craving a snack and I figured what better way to satisfy that than with Banana Bread. As it happens, I've been hoarding bananas in my freezer so I really needed an excuse to use some of them up.

I decided to modify a Banana Bread recipe that I've been making for ages and see how it would turn out. The cookbook where I found this recipe is one of my favourites. It's one of the few cookbooks that I can turn to for just about any meal.  It always has healthy recipes from a number of Canadian dietitians. I haven't been disappointed with a single recipe yet.

I also happened to buy by some gluten-free flours last weekend and was hankering to use them. I've never used chickpea flour or buckwheat flour so I figured I should at least try to incorporate one of those in my recipe.

I should probably mention that I'm not an expert cook. If fact when I just started baking I had to follow a recipe exactly. It's been hard to break out of that and experiment but I'm glad that avoiding sugar makes it almost mandatory for me to play around with recipes.

 Sugar Free Banana Bread
 Significantly adjusted from Simply Great Food: 250 Quick, Easy & Delicious Recipes

  • 1 ½ cups Buckwheat Flour
  • ½ cup Whole Wheat Flour
  • ½ cup Oat Bran
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  •   ¼ cup oil (I used grapeseed)
  • ½ Unsweetened Apple Juice (I use Simply Apple which in my opinion is the best apple juice out there)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  •   ¾ cup plain yogurt
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 2 tablespoons flaxseed (optional)
  •  ½ cup raisins (optional, but soooo tasty)
  • ½ cup walnuts (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 325 ˚F. Grease a loaf pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine flours, oat bran, baking powder and baking soda.
  3. In a large bowl, beat eggs, oil, vanilla and apple juice for 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in yogurt until well combined. Stir in bananas. Gradually fold in flour mixture. Fold in raisins and walnuts (if using).
  4. Spoon batter into loaf pan and smooth top. Sprinkle with whole flaxseed (if using).
  5. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes or until top is firm to the touch and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
Note: This banana bread is freezer friendly so you can make a couple of batches at a time and freeze the second batch.

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