Banana slices

Healthy Recipe Doctor

with Elaine Magee, MPH, RD
From low fat recipes, to recipes designed for diabetics, Elaine Magee RD, MPH shares recipes and advice to create healthy meals that are guaranteed to please.

Best Banana Bread Makeover

I don’t like bananas (it’s a texture thing) but I love banana bread — and I know I’m not the only banana bread fan. So I thought it would be fun to do a health makeover on the top-rated banana bread recipe on
The top rated recipe was “Aunt Holly’s Banana Bread.”  It called for half a stick of butter, a cup of sugar, a cup and a half of white flour (and a few other ingredients), along with 3 ripe bananas. To give it a smart carb/smart fat makeover, I used 3 tablespoons canola oil and added a tablespoon of vanilla paste instead of the butter; reduced the sugar to 3/4 cup and switched to dark brown sugar (adds more flavor than white). And instead of the cup and a half of white flour, I used a cup of whole wheat flour and 1/2 cup of white.
The walnuts are optional but if you want to add chocolate chips, make it the 60% cacao bittersweet or semi sweet chocolate chips so you are getting the phytochemicals in dark chocolate.
Making these changes cuts the calories by 30 per serving, the saturated fat goes from 3.1 to .5 gram, omega-3s increase from zero to .4 gram, and the fiber doubles from 1.4 to 3 grams per serving.

Best Banana Bread

3 to 4 ripe bananas, sliced
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon vanilla paste (vanilla extract can be substituted)
3/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup unbleached white flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 cup walnut pieces (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Coat a loaf pan with canola cooking spray and dust with unbleached flour.
2. Add banana slices to large mixing bowl and beat until mashed. Add canola, vanilla paste, brown sugar, and the egg to the mixing bowl and beat until blended.
3. In separate bowl, combine whole wheat flour, white flour, baking soda and salt then add to banana mixture and beat until just blended. Stir in the walnut pieces if desired. Spread batter into prepared loaf pan and bake until toothpick inserted in the middle of bread comes out clean (about 55 minutes.)
Yield: 10 slices
Per slice: 198 calories, 3.5 g protein, 38 g carbohydrate, 5 g fat, .5 g saturated fat, 2.7 g monounsaturated fat, 1.3 g polyunsaturated fat, 21 mg cholesterol, 3 g fiber, 196 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 23 percent. Omega-3 fatty acids = .4 gram, Omega-6 fatty acids = .9 gram.

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