Heartland Nuts

Banana Nut Bread

Banana nut bread is aromatic and flavorful bread that more closely resembles cake in texture and flavor, but is prepared in a loaf pan like bread. Because of the main ingredients in banana nut bread, it can easily be prepared in a low-fat version without sacrificing taste. Banana nut bread is an excellent accompaniment to coffee or tea at breakfast and equally as tasty as an after dinner treat.

The main ingredients in banana nut bread are not difficult to discern even for a novice baker. You will need a few bananas and your choice of nuts in addition to a few on-hand ingredients. The most popular choice of nuts for banana nut bread is walnuts or pecans. However, there are recipes that use macadamia and almond nuts. The bananas need to be over-ripe for the best results.

To make a low-fat banana nut bread, start with 2 to 3 over-ripe bananas and mash them to equal one cup. In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 ½ cups of flour, 1-½ teaspoons of baking powder, ¼ teaspoon of baking soda, and a dash of salt. In a separate bowl, mix together 2 egg whites, the cup of mashed banana, ¾ cup of sugar (use sugar substitute such as Splenda for even fewer calories), 3 tablespoons of cooking oil, and 1 teaspoon of finely shredded lemon peel. Combine the banana mix with the dry ingredients until a batter is formed. Next stir in ¼ cup of nuts. Pour the batter into a non-stick loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes or until center tests done.

You should remove the bread from the pan after cooling 5 to 10 minutes and continue cooling on a wire rack. With loaf cut into 16 slices, this version contains about 120 calories per slice. To reduce fat and calories even further, substitute cooking oil for a fruit-based alternative.

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