I'm not much of a baker. In fact I can probably count on one hand the number of times I have made a cake. However, I know that baking is becoming increasingly popular so thought I'd try my hand at making a banana cake, but a healthier version that I could share with those of you who like to bake.
This delicious banana loaf is higher in fibre than your average cake, it's also lower in fat and comes in at just 145 calories per slice.
What makes this cake that little bit healthier...
Before I made this cake I looked at ways to substitute some of the key ingredients to create a healthier alternative than many cakes out there. Here are the three main changes I made to the recipe:
1) I used wholemeal flour instead of white. Using flour with a higher fibre content will make the cake more filling and help to reduce the sugar spike that follows eating sweet foods.
2) The recipe I followed called for vegetable oil which I replaced with home-made unsweetened apple sauce. This alteration reduces the fat which cuts the calorie content of the cake. Greek yoghurt is another great alternative to oil or butter.
3) Instead of using sugar I added honey and I cut the given measure by 50% (many recipes call for 200g sugar!) Although the body responds to honey in the same way it does to sugar, honey isn't empty of nutritional value which for me makes it a preferable ingredient to sugar. In terms of any lost sweetness the sugar in the banana and apple sauce made up for this.
Please note: 'healthy' cakes can still make you fat!
Although this loaf may be a better choice than your standard cake, its main energy source is still carbohydrates and sugar so it's best enjoyed in moderation - once baked and cooled, I sliced and placed in the freezer for those chosen moments of indulgence!
Banana, Honey and Walnut Loaf
(Makes 12 slices)
5 tablespoons unsweetened apple sauce
(made in advance)
100g runny honey
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
200g wholemeal flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
4 tablespoons hot water
50g chopped walnuts
To make the apple sauce:
Peel, core and chop one apple then place in a saucepan with 45ml water and a pinch of cinnamon. Cover and cook for around 15-20 mins until the apple is soft. Once cooled mash with fork or potato masher.
1. Start by combining the honey with the apple sauce.
2. Add the eggs and mix well.
3. Stir in the mashed banana and vanilla essence.
4. Stir in the flour and salt.
5. Add bicarbonate of soda to the hot water then add this to the mix.
6. Mix the walnuts in.
7. Place in a greased and lined 2 litre loaf tin.
8. Bake for 55-60 minutes.
9. Once cooked place on wire rack and allow to cool.
Louise Appel Personal Trainer, St John's Wood & Personal Trainer Maida Vale offers customised, individual Personal Training and Pilates at Lords Cricket Ground, St John's Wood. Personal Trainer Harpenden & Personal Trainer St Albans is located at EsTR Fitness.
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