I discovered a few weeks back that the key to a beautiful picture of food is to set it on wood and to set the wood on green, green spring grass. I think this might be the most beautiful food picture I’ve posted yet.
I actually made this recipe nearly a month ago. In fact, I’ve tried out a whole other banana bread recipe since this one. That’s how far behind I’ve gotten on posting recipes. (Book writing is sucking up all my time!) Anyway, I absolutely adore banana bread, but I do not adore baking with oil. I’ve also been trying to do more experimenting with honey rather than sugar in my baking. When I ran across a recipe at 8 Weeks to a Better You for banana bread made without sugar or oil, I knew I had to try it.
The recipe uses fairly standard swaps. No sugar added applesauce instead of oil or butter and honey in place of white sugar. Beyond that, it’s a super simple recipe. Perfect for throwing together when you have some bananas that have gotten a little too ripe.
I’ll say this about the loaves, they rose beautifully. This was one of the most visually beautiful loves of banana bread I’ve ever baked. That said, it was far from the tastiest. A little bit more refining on my part and I think I could get this one there though.
The benefits… no oil, no refined sugar. That’s a biggie for a lot of people I know and the more specialized diets they’re on. No sugar added applesauce used instead of canola oil saves 914 calories and 108 grams of fat (including 8 grams of saturated fat) in a single loaf. That’s more than 100 calories and 10 grams of fat per serving! Swapping out the refined sugar for honey covers the diets of many of my processed sugar avoiding friends. Make this with whole wheat flour instead of white flour and you’re moving steadily into whole food territory.
The downside…it was no where near as moist as I like my banana bread. It was good, don’t get me wrong. I enjoyed it immensely, as did everyone who was over that day. It was just…heavier…denser than what I prefer in a banana bread. Mom and I decided a big part of that was the honey. 3/4 cups of honey is just too much for a single loaf. Honey is DENSE! And it made the loaf heavy. When I make this again, I’ll reduce the honey to 1/2 cup and see if that lightens things up a bit.
Oh and the chocolate chips? Well, that’s just how I roll when I make banana bread. I didn’t like pecans growing up (and I still don’t like Walnuts,) so my grandmother always made me a loaf with chocolate chips in it. To this day, it’s my preferred way to eat banana bread. So I always make a loaf with and one without.
Honeyed Banana Bread
(adapted from 8 Weeks to a Better You)
- 2 c all purpose flour
- 1 t baking soda
- 1/4 t salt
- 1/2 c unsweetened applesauce
- 3/4 c honey (but I suggest 1/2 a cup)
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 3 mashed overripe bananas
Mix wet ingredients together until well blended. Add dry ingredients and mix until just blended. (A few streaks of flour is just fine!) Pour into greased 9×5 bread pans and bake at 350 for 60-65 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes in pan, then turn out onto wire rack and cool completely.