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Lightened-Up Banana Bread

The following article was written by Lauren Gordon, PETA’s former celebrity marketing coordinator and also a certified holistic health counselor.

I get really excited when I notice brown, overripe bananas in the fruit bowl … because that means it’s banana bread time! Banana bread is one of my favorite snacks, but even though its base is fruit, it isn’t always the healthiest of options. To put my ripe bananas to use, I’ve adopted some healthier modifications to lighten up traditional banana bread recipes. By substituting a flaxseed mixture for the eggs and applesauce for some of the oil and by using mostly whole wheat flour, you can enjoy great banana bread taste with less fat and fewer calories.

1 Tbsp. ground flaxseed + 3 Tbsp. water
3-4 very ripe bananas, mashed
1/6 cup canola oil
1/6 cup applesauce (preferably unsweetened)
1/2 cup agave nectar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (or any other flour)
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup walnut pieces (optional)
1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)

  • In a small cup or bowl, mix the ground flaxseed with the water. Stir well, then cover and refrigerate for about an hour. Remove from the fridge, then stir well again.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 325ºF.
  • In a large bowl, combine the mashed bananas, oil, applesauce, agave nectar, and vanilla. Add the flaxseed mixture. Mix well.
  • Add the dry ingredients. Stir until completely combined.
  • Grease an 8-inch-by-4-inch pan with cooking spray. Pour the mixture into the pan so that it is evenly distributed.
  • Bake for 45 to 55 minutes. Cooking time can vary from oven to oven, so check on the bread at 45 minutes. Insert a toothpick into the center of the loaf―if it comes out clean, the banana bread is done.
Makes 1 loaf

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  • Alex says:

    lj – I read recently that Agave Nectar is just as bad as sugar as it is pure fructose. White sugar is pure fructose as well right? So people are getting the same nutritional value, which is basically nothing, but the upside of Agave Nectar is that it is animal-friendly and more natural.

  • lj says:

    Agave nector IS refined sugar – and like most concentrated fructose, is really NOT healthy.

  • paul says:

    This Looks Great – Get Starbucks to Stock it ! –Cheers for All the Great Work yo all do ( from Liverpool England)

  • CimaraNyx says:

    Since I’ve learned that ground flax seed and water makes an egg-like substance, I have started using it in all my recipes that normally call for an egg. It works great!!!!

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