Monday, December 20, 2010

Low-Fat Oatmeal Banana Bread

Because sometimes breakfast needs to be as easy as cutting off a slice or two of the banana bread in the fridge...

Because this time of year, it's nice to eat something occasionally that isn't so sweet it makes your teeth ache....

Because sometimes you just need to do something with the black banana collection in the freezer...

Because sometimes the butter needs be used for baking more important things... like cookies.

Seriously... there's no butter in this. That thrills me to no end, and not because of any caloric reasons either... it's just difficult to bake things when you're out of butter (or when your favorite cookie recipes have called dibs on all of it). It's simply a good recipe to have in your bag of tricks, in your arsenal, up your sleeve, or even, oh... in your recipe box (because you're much more organized than I am)...

Low Fat Oatmeal Banana Bread 
Adapted from this Weight Watchers recipe by Joy The Baker
Further adapted by me because what good is banana anything without walnuts?

1-1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup old-fashioned oats, uncooked
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
3 large ripe bananas
3 tsp grape-seed oil or walnut oil
1 tsp vanilla
1 large egg
2 large egg whites

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a loaf pan and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients, then stir in the oats and walnuts.

In another bowl, mash the bananas with a fork. Add the oil, vanilla and whole egg, mixing thoroughly. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix well.

In a medium-sized bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric hand mixer until medium stiff peaks form. Gently fold egg whites into the batter in three additions.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for approximately 50-60 minutes, or until loaf is nicely browned and firm to the touch. Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Tip the loaf out of the pan and cool on a wire rack for another 10 minutes. If not eating right away, let cool completely, then wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Can be frozen.

My Notes: I usually double this recipe so we can freeze one loaf for later. The oven is already hot, why not make two? Besides, with bananas being relatively inexpensive, I regularly will buy a second bunch and let them get really good and ripe just for making banana bread with. Sometimes the bananas sink to the bottom. It still tastes great, but I'm not sure why it does that. I guess I'll just have to keep making more banana bread in order to figure it out!

P.S. The bananas in the photo are a only a prop. If your bananas look like this... wait a week or two before attempting ANY banana bread recipe with them. These are "eating" bananas. When they're too ugly to eat, they're perfect for baking with. If they get ugly and you don't have time to bake them up... toss them in the freezer. They'll get even uglier but they'll be there when you need them and they thaw out really fast. Once they're thawed out, they'll slip right out of their black peel and you are good to go. And yes, that is an icy caffeine-charged cold-brewed latte in the photo too. It's a regular part of our not always well-rounded breakfasts.
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