For 20 years I didn’t eat bananas. Why bother when instead I could enjoy a Skinny Cow Ice Cream Sandwich for the same number of Weight Watcher Points? That is, until Weight Watchers did the unthinkable — they made fresh fruit free! Suddenly I could eat bananas with impunity.
Bananas have graced our table ever since, but now I’m faced with a new challenge — what to do with a never-ending supply of over-ripe fruit. It’s uncanny the way bananas turn dark in one fell swoop. One day they’re green at the tips…and then they’re all black. There’s no in-between with bananas.
King Arthur Flour recently offered a solution on their web site: a whole wheat banana bread from their Whole Grain Baking Cookbook. While it’s not exactly low fat, this loaf is made with either regular whole wheat or white whole wheat (a lighter whole wheat flour made by King Arthur), making it a healthier, higher fiber option than the traditional white flour loaf.
I’ve made Heavenly Healthy Banana Bread (named by the King Arthur folks) several times now: with the 1/2 cup of butter called for in the original recipe and with 1/4 cup butter and 1/4 cup natural applesauce for a lower-fat loaf. Frankly, I couldn’t tell the difference. The lighter version knocks off one Point per slice. Choose your
If you’re hesitant having something sweet and calorific around, I suggest that you look at it this way: a slice of banana bread with a cup of coffee for breakfast is not merely a treat — it’s an inalienable right.
You can lose weight and eat banana bread, that is, if you do what Weight Watchers says and change your relationship with food for good.
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature*
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
3 medium very ripe bananas, cut into chunks
1/4 cup honey
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9″ X 5″ loaf pan.
In a large bowl, beat together the butter and brown sugar until smooth. Add the vanilla, baking soda, salt and bananas, beating until well combined. The mixture will be fairly smooth with some small chunks of banana.
Beat in the honey and eggs.
Add the flour, then the walnuts, stirring until smooth.
Spoon batter into prepared pan, smoothing the top. Allow it to rest for 10 minutes.
Bake the bread for 50 minutes, then gently lay a piece of aluminum foil across the top to prevent over-browning. Bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Allow the bread to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove it and allow it to cool completely on a rack.
*To further lighten this recipe, substitute 1/4 cup butter and 1/4 cup natural applesauce
Seves 12 to 16
WW PP per 12 slices: 6 (5 with butter/applesauce)
WW PP per 16 slices: 5 (4 with butter/applesauce)