• Leigh

Use Up the Bananas in a Better For You Bread


With five bananas to use up and a husband who wanted something other than sourdough bread, making banana quick loaves seemed like a good option. Nonetheless, I'm reluctant to make quick breads that really are cakes in disguise, so I opted for putting together banana loaves that deliver a reasonable amount of sugar and a lot of nutrition. The quick breads, which are low in fat and high in whole grains, bake up moist and delicious thanks to plenty of bananas, buttermilk, and ground flax--a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. Flavored with a bit of rum extract, warm spices, and coconut, the breads also delivers plenty of tropical flavor. A handful of buttery cashew nuts scattered on the top of the batter before baking it provides even more flavor and crunch. This recipe makes two loaves, so you have one to eat and one to share or stash in the freezer--unless you're really, really hungry.

Healthier Banana Quick Bread -- Makes 2 Loaves

1/2 cup of canola oil

1 cup of low-fat buttermilk

2/3 cup of sugar

1/3 cup of dark brown sugar

1 teaspoon of vanilla

1/2 teaspoon of rum extract

2 eggs

5 large, excessively ripe bananas, mashed (2-2 1/2 cups)

2 cups of white whole-wheat flour

1 cup of quick oats

3 tablespoons of ground flax

2 teaspoons of baking powder

1 teaspoon of baking soda

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg

1/2 cup of shredded coconut

1 cup of cashew halves

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and coat two 8 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pans with non-stick cooking spray (or line the pans with foil and coat the foil with spray). In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, buttermilk, sugars, vanilla, rum extract, and eggs until well blended. Stir in the mashed bananas. Combine the flour, oatmeal, ground flax, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg and then stir them into the wet mixture until all the ingredients are moistened. Stir in the coconut. Pour the mixture into the prepared pans and sprinkle the cashews evenly on top of the batter. Bake the loaves for 45-55 minutes or until a pick inserted in the center of a loaf comes out clean or with only moist crumbs (not wet batter) attached. Let the loaves cool in the pans for 10-15 minutes before turning them out to cool completely.

#bananas #bread #wholegrains #flax #cashewnuts

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