Servings: 10 Prep: 10 mins Cook: 45 mins Total: 55 mins
So … banana bread, Mr. Foodie? Hmmnnn … ?! Seriously?! Can he do that!?! Is that … LEGAL?!?! Aren’t banana made of pure evil? Aren’t they loaded with sugar? REALLY?!
Yep! I’m doin’ it! And … I’m doing it WELL, too! THIS banana bread was nothing short of spectacular! It was beyond moist … almost “creamy” in texture. Like it’s distant cousin, the Zucchini Bread, it was also almost not entirely unlike a banana pudding, but … a baked one … shaped like banana bread! IT WAS FANTASTIC!!!
See, the thing is … bananas aren’t evil. They’re high in potassium, they’re TRULY yummy and … they even come in their own unique little packages. An almost perfect food! The issue comes in, in that they ARE quite high in sugar, while also being quite high glycemic. A perfect-ish food, but … also one to quickly mess with blood sugars. HOWEVER! When selecting a banana, select one that’s still a bit green. I know that banana bread is a GREAT use for those soft black bananas, that have almost turned to candy, but … we’re trying to get the banana flavor before a lot of that sugar develops. Using them a bit on the green side will help. Also combined with other ingredients, the sugary banana-ness of it is diluted. I personally add a bit of banana extract to it, as I find that helps carry over some of the stronger tastes and aromas. However, I also find that banana oils, emulsions and extracts have a sharp flavor if used too much. I included it in the recipe, but … recognize that it’s TOTALLY optional.
In the end, by using a bit less than an ordinary banana bread, using green bananas and then stretching the flavor with emuslsions, extracts or oils … well … you’ll get something just as good as the real thing! (It’s been years since I’ve had the real thing, but … Scout’s Honor … I thought this was even BETTER than any I’d ever had before.) TRULY delicious!
Banana BreadPrint Rate
- 2 small bananas still a bit green
- 8 ounces regular cream cheese (not low-fat) softened
- 1/2 cup coconut oil melted
- 1/2 cup sugar free maple syrup
- 1/2 cup 'Swerve' or other sugar replacement
- 2 large whole eggs
- 1 tsp banana (or vanilla) extract
- 1 3/4 cups splendid gluten-free bake mix
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- dash salt
- Pre-heat oven to 350 F.
- Grease and flour (with gluten free mix) a standard loaf pan.
- In a small bowl, mush the bananas with a fork and then set aside.
- In an electric mixer, combine cream cheese and coconut oil. Beat for 2 to 3 minutes. Add maple syrup and sugar replacement. Beat until well combined. Add the banana, eggs and extract and beat until well combined. Finally, add gluten free baking mix, baking powder, baking soda and a nice dash of salt. Beat until well combined.
- Transfer the batter to the loaf pan and bake for 45 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Remove place on a rack. Because it's so soft, allow it to fully cool down before slicing (but I'll understand if you just grab a fork and dig in!)
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* Learn More: More about this recipe and nutrition …
25 thoughts on “Banana Bread”
Problem is that the sugar free maple syrup contains Splenda, definitely a no-no. Natures Hollow is much better.
Hi Unknown. I respect people’s right to choose what they put into their bodies. While sucralose based sweeteners are less natural than xylitol based sweeteners, they also have less impact on the blood. Also, sucralose based sweeteners tend to be easier to find and less expensive. I completely understand why someone might choose one over the other. You could make the argument that only true maple sap is the way to go and that anything else is a no-no. Just as I respect your input, I also respect people’s right to choose. On this particular topic, I honestly own both and teeter-totter between the two, usually using blood impact as my primary deciding point. Some of the time the sucralose wins and some of the time the xylitol wins (those are days when I’m feeling skinny … it IS my preference, but … only on good days!)
I thought that xylitol based sweeteners had less impact on blood sugar, even a lowering effect? Could you please point me to some resources on this? As a borderline diabetic, I’m desperate to not do anything that increases blood sugars. Also, these recipes look wonderful, but very calorific (thank you for the honest and helpful calorie counts). But does this mean that a low carb calorie isn’t as ‘fattening’ as a carb calorie? I’m confused on this issue as a newbie, thanks.
