I love to cook and bake. I love it. So finding recipes and trying different substitutes to “lighten” them up is something I enjoy doing. It is nice to cut back on some calories and use them elsewhere, especially if I can find substitutes that maintain the original flavor and texture of the food. I however, will be the first to admit some recipes were not meant to be altered, but kept as is.
Today I would like to share one of my favorite bread recipes. This recipe is not only fantastic as is, but you can lighten it up as well if you are looking to cut calories or for heart health. This is my Grandma Ange’s banana nut bread recipe. She makes the best banana nut bread there is. My grandma would bake my dad some bread (usually 2 loaves) and send them up to the house. When I would go visit dad and her banana nut bread was in that house, we were ALL eating it. Dad would eat it for breakfast, snack, and I am sure if he had the chance, he would have eaten it for dinner. I wouldn’t have blamed him…I probably would have asked to join as well. It’s that good. So, though I can’t cook my bread as great as Grandma Ange’s (there is just something about HER bread that’s incredible), I have to say it is pretty close.
I know some people are afraid to replace ingredients with others, but one of my favorite replacements is applesauce for butter/margarine. This bread does not lose any flavor or texture when using applesauce. It is a simple recipe switch that can save over 700 calories. Yes, 700 calories and you are not sacrificing texture or flavor. Seems like a win win right? Of course it is! So, if you love banana nut bread, I would encourage you to try this lightened up recipe.
Grandma Ange’s Banana Nut Bread
½ cup applesauce (I used regular, but you can definitely use cinnamon as well)
2 cups flour
½ cup chopped pecans
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
Dash of salt
3-4 ripe bananas
Cream the bananas and whip until light. Set bananas aside. Mix the applesauce and sugar. Mix in the eggs. Add flour, baking soda, and nuts and mix. Add bananas and mix. Bake for 1 hour at 350.
*Some breads may cook faster that 1 hour.
* A huge key factor in making successful bread is to make sure those bananas are as ripe as can be. You want them to be dark brown/black. Trust me.
Now, I sliced my bread in 12 rather large pieces for 203 calories per slice! You could probably get 15 thin slices out of the loaf if you wanted for 163 calories per slice. However, with using the applesauce as a substitute, I saved 60 calories per slice.
If you decide to try baking the bread, I hope you enjoy the bread and happy baking!