Skinny Chocolate- Caramel Banana Bread

As I continue on my lifelong quest to be “skinny,” I’ve come to realize there are some things that I really cannot live without. Cheese and wine are a given. Although I can limit them (or even eliminate them) when I’m watching my intake of calories, I will never choose to give them up completely. Another can’t-live-without is bread… of all kinds. French bread, soft rolls, crusty baguettes and banana bread. And finally… I’ll never lose that irresistible craving for sweets, so I’ll need to continue to include a few sweets where I can- like in this Skinny Chocolate- Caramel Banana Bread

The great thing about turning banana bread into dessert is that you can get a good deal of sweetness from the bananas themselves. Hang on to your bananas until they’re almost black. The sweetness of those ugly, black bananas will be a heartsong in your banana bread.

For the sweet chocolate-caramel touch in this bread, I used the Skinny Cow chocolates:  Milk Chocolate Dreamy Clusters.  Have you seen this product in the store?  It’s available in the candy aisle, alongside treats that are infinitely more evil.  Grab these instead.  Only 120 calories for this packet of yummies.  It totally hits the spot for a chocolate craving, and because it’s sealed into a packet- eating in moderation is something that’s taken care of for you!

I chopped up the chocolates in 5 packets (there are 6 in the box) to include in this bread.  The bread itself is made light by using less sugar and very ripe bananas, a tiny bit of butter + unsweetened applesauce, egg whites and light sour cream.  The Milk Chocolate Clusters are the luxury piece of the pie here.

As in true food photographer fashion, a few pieces of chocolate added to the top of the batter is always great for visual appeal too.

I’m thinking this bread might be a fun gift for the Skinny Valentine in your life.  You know… that Valentine who started a New Year’s Resolution and is actually sticking with it?

See, I told you about that chocolate on top, didn’t I?  When it’s scattered about like that, there’s a good chance you’ll get some in every bite.  And that’s a very good thing.

I’ve included nutritional information in the recipe below for those who are wondering about calories or WW Points. I think it’s a pretty good treat for what you get… a nice slice of sweet banana bread with the bonus of added chocolate via the Skinny Cow brand.

And about that quest to be skinny… I’m making some good progress. I’ve been making good choices (like this bread!), changing up my workouts, and turning my Superwoman willpower on extra-high. I’ve learned that moderation is KEY, and elimination of favorite foods is impossible and not fun. I’ve learned that eating cheese and crackers at 5 o’clock every day is probably not a good idea. And I’ve learned that allowing myself a treat once in a while- like these Milk Chocolate Dreamy Clusters is perfectly okay. To me, they taste just as good as any chocolate-caramel candy bar in the checkout aisle! And although I really don’t believe that I’ll ever actually be “skinny,”… FEELING skinny is good enough for me.

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Skinny Chocolate- Caramel Banana Bread

Yield: 1 loaf (16 servings)

Prep Time: 20 min

Cook Time: 1 hour

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated white sugar
2 tablespoons softened unsalted butter
2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana (about 3 medium)
1/2 cup egg whites (or 2 large)
1/3 cup light sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 packets Skinny Cow™ Milk Chocolate Dreamy Clusters Candy, chopped

Directions:

1. Place rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray an 8-inch loaf pan with nonstick spray.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, soda and salt.

2. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to combine the sugars, butter and applesauce. Mix in the banana, egg whites, sour cream and vanilla. Blend in the dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Stir in the chopped candy, reserving a few pieces to sprinkle on top.

3. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the reserved chocolate pieces on top.

4. Bake for 1 hour (checking at 45 minutes on how much the top has browned... place a piece of foil loosely on top of the loaf if it has already browned nicely on top). At one hour, draw a toothpick or a sharp knife into the center of the loaf to check for doneness. It should come out fairly clean- if not, bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes until done.

5. Cool in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes, then turn out on a wire rack to cool completely before cutting and serving.

Nutritional Information per serving: (Using the Spark People Recipe Calculator)
Serving size: 1/16th of the loaf
Calories per serving: 113
Fat per serving: 3.8g
Saturated Fat per serving: 2.4g
Sugar per serving: 16.5g
Sodium per serving: 180.9g
Fiber per serving: 1.5g
Protein per serving: 1.4g
Cholesterol per serving: 7.1mg
Carbohydrates per serving: 22g

WW POINTS per serving:
Points Plus Program: 3 Old Points Program: 2

Source: RecipeGirl.com

Disclosure: This post has been sponsored by Skinny Cow, whose products live in my house on a day-to-day basis. I’ve developed this recipe for Skinny Cow and received compensation to do so. All opinions shared about this product are my own.

