Dried figs, dates, prunes… they all pretty much gross me out. You wouldn’t catch me snacking on them, and I’ve rarely used them in recipes. In my quest to cook more healthfully and revise recipes to fit into my new lifestyle, I’ve reluctantly begun to let these ugly little dried fruits make their debut as a sweetener in some of my baking experiments. My first successful attempt: Whole Wheat- Healthy Banana Bread.
Don’t let the ‘healthy’ reference in the title scare you. It didn’t taste like the dry and flavorless bread that you might imagine a healthier banana bread to be. This one is made with whole wheat pastry flour and only 3 Tablespoons of brown sugar. Besides this small amount of sugar, additional sweetness comes from dried dates, dried apricots and bananas. It’s important to buy the right apricots… the Turkish sort don’t have as much flavor as the California apricots. I always buy the CA kind. And I was happy to find that you don’t really taste the dates- they’re chopped up and added in for sweetness.
If you cut the loaf into 12 slices, you can package them in zips individually and throw them in the freezer. Each slice is 120 calories (or 3 Weight Watcher’s points).
This turned out to be a great, healthy version of banana bread. No white flour, very little sugar, and ZERO added fat made it pretty much guilt-free. Amazingly enough, it was moist. I’m very careful about not overbaking breads because there is nothing worse than dry banana bread. The family gave this one the ‘make it again Mom’ label, and I will be happy to do so!
This recipe can be found HERE.