Thursday, March 24, 2011

What to Do With Too Many Ripe Bananas?

Well, you could of course always cut them into small pieces, freeze them, and then make a delicious frozen banana treat. That’s what I usually do. Or you could make banana bread. And that’s what I decided to make over the weekend.

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know that I’m not a baker. I love to cook because my experiments usually work out. However, when it comes to baking, it’s usually a good idea to follow a recipe exactly, and that’s were I have trouble…

Lately, I have actually been experimenting more when it comes to baking, and surprisingly most of my experiments have been working out. One thing I have been doing is replacing the oil or butter in recipes with applesauce. I know that’s nothing new, and I have been reading about the apple sauce-for-oil-or-butter substitution for a long time.

One of the reasons I am trying to eliminate the oil or butter in recipes is that I can’t eat a lot of fat because of my gallstones, and the applesauce actually makes many baked goods nice and moist. It does change the texture and taste somewhat, so I think everyone has to experiment with what they like… Also, it’s always an option to replace only part of the oil or butter with applesauce and not the entire amount called for. In the banana bread I made, I replaced all the butter with apple sauce, but there is still fat in the recipe because it contains two whole eggs.

The banana bread I ended up making was a mixture (and substitution of several ingredients) of several recipes I have made over the years, and it turned out really well. It really tasted like bananas and was very moist, not too sweet, and had some “substance” due to the whole wheat flour. We loved it. Plus, it tasted even better on Day 2, 3, and 4!

Low-Fat Banana Bread

  • 3/4 cup sugar (use up to 1 cup if you like your banana bread quite sweet)
  • 1/2 cup apple sauce
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla
  • 4 very ripe bananas, smashed, but still chunky
  • 3 Tsp. baking powder
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Pour the sugar and apple sauce in a bowl and mix well.
  3. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix.
  4. Add the smashed bananas.
  5. In a separate bowl, combine the baking powder and flour and mix well.
  6. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix.
  7. Pour the batter in a greased 9x5 baking pan.
  8. Bake for about 55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Prep Time: 65 minutes
Servings: 12

What makes banana bread even better? How about some Justin’s Chocolate Almond Butter?!? It was delicious! The picture I took of my slice of banana bread with the chocolate almond butter looked less than pretty however, so I’m not going to spoil your appetite! Smile  

Questions: Do you like to bake? “Can” you follow a recipe? Do you ever make healthy substitutions to recipes? If so, what are they? 

Be well,


  1. I used to be totally afraid of baking, but now I really enjoy it! I've also substituted applesauce for butter or oil.

  2. I love to bake and will usually experiment with different ingredients. Some work, some don't. LOL

    I bet your house smelled wonderful while that banana bread was in the oven!!

  3. Ooooooooohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, that banana bread was amazing!

  4. I think I have the opposite problem. I am better at following recipes and have a hard time straying from it. I am trying to work on experimenting more in the kitchen.
    This bread looks delicious!

  5. I'm not a baker either. I'm actually glad b/c if I baked all the time I would eat all the time and then I would have to shop for bigger clothes all the time.

    The only banana bread I have baked came out of a box from TJs. ;-)

  6. I looove baking! And I just used 8 overripe bananas the other night, I will have to get some more and let them blacken up for this recipe because it looks really great. I like to sub healthy alternatives--sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.. but I find a thrill in the experimenting.

  7. Anonymous3/24/2011

    Applesauce is a great option! I need to try a GF banana bread recipe. Yum. :)

  8. My wife is a baker, but she's also a scientist, so it makes sense to me that she likes to be exact. I like to cook, where you just throw things together and somehow food happens. So in our family, she's the baker and I'm the cook. Fortunately, we seldom cross over to the other's side of the kitchen (metaphorically speaking) as neither of us is that good at the other's craft. And I've taken to making a lot of banana ice cream, but I definitely need to make banana bread, soon, as it seems I ALWAYS have overly ripe bananas on hand. (It may be a problem that I'll only eat them when they are green.)

  9. Yum! Our frozen bananas always turn into banana bread as well....I sometimes add yogurt and minus an egg, do the applesauce thing, or replace half the sugar with honey. All have tasted good!

  10. The cake looks so moist. Btw, you can even make banana ice-cream or fritter! :o) Enjoy & have a great day, Andrea.
    Blessings, Kriaty

  11. UM



    looks great and I've done the eliminate fat for applesauce before. I don't watch the fat nearly as much as I try and cut back the sugar but Im never the same two days in a row.

    looks GREAT!

  12. Anonymous3/24/2011

    Your banana bread looks excellent, love the use of applesauce here, and the whole wheat flour too.

  13. Anonymous3/24/2011

    I love baking with applesauce...your banana bread recipe looks fantastic!

  14. I definitely like to bake, but enjoy cooking better. The thing about baking is that it's an easy way to fill our house with great smells!! This bread sounds right up my alley, and especially with the applesauce and.....Justin's chocolate almond butter! I've never had the chocolate before, but I bet it was wonderful on that bread!

  15. banana bread is always a good idea :)

    I love to bake! If I'm making something new, I usually follow the recipe, but after that? I can't help but make changes :) It's fun to see what works and what doesn't!

  16. Anonymous3/25/2011

    oh this looks delicious! i feel like i can smell it even :) what is going on with your gallstones?

  17. Hi Andrea, wow, this looks sooo good! Did your adorable little sous chef help? :) I've bookmarked!!! Have a wonderful weekend.

  18. I have never, ever NOT substituted in a recipe. Unless it was uber squeaky clean to start with. I always tinker- I can't help it- it's rather annoying. Speaking of which, have you ever tried replacing all-purpose flour with whole wheat pastry flour? I always do that (or at least for 2/3 of it) and it usually comes out really well. GREAT for cookies.

    The exception: when I make something FOR someone else (a normal eating person) or for a party etc- I don't dare make my crazy substitutions.

    I am always freezing bananas that are on the edge- one of my favorite snacks is just a bite of a frozen banana- even better with a nut butter smeared on it.

  19. there are some great healthy baked food recipes at

  20. I am staring at a bunch of really ripe bananas - I may have to give this recipe a try - hope you are having a great weekend Andrea!

  21. I don't like bananas so the only time I buy them is to bake! I just bought a bunch to bake a banana cake for my brother...and I used the leftover banana to make a funky sandwich. :-)

  22. Im a super creative one.
    everywhere BUT in the kitchen.

    Im a recipe follower to the proverbial letter.

    Which is why I always need healthy recipes.

    print :)