Making Banana Bread Healthier
Banana bread is a family favorite, over the years I have taken my favorite Banana Bread recipe from my Betty Crocker cookbook and adapted it to suit me and my family. As long the base for the dough works, you can add or omit the berries, because I have a bumper crop of blueberries, I am using them them in everything! And blueberries and bananas love one another.
The kids also love it with chocolate chips, and that is decadent, but not as healthy!
Also, I have substituted one cup of AP flour for Spelt, I do believe that we should be using these ancient grains more in our diets and enjoy using them, but it has to be done carefully as the gluten content differs from AP flour and a recipe could be ruined by substituting all of the flour with another kind. Spelt is one of the better flours to use in baking.
More on Spelt below.
I love making my own ricotta, which you wonder why I mention it here, well, it means I have lots of whey left from making it, whey is not something I want to waste, I try to use it in my cooking and baking, it is a nutritious staple. But if you do not have whey, buttermilk is the ingredient in the original recipe and I have used it often, I do find whey and buttermilk to be interchangeable in this case.
The other ingredient I changed is sugar, I use less and substitute 1/4 of the sugar with honey, honey is a great ingredient and so full of health benefits. Again, I caution against using just honey in this recipe, it could change the batter to the point it would not feel like banana bread at all.
I hope you make this recipe and enjoy it with kids, colleagues and family, it is just too yummy.
Set oven to 350 F.
Butter the bottom of a 8 x 10 baking pan. (Or a standard bread/loaf pan)
Note: I bake my banana bread in an 8 x 10 baking pan because the batter is very thick and takes long to cook fully, in a loaf pan, the sides and top of the banana bread will dry out and the center barely be baked after an hour, it is a preference of mine. Which means, it is a good recipe to make muffins with!
1 ½ cup AP (all purpose) flour
1 c. Spelt flour (or other of your liking, AP flour will work just as well)
2 tsp. baking soda
½ c. butter
¾ c. sugar
¼ c. honey
2 large eggs (or 3 small ones)
3 to 4 bananas (1 ½ to 2 cups)
½ c. whey or buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 ½ cup fresh blueberries (or Frozen)
Mix together dried ingredients in small mixing bowl.
In large bowl, using your stand mixer or hand mixer, beat the butter with the sugar and honey, incorporate the eggs one at a time till mixture is smooth and light.
Add the bananas, whey or buttermilk and vanilla. Mix for a minute or so.
Add the dry ingredients mixture, mix for another minute, do not over mix!
Using a spatula, fold in the blueberries.
Pour into the cake pan and even out.
Bake for 45 to 55 minutes.
Eat hot, warm or cold, just eat it!
Tip: If using frozen blueberries, fold them into the flour mixture first, then fold the flour/blueberry mix gently into the wet batter as to not cause extreme discoloration of the batter.
About Spelt: In a 100 gram serving, uncooked spelt provides 338 calories and is an excellent source (20% or more of the Daily Value, DV) of protein, dietary fiber, several B vitamins and numerous dietary minerals (table). Richest nutrient contents include manganese (143% DV), phosphorus (57% DV) and niacin (46% DV) (table). Cooking substantially reduces all nutrient contents. Spelt contains about 70% total carbohydrates, including 11% as dietary fiber, and is low in fat (table).
As spelt contains a moderate amount of gluten, it is suitable for baking, but this component also makes it unsuitable for people with gluten-related disorders, such as celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity and wheat allergy sufferers. In comparison to hard red winter wheat, spelt has a more soluble protein matrix characterized by a higher gliadin: glutenin ratio.
Taken from Wikipedia, more here. Spelt