One of the main goals I had this year was to eat healthier. So what does that mean?
Well for me it means eating more organic whole foods. Meaning foods without preservatives.
No canned food. No packaged or processed food.
And most of all. Less refined foods. Like white flour and sugar.
I’ll be honest. It wasn’t too hard for me to stop eating the packaged and process foods. I’ve tried to follow the 5 ingredients or less mentality for quite some time now and it just makes sense.
But what WAS hard was cutting back on sugar!
I’ve had a sweet tooth for pretty much my whole entire life! There is nothing that gives me greater food comfort than something sweet.
But, as we all know. A lot of something is never good. And a lot of sugar is REALLY bad!
The first question I asked myself when I made the decision to cut back on sugar was, ‘Am I going to be able to bake yummy sweet treats for my family and self ever again?’
The answer is yes! I just have to do it smarter and with healthier ingredients.
And this Mini Banana Raisin Bread is the perfect example of smart-healthy baking!
How? Well, let’s just take the sugar we just talked about. If you look at many of the Banana Bread recipes out there you will find that they all have one thing in common (besides having bananas in them). Sugar. Like we are talking 1-2 cups or more of the white stuff! That’s a LOT of sugar!
And this Banana-Raisin Bread? Well, it has NO sugar. That’s right. 0 grams of sugar!
I can see your faces right now. You’re making that ‘EW’ face aren’t you? I mean how can this banana bread possibly taste good WITHOUT any sugar.
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This is how! Stevia. There are a lot of ‘Stevia’ products out there, but not all of them are good for you. Some have additives and fillers and are just about as refined as good ole’ sugar is. I could go into a long detailed infomercial about this sugar substitute and the good (and bad) studies that have been done on it. But I won’t. I’ll just say that when I was looking for a sugar alternative, my Dr. suggested this one. I don’t always listen to everything my Dr. suggests to me, but I did this one. 🙂 Even better? You don’t need anywhere near as much Stevia as you do sugar. In fact, the difference is about half as much!
And the bottom line? I like the taste of it and the results I get when I bake with it.
My family likes it too! In fact, my mom who can sniff out a baking substitute anytime-anywhere, couldn’t tell that I used Stevia instead of sugar in this bread recipe.
And my secret to keeping the Stevia undetected? I put in in the banana’s while mashing them. The natural sweetness from the ripe bananas mixes in with the Stevia and shazaam you can’t tell the difference!
I also add in spices like cinnamon and nutmeg to give the bread even more yummy flavor!
And even more natural sweetness by adding in a handful of raisins!
I love making mini loaves because well, they are just so darn cute! But besides that, they are the perfect size to serve for breakfast, brunch or afternoon snack. And this recipe makes 4 loaves so I just freeze what I’m not going to eat up right away, and then I always have a loaf or two on hand for unexpected company.
Here’s the full recipe!
Mini Banana-Raisin Bread
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 cup stevia
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup raisins
Preheat oven to 375. Spray 4 mini loaf pans (5 3/4x 3 1/4x 2 1/4) with baking spray. Combine flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon in a medium mixing bowl. Set aside. Mash bananas in a large mixing bowl until smooth. Add in Stevia, oil, and egg. Mix well. Alternately add dry ingredients and milk to the banana mixture. Mix until just combined. Fold in raisins. DO NOT OVERMIX. Spoon batter evenly into the 4 loaf pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove loaves from oven and allow to cool slightly before removing onto a wire rack. Cool completely.
The variations to this recipe are limitless really. You could change up the whole wheat flour to oat flour. The raisins to nuts or even dark chocolate chips. The spices could be ginger or even cloves.
Regardless, this Banana Bread recipe is a healthier alternative to the sugary versions and by adding only a cup of all-purpose flour, versus two you still get the right consistency and texture, while the addition of whole wheat flour provides good fiber and a ton of flavor!
I know making healthier choices can be challenging, especially when it comes to baked goods, but it doesn’t have to be discouraging. There are good substitutes out there. I think you just have to do your research and be mindful that not all of them are healthier than the real thing.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do!
Happy 1st of May!