Leave a Comment




46 Responses to “Skinny Chocolate- Caramel Banana Bread”

  1. 1

    Averie @ Averie Cooks — February 1, 2013 @ 3:20 AM

    Beautiful & fun bread, Lori! I love the pink bow you put on it. I haven’t seen that product in stores but haven’t looked for. Now I’ll always notice it. I think it’s great that you enjoy your wine, cheese, and breads. Some things in life are just worth it. :)

  2. 2

    Lauren at Keep It Sweet — February 1, 2013 @ 5:36 AM

    I really like those skinny cow chocolates and love that you put them in the bread! I’m better off eating them this way than, um, the whole box at once!

  3. 3

    Gerry @ Foodness Gracious — February 1, 2013 @ 6:10 AM

    Ah yes, nobody better touch my cheese and wine!! Fantastic looking bread, I’m a sucker for loaf cake.

  4. 4

    Holiday Baker Man — February 1, 2013 @ 7:10 AM

    A great makeover!

  5. 5

    Brandon @ Kitchen Konfidence — February 1, 2013 @ 7:13 AM

    Haha, I could never give up cheese and bread either. Right when I get home from work, I usually have some cheese with toasted bread. Or I dip bread in some herb-salt seasoned extra virgin olive oil. This bread seems like a great way to still enjoy your sweets without some of the guilt :P Love the chocolate craters on top!

  6. 6

    Sheila — February 1, 2013 @ 7:39 AM

    I do love banana bread! love the idea of using the skinny cow treats in it. Clever! and delish!

  7. 7

    Beth — February 1, 2013 @ 8:15 AM

    This looks delicious! I will be trying this as soon as my bananas get a little more ripe. I will try to use whole wheat pastry flour instead of white flour because I typically don’t have white flour in the house. Thanks!

  8. 8

    Renee - Kudos Kitchen — February 1, 2013 @ 8:38 AM

    Looks delish! I’ve been trying to cook/bake lower calorie too. This one looks like a real winner! Thanks for the recipe.

  9. 9

    Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet — February 1, 2013 @ 9:28 AM

    I am a huge bread lover and this loaf looks fabulous!

  10. 10

    Amanda — February 1, 2013 @ 10:51 AM

    This is fantastic. I never thought I would see chocolate and caramel in the same sentence as skinny… but I think you’ve done it brilliantly! :)

  11. 11

    Jenn@slim-shoppin — February 1, 2013 @ 11:15 AM

    I haven’t seen the skinny cow chocolates! I tried to avoid that aisle!

    I LOVE this bread and am totally going to make it this weekend – thanks!

  12. 12

    Renee V. — February 1, 2013 @ 11:17 AM

    THIS IS SOOOOO YUMMY looking!!

    First thanks for taking time to create something food drooling and including WW pts!

    Just wanted to share this with you http://chobani.com/community/blog/2011/04/chobani-kitchen-conversion-chart/

    They also have a new flavor: banana! this would be delish!

  13. 13

    Stacy | Wicked Good Kitchen — February 1, 2013 @ 12:12 PM

    Cheers to “feeling” skinny, Lori! And, thank you for sharing such a creative recipe to satisfy that proverbial “need something chocolate-crispy-caramely-crunchy baked treat” NOW kind of itch! xo

  14. 14

    Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking — February 1, 2013 @ 12:57 PM

    Love that you made these with yummy Skinny Cow candies – lovely recipe, Lori! Have a great weekend!

  15. 15

    Kristen — February 1, 2013 @ 2:52 PM

    I love Skinny Cow and honestly have never thought about using their products in recipes. This is so smart!

  16. 16

    Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust — February 1, 2013 @ 4:23 PM

    Oh my yes. Although, I think I’d eat the entire loaf, but because it’s “skinny” it’d be okay, right? ;)

  17. 17

    Joanne — February 1, 2013 @ 4:59 PM

    I couldn’t go that long without sweets either! But I do love how this is desserty without being too caloric. The best of both worlds!

  18. 18

    Christine — February 1, 2013 @ 5:46 PM

    What a great use of the Skinny Cow Chocolate Clusters.

  19. 19

    Elizabeth @ Confessions of a Baking Queen — February 1, 2013 @ 6:26 PM

    Wow love it! I have been a bit banana bread obsessed lately and with the chocolate candies and it being “skinny” I think I could eat the whole loaf!

  20. 20

    Suzan @ The Lazy Suzan — February 1, 2013 @ 9:34 PM

    This looks like a great recipe! Can’t wait to try it. Very well photographed, too! :)

  21. 21

    Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers — February 2, 2013 @ 4:52 AM

    Wow! That is such a great idea! I am loving this bread! I could only imagine how wonderful it must taste! Yum!!!!!!

