Quick & Easy Banana Bread Recipe
And lucky for me - and for you too, dear valued reader - the recipe turned out fabulous.
The banana bread also turned out quite moist. You can skinny-it up a bit if you wish by using reduced fat products - such as reduced fat margarine, but at times - because we know that a recipe is reduced in calories, we go back again and again - for seconds, and at times, thirds and fourths.
While the regular products contain more fat, the fat will keep the appetite satisfied for longer periods of time. And - it will take less of the treat to satisfy your craving - or hunger.
Preparation Time: About 10 minutes
Cooking Time: about 20-30 minutes
I cooked this recipe in a toaster oven set at 350 degrees. The banana bread took about 20 minutes to bake. I used three mini-loaf pans. The result looked like tiny loaves that would please any respectable elf - or dieter. You can use a large loaf pan if you wish - but baking time will vary.
The recipe batter perfectly filled all three of the little loaf pans. I filled them almost to the top - but afterwards I did worry that they might flow like lava into the oven - but they didn't [thank goodness!]. Given such however, you may wish to leave about an inch from the top. Cleaning up oven spills is never fun.
2 Large Bananas OR 3 Small Bananas, smashed
2 cups of all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon of baking soda
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 stick of margarine, melted
3/4 cup of light brown sugar
2 eggs, any size
1 teaspoon of banana extract/flavoring [optional]
2 teaspoons of imitation vanilla
1/4 cup of English walnuts, chopped [optional]
2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg [optional]
1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger [optional]
Many of the ingredients are optional. I tend to experiment with lots of different spices which compliment one another when I'm creating a new recipe. Therefore, if you don't like ginger or nutmeg - or if you don't have any in your kitchen pantry, they can be omitted.
You can also use pecans or almonds instead of English walnuts - or omit the nuts. They do add a burst of protein to the recipe, and because I kept them at a minimal amount, they don't add a plethora of calories. English walnuts are excellent 'brain food'.
I didn't add any additional salt because I used margarine - which contains salt. You can ramp-up the recipe by opting to use butter if you wish. But take note, it will add more calories, and more fat grams to the recipe.
Also, the baking soda adds a nice hint of sodium - so I didn't feel that the recipe needed any more salt. And salt is a tricky ingredient; once added - it's almost impossible to remove, particularly in bread recipes.
I used LIGHT brown sugar. You can use dark if you wish - but the bread will appear much darker after it is cooked.
I also used imitation vanilla. I simply like the flavor more than the pure vanilla extract. For the ground cinnamon, I used 'true' cinnamon' but the over the counter 'fake' ground cinnamon will work just fine. True Cinnamon vs Fake Cinnamon
1. Place the stick of margarine in a microwave-proof bowl and melt - but don't over-heat.
2. Add the light brown sugar to the melted margarine. Stir.
3. Add the baking powder and baking soda and incorporate well.
4. Add the smashed bananas, and stir.
5. Add the eggs - and you can whisk them before adding if you wish. I didn't.
6. Add the flavoring extracts - banana and vanilla.
7. Stir in the flour.
8. When batter is smooth, add the English walnuts.
#1 - For a sensational low calorie dessert, slice up 3 bananas, add them to a pan sprayed with a bit of cooking spray. Add 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, just a dash of nutmeg and 1/4 cup of brown sugar. Cook until warm. If bananas appear to start sticking, add 1/8 cup of water. Transfer to dessert dishes and sprinkle with a teaspoon of chopped pecans or walnuts.
#2 - Add mashed bananas to your next batch of homemade waffle or pancake batter.
#3 - Create a healthier banana split by using frozen whipped topping rather than ice cream. One-half cup of regular vanilla ice cream contains from 140 to 220 calories, depending upon the recipe and brand. Light whipped topping contains 15 calories per 2 Tablespoons - less than half the amount of calories as regular vanilla ice cream.
And when only real ice cream will do, taking just a second to measure out the ice cream before transferring it to the serving bowl can add up to sensational benefits where your health and weight are concerned.
#4 - Peter Pan makes a yummy whipped peanut butter that I am head over heels in love with. While standard peanut butter contains about 210 calories per serving, Peter Pan's whipped peanut butter contains a scant 140 calories. I love to mix 1/2 a mashed banana with a spoon of the whipped peanut butter, then spread it onto a fresh slice of whole grain bread. A few dried cranberries or golden raisins in the mix is also divine.
#1 - If you're not in love with the specialized versions of applesauce at your local market, create your own gourmet versions. Start by purchasing unsweetened applesauce. Add your preferred amount of ground cinnamon, and just a dash nutmeg. As a note, nutmeg can be toxic in large amounts.
If you desire a sweeter applesauce without the added calories, add a bit of Splenda.
#2 - Applesauce, most mashed fruits such as banana, light sour cream, as well as dried fruits such as dates work exceptionally well as a substitute for oil when baking while adding a unique, delicious flavor to the goody - not to mention an extra layer of health.
How do oil and applesauce compare? One cup of unsweetened applesauce contains 105 calories while one cup of oil contains a hefty 1,980 calories. What about fat grams? Applesauce contains about 0.12 grams of fat per cup while oil contains 224.0 fat grams per cup.
#3 - Applesauce makes a terrific healthy choice as a side sauce for roasted chicken, pork chops and so forth. Almost any situation where cranberry sauce will suffice, so will applesauce.
#4 - Create your own healthy natural applesauce by cooking apples that have been cored and peeled. Add Splenda to save calories over sugar; add a bit of brown sugar to suit your personal taste, then the all-important ground cinnamon after the applesauce has cooled.
Enjoy within a couple of days or so afterwards as naturally prepared recipes typically spoil sooner than commercially prepared foods.
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