Ways to Use Black Bananas: Part One

As much as we love fresh produce, sometimes we find it hard to keep up with all that I buy for the week. One of our most frequent “near-spoil” victims is the banana. I prefer my bananas almost light green when I eat them, and definitely do not eat them as a stand-alone item if they have any black or brown spots. I like ’em chalky, not sweet. Fortunately, there are some great recipes that utilize over-ripe bananas, and I’m going to share two of them in the next couple of posts.

My mom is an incredible baker. She is the queen of banana, carrot, and zucchini breads. She bakes cookies. Cakes. Crisps. And anything and everything she bakes is nothing short of magical. It’s a tough bar to reach. What makes her even more incredible is that now she’s adapted some of her recipes to be gluten-free, as well as diabetes-friendly (between me and my dad, the poor woman has a tough time in the kitchen!)

This particular banana bread recipe was created when my dad was first diagnosed with diabetes, and we were introduced to the world of Splenda baking. It is also low-fat and low cholesterol. I adapted it to gluten-free last summer, and baked a batch today, the first pretty chilly day of fall.

I hope you enjoy it!

Almost Guilt-free Banana Bread 

Wet Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups mashed over-ripe bananas (about 3 medium bananas)

2 Tbsp. canola or safflower oil

1/4 cup low-fat buttermilk (or combine skim milk with a splash of lemon juice to make sour milk)

4 egg whites

Dry Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups gluten-free flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill), or regular/whole wheat flour if not gluten-free

3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (follow directions on g-free flour package for xanthan gum quantities. omit if using regular flour)

1/2 cup oats (I am not sensitive to regular oats, but if you are, use gluten-free oats)

1/2 cup sugar or Splenda

2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1/3 cup mini chocolate chips (I love dark chocolate, but semi-sweet or milk chocolate works well too…or you can sub in walnuts instead of chocolate if you prefer)

The main players

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray loaf pan or muffin pan with non-stick spray, set aside (I tend to make muffins when baking with gluten-free flour, as I can freeze them easily for later use).

2. Combine wet ingredients in small bowl, mix well.

The wet

3. Combine dry ingredients in larger bowl, mix well.

The dry

4. Make well in center of dry ingredients, add wet ingredients. Mix thoroughly.

The combination

5. Pour batter into greased pan of choice. Bake 45-55 minutes if using loaf pan, or 30 minutes for muffins.

6. Let cool, remove from pan, and eat!

The big finish

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