Banana Bread Redux

Happy 2011! Though I typically settle into a bit of a depression over holidays passing by (especially saying buh-bye to Christmas tunes!), this year I'm trying to get excited for other things in my life instead. Like shedding a few pounds after tossing the leftover cookies, getting back to a workout routine, and planning to see friends who we haven't seen since before Thanksgiving due to time inexplicably flying by.

On New Year's Eve, I spent the day at my parents house, breaking in my new camera by taking lots of photos of this little cutie.

 

Shaun and I opted to stay in with a Boardwalk Empire marathon. What can I say, we are obsessed! Is anyone else watching? The night was capped off with a little hors d'oeuvres spread in front of our Christmas tree.

 

On New Year's Day, we hopped the Path into the city for a little lunch and Rockefellar Center with Shaun's parents, aunt, uncle and cousin. No matter how many times I see the tree, it never gets old.

 

Meanwhile, in my time off from work last week, I worked on some new recipes. Last year, I tested out The Joy of Cooking Banana Bread Cockaigne and it quickly became one of my favorite quick bread recipes. But when I realized that I had a bowl full of these...

I thought I'd change it up and try out a healthier option. You know, part of that whole post-holiday cut the fat thing. Oh and please don't judge me for allowing a bunch of bananas to rot on my countertop. Thanks.

But look what came of those ugly things! I was so happy with how this bread turned out. Let's face it, by substituting applesauce for oil and honey for sugar, it's not necessarily a sure thing. But this bread was a moist, filling one that I'd surely make again!

Whole Wheat, Almost Sugar-Free Banana Bread
*Makes 1 loaf
1/3 C unsweetened applesauce
1/4 C honey
2 tbsp Splenda brown sugar blend
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
3 bananas, very ripe and mashed
1 3/4 C whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 C hot water
1/2 C chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a large bowl, beat the applesauce, honey and Splenda brown sugar blend.

Meanwhile, mash up the bananas.

 

Add the eggs to the applesauce mixture and mix well. Beat in the vanilla and mashed bananas. Stir in the flour and salt, mixing until just combined. Add the baking soda to hot water. Mix to let dissolve and then add to the bread batter. Lightly stir in the walnuts. Pour into a greased loaf pan.

 

Bake for 50-55 minutes.

Slice up and enjoy!

So there you have it. A simple way to change up your standard banana bread into a delish, healthy, guilt-free option! So what do you think?

And for the question of the day: How are you beating the post-holiday New Year blues? Or are you simply psyched to kick off 2011?