Emily Alvers

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    Health Nut Banana Bread

    Who doesn't love banana bread? I stopped making it for a while, because it's typically made with calorie laden butter, white sugar, and white flour. As a recovering sugar addict myself, I'm always trying to find ways to make favorite recipes with less sugar while also limiting artificial sweeteners. Stevia to the rescue! The overly ripe bananas on my kitchen counter coupled with the cold snap we're having in Austin made me jump at the opportunity to share one of my favorite healthy recipes.

    -2 eggs
    -2/3 cup melted Smart Balance Light
    -1 1/2 cups very ripe mashed bananas (about 4 small/medium)
    -1/3 cup skim milk
    -1 tsp vanilla
    -1 1/2 tsp. liquid stevia (or powdered form)
    -2 1/2 cups wholewheat flour
    -1 tsp baking soda
    -1/2 tsp salt
    -1/2 cup chopped nuts

    Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 F. In a small mixing bowl, mash bananas with fork. Add melted butter, milk, vanilla, and stevia. Whisk together well.

    Step 2: In a large mixing bowl, combine remaining dry ingredients.

    Step 3: Add banana mixture to dry ingredients and mix well with large spoon.

    Step 4: Pour mixture into a greased 9 x 5 loaf pan (use non-stick cooking spray) and bake 50-60 minutes or until a wooden kabob skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool on a cooling rack 5-10 minutes before cutting. Makes 18 (1/2 in. slice) servings. Best served warm!

    Nutrition Facts:(each slice)
    127 cal
    3.7 g protein
    15 g carbs
    5.8 g fat (1.25 sat fat)
    2.4 g sugar
    2.2 g fiber

    I've cut almost 1,000 calories, 200 grams of sugar, and almost 300 g of carbs, as well as a significant amount of cholesterol from the loaf simply by substituting stevia (for white sugar), ww flour (for white flour), and Smart Balance Light (for butter).

    If you haven't started subbing refined sugar and artificial sweeteners with stevia, you really should. Stevia is an all natural 0 calorie sweetener made from the herb Stevia rebaudiana, and is more commonly known as "sweetleaf." It's been used medicinally by tribes for centuries, and it's flavor just so happens to produce a sweetness that is about 300 times sweeter than sugar. A little bit goes a long way! Different brands provide slightly different concentrations, so experiment with it and find a brand that you like best. It is 100% safe for consumption, unlike other 0 calorie sweeteners which are chemically treated and are proven carcinogens...time to cut the aspartame out of your life and replace it with stevia!

    This recipe is also great for kids to learn basic cooking skills, like measuring wet and dry ingredients, cracking eggs, mashing, whisking, mixing, and checking for doneness in baked goods. The amazing smell in your home will make the whole family come begging for seconds. Try it and let me know what you think!

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