The sweet goodness of bananas really shines in this lowfat version of the classic American favorite. A small amount of oil substitutes for the usual butter, and whole wheat pastry flour is used in place of refined white flour. The result is a very light, moist bread with a strong banana flavor. It's important to use only the very ripest bananas (when the skins turn black). Dates make a nice addition, as do chocolate chips.
brown sugar (packed)
1 ¼ cups
extremely ripe mashed banana
pure vanilla extract
1 ½ cups
whole wheat pastry flour
1 ½ tsp
toasted walnut or pecan pieces
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees F. Butter a 9x5-inch loaf pan and line with generously buttered parchment or wax paper. Set aside.
Beat the eggs and the sugar with an electric mixer on high speed for 5 minutes. Add the banana, buttermilk, vanilla, maple syrup, and oil; mix at low speed to combine.
In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Whisk to combine, then stir in the nuts.
Fold the flour mixture into the banana base. Take care not to overmix, or your bread will be tough.
Bake for 60 to 70 minutes, or until the banana bread is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes, then turn the loaf out of the pan and finish cooling on the rack.
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