Saturday, March 19, 2011

Healthy Banana Bread Recipe

slice of healthy banana bread without eggs or butter
This recipe shows you how to make a healthy banana bread without eggs or butter.
Ever wanted to take your favorite recipe and make it more convenient, healthier, or cheaper? Well, that pretty much sums me up. Though it doesn't come through in the recipes I typically post, in my private home cooking I get a kick out of pursuing efficiency in the kitchen, from monetary efficiency and time efficiency to kitchen space optimization and streamlining the steps in a recipe.

This vegan banana bread recipe is a great way to be more efficient with your kitchen cash. How? You start by taking egg and dairy ingredients out of the recipe and getting a little creative . . . you end by taking a delicious banana bread out of the oven. Bonus: It tastes as good as it looks.

Here's how this healthy banana bread stacks up against regular banana bread:

More Convenient: Ever just wanted to bake something, but you didn't have butter, milk, or eggs on hand? In this case, you can skip that last minute trip to the store and work with what you have.

Healthier: If you're on a low-cholesterol diet, you don't need to take Lipitor with a slice of this bread.  This banana bread is cholesterol free due to the removal of eggs and dairy. And, if you have egg or dairy allergies, you're all set, too.

Cheaper: Maybe you're just looking to save a buck. Compare it to a traditional banana bread recipe: margarine and oil are usually cheaper than butter, you don't need to buy eggs at all, and although the recipe calls for soy milk instead of regular milk, you could use water without suffering much.

Taste:  The amazing thing is that sacrificing these ingredients in the recipe below does not sacrifice flavor or texture - maybe because bananas themselves are so moist and provide the dominant flavor in the bread. The banana bread had a taste and texture almost identical to traditional banana bread.
loaf of vegan banana bread
This is a vegan banana bread recipe. It also happens to be a healthier banana bread than traditional recipes.
There are lots of ways to make banana bread without butter, milk, or eggs. This recipe is via IsaChandra at the Post Punk Kitchen. It calls for margarine, though if you are margarine-averse, I've seen recipes that call for oil that work just as well.

Like most traditional banana bread recipes, you can make this banana bread with frozen bananas. Just make sure they are thawed and mashed before you begin.

Recipe for Healthy Banana Bread without Eggs or Butter

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup margarine or oil, at room temp
3 very ripe bananas, mashed well. You can also use 3 frozen bananas that you've thawed and mashed.
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup vanilla soy milk, mixed with 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt


Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray a 8×4 bread pan with non stick cooking spray, or lightly coat with margarine. Sift or mix flour, baking soda, salt and spices well. 

In another bowl, cream together the margarine (or oil) and sugars, then add bananas, soy milk and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix well. Pour batter into pan. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes. Slice up your healthy banana bread, and serve!
slice of bread made from a healthy banana bread recipe
This recipe makes a great healthy banana bread without eggs or dairy.

Healthy Banana Bread Cost Analysis

Using prices found on PeaPod's online grocery ordering site, I compared the ingredient cost per loaf for traditional banana bread and the vegan banana bread recipe above. I assumed that all the banana bread recipes have a shared set of base ingredients per loaf (flour, sugar, 2-3 bananas, spices, baking, soda, etc), and compared the added cost of eggs, liquids, and fat versus their healthier substitutes.
Added cost by IngredientTraditional Banana BreadVegan Banana Bread
(Recipe Above)
Even Cheaper Banana Bread
(Recipe Above)
Cost of base ingredients (flour, etc) Same across all recipesSame across all recipesSame across all recipes
Cost of Eggs $0.32 for 2 eggsNo eggsNo eggs
Cost of liquid $0.51 for 1/3 c sour cream$0.24 for 1/4 c soy milktap water instead of soy milk
Cost of fat $0.88 for 1/2 cup butter$0.50 for 1/2 cup margarine $0.28 for 1/2 c vegetable oil
Total Added
Cost Per Loaf
$1.71w/ sour cream
$1.20 w/o sour cream

Just some food for thought!