Monday, September 28, 2009

Agave Banana Bread

I am the ultimate bouncer. I gain weight. I lose weight. And then I gain it again.

I eat healthy. I eat with abandon. And so on.

Well, I'm on a healthy kick again.

Last year, I went on an elimination diet to rule out food allergies and sensitivities to find out whether something I was eating was contributing to the chronic pain I was experiencing.

It felt like I couldn't eat anything ... eggs, dairy, caffeine, alcohol, corn and corn products, gluten, nuts, processed sugar, turkey, shellfish, even white rice and soy products. How is an Asian supposed to not eat white rice and soy sauce, I thought? Even worse, I couldn't have my morning cup of coffee. Now that was a buzz kill.

But I survived the 8-week experiment, and my doctor was impressed that I was religious in following his prescriptions. I also lost 18 pounds (which I've gained back and then some blogging). And I found out that I should avoid corn and almonds, but that other things were pretty much okay.

In the process, I discovered agave nectar as a low-glycemic sweetener, good for someone like me who is predisposed to diabetes.

So when I was looking at some ripe bananas on my counter, my healthy side reached for the agave nectar, whole wheat flour, and some flax meal.

I adjusted another banana bread recipe I had, and it came out quite nice. Moist and not too sweet. I noticed the bread browned a lot faster than normal, so I would recommend checking it after the 45 minute mark. Which as you can see from the picture I didn't do (I checked it at 55 minutes in).

The other thing I noticed about using the agave was that the interior in the bread was not speckled with those dark brown banana threads. So it's quite light inside.

Light Banana Bread

1 cup mashed very ripe bananas (3 bananas)
1/2 cup agave nectar
1/3 cup plain nonfat yogurt
1/2 cup oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 egg
1 egg white

2/3 whole wheat flour
1 1/3 flour
3 tbs. flax meal
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted (optional)

Mix all the wet ingredients together until well-blended.

Mix dry ingredients and pecans together.

Add flour mixture to banana mixture, stirring until just moistened.

Spoon batter into an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 3 loaf pan coated with oil spray (Pam).

Bake at 350 degrees for 55 minutes or less, until toothpick in center comes out clean.

12-14 slices (Weight Watchers 4 points if bread is cut into 12 slices and has no nuts)


Sophie said...

What a moist & delicious looking banana bread!!

I like that you make this just like I like my breads, no butter & as healthy as possible!!

La Table De Nana said...

Isn't it amazing the little specks disappeared? I wonder why? Regardless what a healthy alternative and the bread looks great..I hope your pain has subsided?

Poor you!!

Barbara Bakes said...

I've just started using agave and I love it! Your bread sounds great!

The Gourmet On A Diet said...

Mmm, I'll have to try this healthy version. Mine has liquor and chocolate in it. Not exactly diet friendly!

jelliB said...

Great recipe! Super moist.
I used 4 bananas because that's what I had and I used 1c each of white and wheat flour because I was lazy. I was also in a cholocatey mood so I used cocoa powder instead of the flax.