Higher Protein, Lower Sugar Banana Bread

In my latest efforts to improve my diet and drop a few pounds, I have been focusing on higher protein, lower sugar/carbohydrates treats. Unfortunately, this makes baking a bit difficult. I resisted for a while, but my cravings got the best of me (and, so did a few brown bananas). I looked at this as a new challenge: how could I make a banana bread, still satisfying, with a better nutrient balance?

First, let’s look at the ingredients in a typical banana bread.

1 cup mashed bananas
1/3 cup melted butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups flour

This is baked in a regular loaf pan. Most recipes would probably say this is 12 servings or so, but let’s be realistic. I think 8 is a good number – I want a decent slice, not a little sliver! And I know if I cut smaller pieces, I will just go back for more anyway. So to be fair, I calculated out the nutrition according to what I think I would consume, which is 1/8 of the pan. This works out to 284 calories, 8.6 gm fat, 49.6 gm carbs, and 3.6 gm protein. Well, when your daily allowance of carbs is 130-170grams, as mine is, 49.6 coming from one piece of banana bread easily wipes out about 1/3 of that.

So, I decided to make some changes to improve the nutritional profile. First, I substituted applesauce for some of the butter to reduce the fat. Not all, because I think some butter is necessary, but some. The other benefit of adding applesauce is that you can automatically reduce the sugar, since the applesauce (even unsweetened) provides some sweetness. So I cut the sugar to 1/2 cup, using half brown sugar and half Splenda. I used eggbeaters in place of real eggs to cut a few calories. Now, for the flour. I decided to try oat flour, instead of all purpose or whole wheat. And, I replaced some of it with protein powder. Yup, you heard me right, vanilla protein powder. Finally, I added some walnuts.

The results? Well, this was pretty darn good – even the hubby said so. The texture and taste really hit the spot for me. The only thing that didn’t work out quite as planned was that the bread didn’t rise as much as a normal quick bread – so perhaps some baking soda is in order next time. But, the best part is the nutritional information here. Based on 8 servings, my recipe has 201 calories, 7.3 gm fat, 24 gm carbs, and 12.8 gm protein. I managed to reduce the calories, cut the carbs in half, and triple the protein.

Higher Protein, Low-Sugar Banana Bread
1 cup mashed bananas
2 tbsp melted butter
1/4 cup applesauce
6 tbsp eggbeaters
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup Splenda
1 cup oats
3 scoops vanilla protein
1 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
dash of cinnamon
1/3 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350F. In a blender, process oats until flour-like consistency is reached. Add remaining dry ingredients and pulse to combine. Stir mashed bananas with butter and apple sauce, then add eggbeaters and sugar and mix well. Gently stir in dry ingredients, then walnuts. Spoon into a loaf pan coated with nonstick cooking spray. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

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4 Responses to “Higher Protein, Lower Sugar Banana Bread”

  1. 1

    That Girl — August 24, 2008 @ 5:34 pm Reply

    This is a great use for those bananas I have in my freezer!

  2. 2

    L and J — August 25, 2008 @ 2:10 am Reply

    this recipe looks great!!! i must try it!

  3. 3

    ~Amber~ — August 26, 2008 @ 3:08 pm Reply

    This looks delicious.

  4. 4

    ~Amber~ — April 5, 2011 @ 1:17 am Reply

    This looks delicious.

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