It started with 2 over-ripe bananas. What to do? I found some cookie recipes that sounded interesting, but we have several bags of cookies in the house and I sure don’t need anymore to tempt me. I could have frozen the bananas for making smoothies, but I already have a few in the freezer waiting to get used.
I finally found a banana bread recipe that combined another favorite of ours, chunky peanut butter. I was going to make the recipe as written, but then noticed some of the commenters had substituted apple sauce for the butter. Anything to cut some calories from a recipe, and it still tasting good, was worth a try.
The first change I made to the recipe was substituting a 1/2 cup of apple sauce for the 1/2 cup of butter called for in the original recipe.
The only apple sauce I had on hand was sweetened. I was concerned that the bread would be too sweet. My next change was to cut the 1 cup of sugar from the original recipe down to 1/2 cup of sugar. As it turns out, I made a good decision according to this post.
Now for the sugar… Friends of ours gave us a gift of homemade “vanilla sugar” just the other day. I never heard of vanilla sugar, so this was a real treat. It smells wonderful and does have a vanilla flavor, although subtle. I decided to use it in this recipe.
The original recipe has 8 servings with each serving listed at 497 calories. The few changes I made brought the calorie count down to around 349 calories per slice (based on 8 slices per loaf). I used the SparkPeople.com recipe calculator to determine the calorie count of the modified recipe. I also plugged the original recipe into the calorie counter and the SparkPeople calorie count came out very close to the website’s 497 count. This made me think that the lower calorie count is pretty accurate. I recommend you use SparkPeople.com recipe calculator to figure out the calorie count in your recipes if this is important to you.
Hubby and I did a taste test and we both think this recipe turned out very good. We could taste the peanut butter more than the banana, but neither is overwhelming. The apple sauce kept the bread moist.
I didn’t taste the vanilla and I’m thinking that I used the vanilla sugar too soon after being jarred. I love the idea of vanilla sugar, so I can’t wait to use it in other recipes once the flavors mature. The original recipe doesn’t call for it, so if you like the idea of the vanilla, maybe add a little vanilla extract to the batter.
Our favorite way to enjoy this bread is toasted with some butter. As a matter of fact, that was our breakfast today.
The bread is not sweet. To sweeten it some, you could add more sugar or add some dried craisins or raisins to the batter. Chocolate chips would be good too, but probably messy in the toaster!
Scroll down for the recipe and enjoy.
Banana Chunky-Peanut Butter Bread Recipe
1/2 cup apple sauce (sweetened)
3/4 cup chunky peanut butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup mashed ripe banana (about 2 medium)
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
In a large bowl, cream the butter, peanut butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Beat in bananas.
Combine the flour, salt and baking soda; add to creamed mixture.
Transfer to a greased 9-in. x 5-in. loaf pan. (I just sprayed the pan with a little oil and rubbed it around.)
Bake at 350° for 70-75 minutes or until toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. (*see note)
Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely.
Serving Size: 8
I baked it in a convection oven and that cut the baking time down to 50 minutes. Remember to keep your eye on it whether baked in a regular oven or a convection oven. It’s a long baking time, so you don’t want to burn it. Several of the commenters from the original recipe complained about burning. Check for doneness occasionally with a toothpick once the baking time is almost finished.