A month ago I was digging out from blizzard number one and packing up for a week on a warm Caribbean beach. Then, in day five of our dreamy sun-drenched trip, I received a frantic call from my mom, who was watching our house. Water was pouring into the house and quickly destroying two of our bedrooms. Now, a month later, thanks to major ice damming, we have two unusable bedrooms and water now wreaking havoc on the antique wood ceilings of the front porch. Winter has, day by day, brought us to our knees.
Everyone in Boston is suffering the same daily existence right now. With almost nine feet of snow falling in the last month, roofs are failing, commutes are hours long, school days are missed, and emotions are very very high. To add insult to ice dams, when this all melts we know we are looking at flooding and more damage – but we want it all gone – now.
Yesterday, after the glass on my patio table shattered from extreme cold, I spent an hour day dreaming of what my yard looked like without snow. It seems like such a lifetime ago that I saw the grass or since my kids ran in the back yard. With snow this high, the kids can’t even play in the snow.
So what does all of this have to do with banana bread? Not much. This is the recipe I had ready to post a month ago, before Old Man Winter decided to get all pissy with us. I never intended to take a one month break from this blog, but I’m back now, and here is the banana bread…
This recipe started when my sister challanged me to make a banana bread good enough to want to eat but also so low in calories that you could eat it everyday without guilt. I cannot turn down a cooking challange, so I got busy churning out loaf after loaf of ultra-light banana bread.
I loathe all artificial sweeteners, so stevia and the such were not an option. Instead I decided to try a trick from Cook’s Illustrated for roasting the bananas to intensify their sweetness. I was surprised to discover that my favorite lighter banana bread had no added sugar at all. To make the lightly sweet bread even more nutritious, I add unsweetened applesauce, whole wheat flour and a little buttermilk. The result is a just-sweet-enough breakfast treat that is delicious plain, or toasted. The kids love it, I love it and I also feel good about making it. Enjoy!
- 4 ripe medium bananas, mashed
- 1/4 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a loaf pan or muffin tins and set aside. Place the unpeeled bananas on a baking sheet. Roast for twenty minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. The peels will separate easily from the bananas. Place the roasted, peeled bananas in a bowl and mash. Add the egg, applesauce, buttermilk and vanilla.
- In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix to just combine, there may be a few small lumps. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake. Bake mini-muffins for 12-15 minutes, bake full-size muffins for 20-25 minutes and a loaf for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Serving size for calories is set to 3 mini muffins, 1 slice of bread or one full size muffins.