  22. 22

    Lisa Cornely — February 2, 2013 @ 5:46 AM

    What a great idea. Looks delicious.

  23. 23

    Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch — February 2, 2013 @ 6:08 AM

    Oh I need this! It looks amazing, Lori!

  24. 24

    Katrina — February 2, 2013 @ 8:24 AM

    Ooh, that photo of the top of the bread looks de-lish! I will never give up sweets. It’s all about moderation. Now, I need to go find me some Skinny Cow, which I haven’t ever tried yet.

  25. 25

    Liz @ Virtually Homemade — February 2, 2013 @ 9:25 AM

    Looks so good! I may make it for my husband on Valentines. two of his favorite foods are bananas and caramel!

  26. 26

    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar — February 3, 2013 @ 3:11 PM

    Mmm I want this now! What a delight!

  27. 27

    Kiersten @ Oh My Veggies — February 4, 2013 @ 7:35 AM

    Oh my gosh, as if banana bread wasn’t delicious enough on its own, you went and added chocolate & caramel to it. Amazing!

  28. 28

    Carla @ Carlas Confections — February 4, 2013 @ 10:09 AM

    I love your philosophy on feeling good about yourself. It is such a great way to look at things :) This bread looks so amazingly delicious!

  29. 29

    Monique @ Ambitious Kitchen — February 4, 2013 @ 6:36 PM

    YUM. I am obsessed with skinny cow ice cream sandwiches. AND this bread is gorgeous! :)

  30. 30

    Culinary USA — February 4, 2013 @ 8:53 PM

    My friends mom used to make banana bread all the time. I will have to show her this recipe!

  31. 31

    Courtney Pringle — February 6, 2013 @ 7:19 AM

    This looks delicious! I am definitely going to try this!!

  32. 32

    patsy — February 10, 2013 @ 6:01 PM

    I don’t know how I missed those chocolatey treats! I’m a big banana bread fan and this recipe looks like one my family would love (and I can eat without the guilt!)!

  33. 33

    Mari @ Oh, Sweet & Savory — February 13, 2013 @ 9:43 AM

    I have been on a banana cake kick and just baked one from Rose Levy Beranbaum’s Cake Bible. I will have to try this one — I love the caramel addition!

  34. 34

    Faye — February 22, 2013 @ 8:13 AM

    Girl this looks so GOOD I’m gonna try it!

  35. 35

    SS — March 13, 2013 @ 7:49 PM

    You said that the Skinny Cow chocolate clusters do not have fake sugar in them. That is FALSE. The ingredients clearly list maltitol which is a fake sugar used in many reduced calorie products. I like this product but, unfortunately, cannot eat it because the maltitol gives me gastrointestinal distress. You should accurately report the product’s ingredients, particularly since Skinny Cow paid you for the post.

  36. 36

    Lori Lange — March 13, 2013 @ 8:02 PM

    Gotcha- thanks for letting me know. I’m not familiar with that ingredient as being an artificial sweetener. I’ve removed that statement from the post.

  37. 37

    jess — March 16, 2013 @ 7:36 PM

    is there a dairy free version of it??? would love to try it

  38. 38

    Lori Lange — March 17, 2013 @ 7:08 AM

    This is the only version I have created…

  39. 39

    Heather — April 10, 2013 @ 7:51 AM

    Made the loaf this past weekend…loved it. I want to try them as muffins, but is there any ingredient variation I need to do

  40. 40

    Lori Lange — April 10, 2013 @ 7:53 AM

    No, I think they might be fine as muffins too!

  41. 41

    gina @ skinnytaste — May 15, 2013 @ 10:49 AM

    This is brilliant!!!

  42. 42

    Katie Drew — February 6, 2014 @ 6:12 PM

    Can I sub yogurt for the sour cream and possibly the butter and can I sub mini chocolate chips for clusters plus how much would I use for chocolate chips.

  43. 43

    Lori Lange — February 11, 2014 @ 7:04 AM

    You’d just have to wing it and see if it turns out- as I have not tried to substitute.

  44. 44

    Kim — February 28, 2014 @ 1:22 PM

    I forgot to add the butter with the wet ingredients and put in after when I was mixing with dry

    Hope it will turn out ok! Been looking forward to this banana bread recipe
    For a while.

  45. 45

    Lori Lange — February 28, 2014 @ 2:09 PM

    i hope it turns out too- good luck!

  46. 46

    Kim — February 28, 2014 @ 5:53 PM

    Lori don’t worry it came out perfect! So moist and so
    Much banana flavour. I used milk chocolate chips instead too! Didn’t matter
    That I forgot the butter in beginning and added to batter at end! Next
    Time I will add it right though!