Hi Qwerky! There are MANY different sweeteners, all having varying degrees of impact on blood sugars. Xylitol is amongst one of the lowest ones available and is generally considered quite safe for diabetics. <a href="http://lowcarbdiets.about.com/od/whattoeat/a/sugaralcohols.htm" target="_blank">Click here for a chart on the glycemic index and sugar alcohols</a>. You’ll notice that xylitol has a GI of 13. Glucose is 100. Sucrose (table sugar) is 60. Erythritol is 0. As a result, I tend to suggest erythritol based sweeteners, almost 100% of the time. There are instances where I don’t, but it’s for very specific and unique instances where the behavior of erythritol won’t work. In this case, you’re asking the question because of a previous comment based off of a comparison between xylitol and sucralose based maple syrups. There are no erythritol based syrups that I know of, so short of making my own, I choose between what’s available. Sucralose is a synthetic sweetener made from something like a cross between chlorine and sugar. It’s non caloric and has no impact on blood sugars, but … it’s synthetic and some people don’t like that, even though the USDA considers it safe for consumption. As I said before, I tend to bounce between the two, in this rare moment where I have to make a choice due to a lack of erythritol based options. If given a choice between erythritol and xylitol … erythritol will almost always win (again, with exceptions where the behavior of erythritol won’t do). Regarding calories … Calories for people eating a low-fat, high carb diet (which is what conventional "wisdom" still seems to perpetuate) still really matter. Imagine a double decker hamburger with cheese. If you were to wrap these 700+ calories in a high carb bun, then … all that extra energy will be stored … on your buns … because the carbs in those buns will release the insulin, which will run around and save that stash for later. However, without the carbs and without that insulin, the calories suddenly become FAR FAR less of an issue as the food and nutrients take different metabolic pathways … resulting in weight loss off of far more nutrient and calorie dense foods! Even for low-carbers, calories become somewhat important as many near their goals, but for the most part … calories aren’t much of a factor. To give an example, a 135 lb. woman eating a low-fat/high carb diet will need to eat about 1700 calories to maintain her wait. However, the same woman can eat somewhere between 2200 and 2400 calories on a low-carb diet. With less insulin saving that excess energy for later, it’s more readily burned off and used more efficiently. Calories still matter, but … nowhere near as much as is commonly believed. I consider that to be an outdated system. Since that system has gone into place, people have only gained weight and increased in blood sugar related issues. Finally, my recipes tend to run fairly high calorie, in large part because they’re "my" recipes … and I have big eyes and a big appetite. The portion sizes are all quite large. If the amounts cause you anxiety … just make the portions a bit smaller and you should do fine. I hope this helps!
Can the bananas be ripe? I am much more of a fan of very ripe bananas (see Christina Tosi’s banana cream pie video). 🙂
Oops, meant to say that I know the sugar level would be higher. I was wondering if the texture would be impacted.
Nout, the overall integrity of the bread won’t be dramatically altered by using ripe bananas, in place of under ripe ones. That said, this is a site dedicated to lowering sugars … so … my suggestion would be to use green ones and let some erythritol handling the sweetening for you! 😉
Totally agree with Unknown. It also contains natural flavors, potassium sorbate, maltodextrin, caramal coloring, all horrible!
Sharon, I believe it’s better than straight up sugar, and we pump that stuff into just about everything there is in our food system. That you’ve been able to distance yourself so well from this is admirable. My goal is to introduce people to a sugar-free lifestyle. Beyond that, it’s my hope that people continue evolving in the appropriate direction, but I personally have zero desire to tell someone that what they’re doing is "horrible". While it’s clearly not what you’re doing, a lot of people can’t change their habits and routines that dramatically. I tend to believe both are better than sugar. Both are better than straight maple syrup, but neither are as good as "nothing". Skipping any kind of sweetener altogether is the absolute best bet. In any event, your enthusiasm for synthetic syrup is noted. Thank you for sharing! 🙂
Could you use coconut flour instead of baking mix? Thanks
Hi Unknown. Yes and No. Yes, you could make a banana bread with just coconut flour. However, this recipe’s core ratios are designed around this particular mix. Coconut flour is a peculiar ingredient in that you usually need A LOT less. If you were to straight replace the mix with an equal amount of coconut flour, it definitely wouldn’t work. In order to tell you the right amount, I’d have to re-engineer this recipe. My suggestion would be to just google coconut flour banana bread recipes. I’m sure you’ll find several! I hope this helps! 🙂
Some time in your engineering of recipes for sugar free and low carb could you explore the idea of using only stevia liquid or powder(true stevia, not a sugar/stevia blend). This would certainly address the issue some of us have with artificial sweeteners etc. I want to use it more but have a harder time wrapping my head around what the difference might be in bulk etc in a recipe. I’ve researched it some but would love some help with this. I like a lot of your recipes. I love that you do this. Its just so much easier to follow a recipe by someone who knows what’s what. And on another topic, maple syrup is a natural sugar. It can’t be sugar free. That’s maple flavored sugar free syrup. Just saying. That’s a bit of a peeve for me. No offense intended to you.
