Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Morgan's Wholesome Banana Bread

If you haven't heard of Morgan from Little House of Veggies (littlehouseofveggies.blogspot.com) yet, then I suggest you click over to her blog right now! She has lots of wonderful healthy vegan recipes, many of which are kid friendly, too.

I currently have her wholesome banana bread baking in the oven. I'm excited to see how it turns out! I followed the recipe to the T, with the only exception being the sugar I used. Unfortunately, my fiance is a Type 1 diabetic, which means baking for me is a tad more difficult than for others. You see, sugar does lots of wonderful things in baked goods- one of the most important is the fact that sugar retains moisture. Thus, replacing sugar with imitation products can lead to an unusual product. It really depends on the recipe. Sometimes, I have no problems and sometimes it just doesn't work out (frosting!) and the only way to know what will happen is to try. 

That's why I'm going to be sharing my experiments with sugar substitutes on here as well. I figure there are others out there who can't enjoy normal sugar, and have had disasters in the kitchen with substitutes like I have. (I am in no way endorsing these imitation products. I would prefer to bake with something more natural like agave nectar, but as far as I know, agave is not okay for Type 1 diabetics). 

I used to always replace the sugar in recipes with Splenda. However, I have been reading about Stevia recently. Lots of doctors like Alejandro Junger of 'Clean' have been saying that stevia, which is a leaf extract, is better than Splenda. Also, you use a LOT less stevia than Splenda when baking, because it is 300 times as sweet as normal sugar! In my book, the less sugar substitute I have to use, the better. 

For example, I only had to use 1 tablespoon of stevia in the banana bread I'm currently baking, vs. normally I would use the full 1 cup (of Splenda). 

One thing to keep in mind when baking with artificial sweeteners is that they usually bake and burn faster, so you need to decrease the baking time. Also, they won't brown like normal baked goods; one way to fix this problem is by spraying the top of your bread with a mist of cooking spray. 

I'll let you know how the bread turns out!

Results: The bread is delicious. Definitely wholesome-tasting though. If you like your banana bread to be like cake and super indulgent, then this bread isn't for you. BUT, if you are like me, and enjoy a hearty loaf, then this is perfection. What's really wonderful about the recipe is that thanks to the whole wheat, the bread is nutty and filling. I did, however, use 1 cup whole wheat and 1 cup white flour, and I think using 100% whole wheat flour might have made a too dense bread. Also, 1 tablespoon stevia was more than enough! Finally, there was no added oil in this bread, which is great. However, if you wanted, I'm sure you could add a few tablespoons for a richer loaf.
Rating: 4/5

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