This year, in honor of National Banana Bread Day, we wanted to bring you a list of tips to help you modify your favorite recipes to make them a bit healthier, or even just to modify them to whatever your diet requirements are. Whether you want to focus on all natural sugars, going gluten free, or reducing your fat, try out any of these modifications to make your banana bread work for you, and still be delicious.
Going Gluten Free
Whenever trying to substitute a gluten free flour for breads, cakes or scones, make sure to check if your gluten free flour contains a binder. The reason being that most gluten free flours will require additional assistance from some other sort of binder in the absence of gluten. Try using a bit of xantham gum, or a mixture of one part flaxmeal and 2 parts water to help aid your gluten free flour of choice. As far as substitutions, a store bought all purpose gluten free flour can be a simple 1:1 substitution, but other kinds of flours (like oat, or coconut etc.) get a bit more complicated.
Finding a Replacement for Butter
Many banana bread recipes call for about a stick of butter, but are so tasty you might eat half of the loaf right when it comes out of the oven. One great way to cut fat is to use yogurt. Greek yogurt, low-fat, or fat-free yogurt can be used to reduce or replace shortening, oil, butter or sour cream in baked goods and is a great way to make your banana bread healthier. When a recipe calls for butter, replace half the butter with half as much yogurt. For instance, instead of 1 cup butter, use 1/2 cup butter and 1/4 cup yogurt. Or you can even try and replace the whole thing with yogurt. Be aware that your baked good may be a bit denser this way. You can use these same ratios to replace butter with apple sauce, or even avocado puree.
Avoiding Processed Sugars
More and more research shows that processed sugars are your body’s kryptonite. The less processed your sugar is, the better for you. One favorite of ours that is sure to make your banana bread healthier is to replace your white sugar with maple syrup. Try replacing 1 cup of white sugar for 3/4 cup maple syrup. You can also replace white sugar with honey by replacing 1 cup of white sugar with 1/2 to 2/3 cup honey. One final great way to naturally sweeten baked goods is to replace white sugar with date puree. To replace a cup of white sugar with dates, mix 1 cup of pitted dates with 1/2 to 1 cup water to make a paste.
Let us know your favorite recipe modification in the comments below!