Healthy Oven Banana Bread or Muffins

  • Serves: Makes one 9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf; or 12 muffins
  • Baking Temp (degrees F): 350
  • Views: 12646
  • Comments: 7

Variation: Healthy Oven Banana Bread or Streusel Muffins

Muffins and photo by Kelly Hong © Sarah Phillips

One of my Healthy Oven customers, Susan in San Diego, sent me her banana bread recipe for a reduced-fat makeover. Her original recipe had 1 cup of butter, which has about 1,798 calories, 192 fat grams and 528 milligrams of cholesterol. Now we can all enjoy this American classic with a clear conscience. Banana bread is a prime candidate for add-ins, like 1/2 cup fresh blueberries or 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips.

KELLY SAYS: "Today I made banana muffins from Sarah's delicious recipe for low fat banana bread
I added a little streusel on top, and in the middle, for a little extra oomph. Yeah, I know that it added some fat back in, but I only used a little.
The recipe made 16 beautiful high-domed muffins and they were FABULOUS tasting! See Variations below for streusel recipe!"

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour; spoon into measuring cup and level top
1 cup whole wheat flour; spoon into measuring cup and level top
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 cup mashed bananas (about 2 large) Do not puree. Have large pieces showing.
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
1 large egg
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Line the bottom on a 9 x 5 x 3-inch nonstick loaf pan with waxed paper and lightly spray the inside of the pan with oil.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk the flours, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt until well combined. Set aside.

3. In another medium bowl, using a handheld electric mixer set at high speed, beat the brown sugar, mashed bananas, applesauce, buttermilk, egg, oil and vanilla until lightened and frothy, about 1-1/2 minutes. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the banana mixture. Using a spoon, stir until just combined. Do not overmix.

Using a gentle touch, spread in the prepared pan.

4. Bake until cracks appear on the top, the loaf springs back when pressed gently in the center, and the sides are beginning to pull away from the pan, 55 to 60 minutes. Do not overbake. Cool in the pan on a wire cake rack for 10 minutes. Unmold onto the rack and peel off the paper. Turn right side up and cool completely.

Each serving: about 186 calories (7 percent from protein; 83 percent from carbohydrates; 10 percent from fat), 4 grams protein, 40 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams fat (less than 1 gram saturated fat), 18 milligrams cholesterol, 113 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.

From the Healthy Oven Baking Book, by Sarah Phillips, Doubleday, 1999

Healthy Oven Banana Bread or Streusel Muffins 
1/2 + 1/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/8 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

6 to 4 tablespoons (3/4 to 1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cold, cut into tablespoon-size pieces

1. Prepare the topping recipe: In a medium-size bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, sugar and cinnamon.
Cut-in the cold butter until the mixture resembles bread crumbs. You can also squeeze the butter and flour mixture in between your fingers to "cut-in". Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

2. Follow the mixing directions, starting at Step 1, above for the banana bread recipe. Spoon the batter evenly into the muffin tins. Place a generous layer of streusel on top of each.

3. Bake the muffins about 30 minutes, until well risen and deep golden. Cool the muffins in the pan or serve warm.


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