Hi Jennifer, I appreciate your question very much, as well as the way you phrased it all. Thank you for the clarity! Part 1: I can?t really specify how well a straight stevia sweetener would work in a recipe, because I?d have to actually try it. With stevia (Reb-A) sweeteners (not blends), the sweetener is hundreds of times more potent than sugar. Replacing a cup of sweetener with 1/2 tsp of the sweetening power of sugar is going to have an impact on the final results. It may still turn up something tasty, but ? there WILL be a vast difference in both taste and texture. In order for me to do this, I?d need to literally make it twice, so that I could explain and quantify the differences between the two products ? because there WILL be one. From there, I?m already at a disadvantage in that I?m personally fairly sensitive to the taste of stevia, resulting in a fairly consistent dislike of everything I make with stevia, even if it creates something that a stevia fan may appreciate. I just won?t be able to present it in a light that will sound appealing ? even if I try ? my wording tends to bring forth my real meaning, even if the words are attempting a positive description. Reading between the lines of my writing is where you?ll often find what I really mean ? In any event, I think it?s safe to say that the sweeter or the higher percentage of sugar replacement to the rest of the recipe ? the less likely it is to work. So, if the sweetener makes up more than about 15% of the volume of a recipe ? and you replace it with a concentrated sweetener, it WILL impact the taste and texture ? at a noticeable level. The further down that road you travel ? the more aggressive that road will become. So, when pursuing a recipe, as yourself how sweet it is? Ask yourself how sweet it should be? Does the sweetener take up a large percentage of the recipe? If so ? you may want to keep searching for an alternative recipe. Regarding the issues related to the artificial sweeteners ? why not use an all natural blend? You could use <a href="http://www.swervesweetener.com" target="_blank">Swerve sweetener</a>, or make your own blends. I?ve got a <a href="https://www.djfoodie.com/Blog/2014/05/19/The-Sweet-Spot-VII–Homemade-Sugar-Replacement-Blends">blog post that shows about 3 different blends</a> you could use, which I consider just as natural as any refined pure Reb-A powder out there. A non-GMO erythritol is just as tampered with as a Reb-A powder, as is yacon and/or inulin fiber. I see no meaningful difference in these ingredients and they have incredibly synergy. My suggestion is to overlook the fact that ?erythritol? sounds like a science experiment. Realistically ? if I saw ?Rebaudioside A? on a label, I?d have a similar reaction. Both are refined natural ingredients with awful names. I definitely encourage you to be open to some alternative sweeteners, which are still natural. Finally, Part 2: your comment about sugar free maple syrup. Based on your response, it?s clear that you knew what I meant. Within the recipe lines, space is tight because of the grid and numbers, so I?m often quick to abbreviate or exercise brevity. In this case ? while technically not accurate, you also knew what I meant and I saved some space. In my opinion ? it worked! I?m sorry you disagree with my presentation, but from a space-saving standpoint ? I?m satisfied. I hope this helps! 😀
Thanks for responding DJ. I read your blog series on sweeteners a couple of days ago. They cleared up a lot of questions and I will probably try some of your blends. I researched Swerve a little more so I may try that. As far as the syrup thing, that’s just me being a little anal. I may adapt some of your recipes to use regular maple syrup. It’ll change the carbs but not the taste. I have access to a recipe calculator. I believe that if it’s a natural and not a refined sugar it’s better. As you said and I believe each of us has to find what works for us.
