As you may have already read, I made the best banana bread this weekend. I still can't believe how good it is. It's this recipe from The Kitchn. Go make it. Right now!
It got me thinking. This is perfect banana bread but usually I make swaps to lighten it up. There's nothing wrong with that. Just like there's nothing wrong with making the original version with all the fat and sugar and enjoying it mindfully. I'm working on that whole mindful thing...
So what if you want to make a lighter version but aren't sure how? It's simple! Although it may not always have the same texture and consistency it will still taste delicious.
First up, go whole wheat. Theres also white whole wheat flour. If you really don't want to go all in try ½ whole wheat and ½ all purpose.
Next up choose your oil/fat. Butter is not your enemy. But there are some healthier options. Unsaturated fats (aka oils at room temperature) have been shown to be heart healthy as opposed to saturated fats (solid at room temperature). So more often than not it's recommended to choose canola or olive oil over butter or coconut oil. Yes, coconut oil is a saturated fat. Easy swap!
Now for the sweet stuff! Sometimes I simply swap maple syrup or honey (or a combo!) for the sugar in a recipe. Does that change much? Nope. Sugar is sugar when it comes down to it and your body processes it the same. BUT maple syrup and honey have some additional minerals that I wouldn't necessarily get from sugar alone (calcium, potassium, etc.). You also can try added ½ of what the recipe calls for for sugar or even ⅔. Banana bread is naturally sweet from the fructose (natural sugar) in the bananas so it really doesn't need that much sugar. Try it out!
You can also add things too! Blueberries for additional antioxidants. Nuts and seeds for healthy fats and protein! This is your chance to be creative! Go crazy! Well maybe not too crazy...
Reference: Christensen, E. How to Make Banana Bread. The Kitchn. Published August 16, 2017. http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-banana-bread-the-simplest-easiest-recipe-139900