Happy Monday! Today I will be sharing a recipe that will blow your mind, but won't blow your diet. I promise.
But before we begin, let's discuss Monday mornings first. They can be stressful, frustrating, and completely boring. First, you wake up and realize it's Monday, not Friday or Saturday or Sunday. Assuming that most people would agree with me, Mondays are NOT FUN. At all. The weekend, on the other hand, usually is fun. As our alarm clock startles us awake and interrupts our beauty sleep(even though we don't need any ;)) and our brain begins to process that it is indeed Monday and that our relaxing two days away from work or school has ended, we begin to dread the day ahead of us. However, Mondays don't have to be all bad. Despite the fact that it may be the start of a hard week filled with homework and studying, we can all make our Mondays a bit better by focusing on the little things that make us happy. These things can include grabbing a Dunkin' Donuts French Vanilla Coffee on the way to school, having a friend say hi to you, or even just making someone else smile. Or, you can treat yourself to this GUILT-LESS banana bread dripping with a sweet Cookie Butter Glaze!
I ever so slightly adapted this banana bread recipe from Joy of Baking's website. The bread itself is extremely moist and tender from these ingredients: yogurt, oil, and brown sugar. The yogurt replaces the unhealthy butter that is used in most banana bread recipes, but it does not sacrifice any flavor or texture that would come from butter. I promise! The only thing you lose is the bad fat and calories, which is a good thing in my opinion :). There is only 1/4 cup of oil, but again, the moist-ness of a banana bread with more fat is not sacrificed. In addition to the healthy yogurt and oil, the recipe calls for some whole wheat flour, just enough that it doesn't make the bread dense and dry. Now, here comes the strange one. You may wonder, how does brown sugar allow for a moist and delicious bread? Brown sugar has molasses, while granulated sugar does not. Because of this, baked goods made with brown sugar retain more moisture than baked goods made with granulated sugar. Along with a perfect texture, this banana bread also has an amazing flavor from cinnamon, vanilla, and of course, the bananas. In order to fully achieve the best flavor, make sure your bananas are VERY ripe and soft, like so:
If your bananas are not adequately ripened, the bread will not be sweet nor banana-y enough. I also stress that you measure the amount of mashed banana you have. This particular recipe calls for one cup of mashed banana, usually from two large bananas. However, I needed two and a half bananas to meet the required amount of mashed banana, making the bread the best it could be. As delicious as this bread is alone, I still thought it needed a little something. I searched through the cabinets to find something extra to add onto the banana bread. Nutella? Good, but maybe another time. Peanut butter? Still great, but not now. Cookie Butter?! YES YES YES!
If you have never had Cookie Butter, you are unfortunately missing out on Heaven in jar. Cookie Butter is Trader Joe's version of Biscoff spread. It is essentially made of ground-up speculoos cookies. And boy is it delicious! It tastes almost like a gingerbread cookie mushed up into a peanut butter-like consistency. The deep, warm, spicy flavor of the Cookie Butter pairs perfectly with anything banana and really brings out the cinnamon in bread. To make the Cookie Butter glaze, I simply melted it in a small sauce pan on the stove.
So go ahead, mix up a loaf of this delicious banana bread and make your Monday a little better. You can also share a slice with someone else and make their Monday a little better too :).
1 cup mashed banana
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup non-fat plain yogurt(any kind will be fine, I used Chobani Non-Fat Greek yogurt)
1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 large egg whites or one large egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup Cookie Butter or Biscoff spread
Preheat your oven to 350. Spray a 8"x4" loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray.
In a large bowl, mix together the mashed banana, baking soda, and yogurt until well combined. Set this aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, brown sugar, egg whites/egg, and vanilla extract. Set this aside.
In a separate large bowl, lightly whisk together the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt.
Add the oil, sugar, egg, and vanilla mixture into the banana/yogurt mixture and stir until well incorporated. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until JUST combined and moistened. As soon as you don't see any dry clumps of flour, STOP STIRRING.
Pour the banana bread batter into the loaf pan and bake for 45-55 minutes just until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the bread comes out clean. Allow the bread to cool inside the pan for about 3 minutes and then transfer it onto a wire rack to cool for about one hour.
To Make the Cookie Butter Glaze:
Melt the cookie butter in a small sauce pan over medium-low heat. Use a spoon or fork to drizzle the glaze on top of the banana bread. You may do this while the bread is still warm.
Recipe Slightly Adapted From: http://www.joyofbaking.com/healthydesserts/LowFatBananaBread.html
*Please do not take this recipe or photos from my blog and use them as your own. If you do wish to post my recipe on your blog, please ask for permission by emailing me. Thank you.