Hi Jennifer, yep! If you’re happy, I’m happy! I do agree that maple syrup is better than refined sugar. I wouldn’t say it’s monumentally better, but … it’s a step in the right direction. I think the key is really just limiting all sweeteners. If a concerted effort to limit sweeteners is in place, then some super tasty maple from time to time is completely appropriate. Just be aware, if you’re going to use maple syrup, it WILL lend a bit of that flavor (not necessarily a bad thing). It will additionally add water. Just be sure to adjust accordingly. A decent rule of thumb is use about 3/4 of a cup, for every cup of sugar being replaced. Also, reduce other liquids by about 1/4 cup for every cup of maple syrup being used. Finally, lower the oven temperature by about 25 F (4 C) to prevent over browning. I hope this helps! 🙂
HI, Do you think that I could add this cream cheese technique to your banana bread? Would there be any problems with it that I should think about? http://www.averiecooks.com/2014/07/cream-cheese-filled-banana-bread.html
Hi Jana, I think that’ll work! I’d skip the flour and maybe use something like tapioca flour in its place, as well as your own sugar alternative, but … I do think it would work. Just be warned that this bread is very soft. I have ZERO doubt that it’ll be amazing, but … be very gentle with it, as you slice and move it around. It’s soft and fragile. Report back, when you’ve given it a shot. I’m curious!
What can you use to replace the coconut oil? I’m actually allergic to coconuts, so I can’t use anything that has coconuts in it.
Hi Julie, really … any kind of melted fat. Probably the best bet would be clarified butter or ghee, but you could use melted lard or bacon fat, for example. Even something like olive oil would work, but … it would also leave a subtle olive taste. I hope this helps! 🙂
Hi in your recipes can you use something else in place of the glut in free baking mix, also can you buy that stuff, what is it like and what is it, thanks
Hi Unknown, if you look at the recipe, you’ll see that there’s a link to the recipe that says what it is and what’s in it. There are other baking mixes that you can buy. A common one is "Carbquik", which is like Bisquik. It’s not gluten-free, but it’s quite low carb and a lot of people like it. I don’t know if it would work in this recipe, but if you look for a Carbquik Banana Bread recipe, I’m sure you’ll find one. The same people make another product called "Carbalose", which WOULD work in this recipe. It’s basically a low-carb flour. I personally don’t care for the taste, but a lot of people do enjoy it. That’s totally your call. Outside of that, there are other recipes for homemade blends, as well as other store-bought mixes, some with gluten and others without. Do some Google’ing and check ratings and what not … then pick one and enjoy it. I hope this helps! 🙂
Ha ha – oops! I tried these today but as muffins. And wound up with banana custards. Maybe it was the (ahheemmmm) 20+ yr old gelatin that took me 20 minutes to find, or grinding oat bran because I didn’t have oat flour? Or wayyyyy overly ripe bananas instead of the suggested green ones? Next time I’ll get it right! Maybe?
—Reply posted by DJ on 4/5/2015
Hi Johanna, it’s probably a combination of all of those things, but … I suspect the biggest culprit was the oat bran. All this said, the recipe isn’t entirely unlike a custard when it’s done. It’s very soft and moist. I personally thought it was a negative when I first made it, but … once I tasted it and changed how I looked at it … I decided that it was AMAZING for what it is. It’s like a baked banana pudding, with some bread-like qualities … and it’s WONDERFUL! I’m hoping that your banana custard was at least delicious, even if it’s not quite what you sought! Sorry it didn’t quite work out! :/
instead of your splended flour mix can I use carbquik
not so low carb 🙁
I am interested in increasing the nutritional value and lowering the carbs, so I used only one banana and added a chia seed mixture instead. I used 7 tsp ground chia seed, soaked in as much water, if not more, till it was a consistency similar to the banana. The results still has a strong banana flavor (I used the banana extract). I also made it in a 9×9 square pan, so I could slice it into smaller servings to also lower the carbs. Very happy with the results. Thanks for posting this recipe. It is a keeper! 🙂
—Reply posted by DJ on 11/15/2015
Hi Lani, interesting replacement! Chia seeds are great for baking with! Have you tried to grind them up and use as a flour? Try looking for some chia recipes for baking. WONDERFUL stuff! 🙂