Refined Sugar-Free Banana Bread
Refined Sugar-Free Banana Bread
Sugar may be the most addictive substance in human history. If not, it is definitely the most consumed one. Our consciousness toward excess consumption of sweets grows day by day.
Sugar is a type of carbohydrate that provides energy for the body. The most common types of sugar are sucrose (the white sugar that we use at our tables), fructose and glucose (type of sugar found in fruits, honey and vegetables), lactose (sugar found in milk) and maltose (malted sugar found in beer and malted drinks). Our brain needs glucose daily to function properly however our body does not distinguish between different kinds of sugars and breaks them down to glucose.
Although our body needs sugar to function properly, it’s been proved that excess consumption of sugar is bad for our health. Serious illnesses like; type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, depressions and anxiety and metabolic syndrome are all associated with high sugar consumption. These serious illnesses are the worst side of the medallion; the other side has obesity, fatigue, visceral fat, skin problems, dental problems etc. the kind of problems that can significantly lower the quality of your life.
Excess sugar is harmful for our bodies no matter where it’s coming from. Refined sugars, artificial sweeteners or natural sources of sugar all become dangerous when consumed excessively. If you're aiming to cut down your sugar consumption, first you should train your taste buds and let yourself enjoy less sugary things day by day.
Sugar-free delicious snacks are a perfect dream come true. Unfortunately, mimicking sugar to fool our body is impossible. Diabetic or artificial sweeteners often have the same effects on our bodies as sugar when consumed. They might be calorie free but not harm free.
If you want to cut back your sugar consumption, the most important thing to do is to train your taste buds. The first phase of the training is identifying your eating habits closely. Do you tend to put extra maple syrup on your pancakes as well as a generous topping of fruit? Do you love the taste of pure water or do you reach for the flavoured water options? Are you drinking your coffee black or sweetened? Do you like fruits that have high levels of sugar or can you enjoy the simplicity of a granny smith apple?
Beating your sweet tooth will be much easier if you change your eating habits to include lower amounts of sugar, even the natural ones. If you’re putting two bananas (14 grams of sugar), an orange (17 grams of sugar), and half a pineapple (45 grams of sugar) in your “healthy” breakfast smoothie, you’re just messing with your metabolism in the very early hours of the day. Without realising you’ve just consumed 76 grams of sugar which is almost 3 times the amount you should consume in a whole day!
After identifying your behavior, try eliminating foods that have excess sugar. Small changes like considering your daily fruit consumption; flavour your meals with spices instead of ready-made sauces; enjoy . greek yogurt with fresh berries instead of store bought flavored yogurts or swap to raw nuts instead of packaged alternatives.
If you let your body adjust to reduced amounts of sugar, your taste buds will begin to adapt. Those sugary cravings will start to fade and you’ll find yourself ENJOYING plain greek yoghurt and pancakes without that extra dollop of maple syrup - you might even find you can finally have a green smoothie and like it! Believe me, the process is much easier than it seems and you can still enjoy treats even if they don’t have as much sugar.
This banana bread recipe is a good exercise for your taste bud training. For me, it has the right amount of sugar, it is delicious and a big treat. For those who have a huge sweet tooth (Hi Mum!), this might taste bland at first. Please don’t drizzle maple syrup on it. Instead, try to taste it with some strawberries or blueberries for a change or eat it as is to enjoy the natural banana flavour. Don’t put sugary cream cheese frosting on top of it, try eating it with plain or greek yogurt.
1 ½ cup mashed ripe bananas (about three large bananas)
1½ cups gluten-free flour (I used buckwheat)
½ cup almond flour
3 eggs, yolks and whites separated
1/3 cup milk of choice (I used almond milk)
¼ cup honey or agave
2 tbsp chia seeds
¼ cup melted coconut oil (or olive oil)
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground cardamom
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1 banana, sliced lengthwise
- Preheat your oven to 175 C (350 F).
- Grease your loaf pan.
- Sift the flours into a large bowl.
- Mix other dry ingredients (chia, cinnamon, cardamom, baking powder, salt, and walnuts) to the flour.
- Mix the wet ingredients (mashed bananas, egg yolks, milk, honey, coconut oil, vanilla extract) in your blender and blend until silky smooth.
- Mix dry and wet ingredients until they are completely incorporated.
- Beat the egg whites in a stand mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form.
- Slowly fold the egg whites into your cake mixture.
- Pour the batter into your greased loaf pan.
- Arrange sliced banana on top.
- Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. (If needed cover your loaf pan with aluminum foil at the last 15 minutes.)
- Set aside in the pan for 15 minutes to cool slightly. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Do you follow a sugar free diet and have some great recipes? Share with me below or tag me in your recipe on Instagram @ece_tastan!