What is a health and fitness minded gal to do when you have a huge bowl of over-ripe bananas? Make Hawaiian Island Banana Bread, of course! Being the sugar conscious person I am, I replaced sugar with stevia, a plant based extract that tastes like sugar without the highs/lows…and without the guilt. Hope you enjoy this! I am loving my warm slice of banana bread as I blog this with a hot cup of coffee. Yum!
HAWAIIAN ISLAND BANANA BREAD: NO SUGAR ADDED
Preheat oven to: 350
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup sugar OR 1/2 cup stevia that is 2 to 1 to sugar (use half as much)
1 cup ripe mashed bananas
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or almonds or even trail mix! I just love to add nuts: more protein and more texture!
Spray non stick spray on bread loaf pan. Stir dry ingredients in 1 bowl. In another larger bowl, mix shortening, stevia (or sugar you naughty girl), mashed bananas, eggs and nuts. Add combined dry ingredients and mix until batter is blended. Pour in bread/loaf pan and bake 55 minutes until brown and slightly crunchy on top. (I cook mine a few minutes more since I love crunchy crust.) Let cool 10 minutes before slicing and serving. TIP: Serve with FAGE yogurt for protein or alongside scrambled egg whites. Reheat in toaster so it’s warm and crunchy.
- They are nature’s energy bars: they are pre-wrapped and easy to grab and bring to the office, school; toss in your gym bag or car. Easy breakfast on the go with a protein shake.
Good for Your Heart
- The American Heart Association has certified bananas as a heart-healthy food when eaten as part of a low-fat, balanced diet.
- According to the National Academy of Sciences, diets rich in potassium and low in sodium may reduce your risk of high blood pressure and stroke. At about 400mg per finger, bananas are an excellent source of potassium.
- The Food and Drug Administration says diets rich in fiber may reduce the risk of heart disease. Bananas supply 3 grams of fiber per serving. That’s 12% of the Daily Recommended Allowance.
- Bananas contain 15% of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C, which helps your body heal, absorb iron and synthesize connective tissue and blood formation.
- Bananas supply 20% of the recommended daily allowance for vitamin B6, which supports your immune system, plays a significant role in the synthesis of antibodies, helps with protein metabolism, red blood cell formation and central nervous system function.
- Soluble fiber slows digestion and adsorption of carbohydrates, which leads to a more steady release of natural energy.
- Bananas include complex carbohydrates, an important part of a sensible weight loss plan.
- When you’re reducing calories, your body still needs nutrients to function properly. Bananas are a nutrient-rich food. Yet this amazing package of natural energy, minerals, vitamins, fiber and phytonutrients is also fat free!
An Athlete’s Friend
- There are approximately 30 grams of carbohydrates in a Chiquita banana supplying the fuel your body needs for muscle and central nervous system activity.
- The banana’s combination of carbohydrates, simple sugars, starch and dietary fiber gives you the quick boost and sustained release of energy over time to help improve your endurance and concentration during physical activity.
- The potassium in bananas helps your body maintain fluid balance in blood and tissue cells. Potassium is also an essential mineral for protein synthesis and the building of muscle because it stimulates nerve impulses for muscle contraction.