Banana Applesauce Bread : Tasty Tuesday!

Can we talk for a second about the fact that I'm not a baker of sweets?  I don't like the fact that you (pretty much) have to follow the recipe, otherwise it won't turn out (what do you mean, I can't substitute something for baking soda?!?)  Which is why I 100% prefer cooking over baking.  I can pretty much have free rein to do whatever I want, and it will normally be eatable.  In fact, normally my concoctions turn out pretty darn well.  I've experienced much heartbreak in the baking arena.  Maybe this is why I don't even own cookie sheets.  Plus, most baking recipes call for dairy ingredients, which I can substitute non-dairy items for, but sometimes I just don't want to make the drive to the health food store to buy Tofutti Better than Cream Cheese.  Simply put, I don't love desserts, and don't really ever feel the need to go out of my way to make them.    

Enter: Banana Bread.  I have always loved banana bread.  Ever since I was a kid at daycare, eating it warm from the oven, covered in butter (*sigh* the days when I could enjoy dairy), banana bread has been one of my favorites.  But now, as a health conscious adult, knowing what all of the terrible things that refined sugar and butter/butter substitutes do to our bodies, I've been searching for and testing "healthy" banana bread recipes.  


You can make healthy banana bread, but it really doesn't taste that good.  

However, there is hope.  I found a decent recipe that, after several disastrous loaves some tweaking, qualifies as both pretty healthy and delicious.   Yes, there is still a smidgen of oil (far less than the 1/4 or 1/2 cup in most recipes).  Yes, there is still a bit of brown sugar (after all of these test loaves, I realized that if it doesn't have brown sugar, it doesn't taste like banana bread).  But.  All in all, it is leaps and bounds healthier than traditional banana bread. 

Are you ready?  

Banana Applesauce Bread
1/3 cup cinnamon applesauce
2 Tbsp. canola oil
1/2 cup honey
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
[optional: 1 extra Tbsp. of agave nectar for a little extra sweetness]
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 cup mashed ripe bananas [two larger bananas]
1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup bread flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 cup [almond] milk
1/3 cup of walnuts/dried fruit/chocolate chips, etc

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Grease loaf pan.
2.  Combine applesauce, oil, honey, brown sugar, vanilla and eggs until creamy.  Add in bananas.
3.  Stir in the flours and salt.
4.  In separate bowl, dissolve the baking soda into the milk.  Combine into batter.
5.  Fold in the chips/nuts/etc.
6.  Bake at 325 degrees for 45 minutes, checking frequently after 30 minutes of bake time.

The results?  A fluffy, moist bread that tastes wonderful.  And the fact that it's pretty good for you makes it tastes even better.  

Go wait for your bananas to start turning dark.  Enjoy :) Pin It

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