Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Low-Sugar and Whole-Wheat Pumpkin Banana Bread Recipe

Low-Sugar and Whole-Wheat Pumpkin Banana Bread
This Low-Sugar and Whole-Wheat Pumpkin Banana Bread is hard to resist!

I'm not an expert baker, and when I decide to try to adapt a baking recipe for a low-sugar and whole-grain version, I usually expect it will take several tries to come up with a result that's a winner.  So I was happily surprised when this recipe for Low-Sugar and Whole-Wheat Pumpkin Banana Bread turned out perfectly the first time!  I loved this slightly-sweet pumpkin banana bread, and Jake also pronounced it to be "excellent."  (And he's not a big pumpkin fan, and doesn't always like my low-sugar experiments, so I consider that to be high praise.)

The only problem with this recipe (if there's a problem) is that it's definitely hard to resist once you taste it.  You have been warned!  I did what I could to make the recipe diet friendly, subbing coconut oil for butter, using Stevia-in-the-Raw granulated sweetener to replace most of the brown sugar, and using white whole wheat flour.  But there is natural sugar in the pumpkin and even more in the banana, and I did use a few tablespoons of brown sugar for best flavor, so if you need to limit sugar or are seriously dieting, you should definitely use portion control on this one.

If the South Beach Diet has an official position regarding coconut oil, I have never come across it.  But personally I feel this is healthier for baking than butter, and it added great flavor here.  You can also use low-fat margarine if you prefer.

Mash enough banana to make 1 cup mashed banana.  (About 1 1/2 large bananas or 2 small ones.)

Beat together the softened coconut oil, Stevia-in-the-Raw granulated sweetener (or other sweetener of your choice), brown sugar, eggs, canned pumpkin, mashed banana, water, and vanilla.

Then mix in the white whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.

Spread the batter into an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch loaf pan that you've sprayed with non-stick spray.  I skipped the sugary streusel topping and topped with some chopped pecans.

Bake at 350F/180C until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 65 minutes for me.  Let cool completely in the pan, then remove, slice, and enjoy!

Low-Sugar and Whole-Wheat Pumpkin Banana Bread
(Makes about 12 slices; adapted from Easy Whole Grain Pumpkin Banana Bread at King Arthur Flour.)

1/2 cup coconut oil, softened at room temperature (or use butter or trans-fat free margarine if you prefer)
2/3 cup Stevia-in-the-Raw granulated sweetener or Splenda (or use sugar if you don't care if the bread is low in sugar)
3 T brown sugar (or if you need to strictly limit sugar, use more Stevia-in-the-Raw granulated sweetener)
2 eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
1 cup mashed very ripe banana (about 1 1/2 large bananas or 2 small bananas)
2 T water
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour (I always use King Arthur white whole wheat!)
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup chopped pecans

Let coconut oil soften if needed.  Preheat oven to 350F/180C.  Spray an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch loaf pan with non-stick spray.  Mash bananas to make 1 cup.  Chop pecans.

Beat together the softened coconut oil, Stevia-in-the-Raw granulated sweetener (or other sweetener of your choice), brown sugar, eggs, canned pumpkin, mashed banana, water, and vanilla.  (I use a sturdy whisk, but you could use a small hand beater.)

Mix in the white whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.  (I switched to a heavy spoon to mix this together.)  Scrape the mixture into the loaf pan and press down gently until it's even.  Top with chopped pecans.

Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean; for me that was 65 minutes but I started checking at 55 minutes.  Let the bread cool well in the pan.  The original instructions said to chill overnight in the fridge before slicing, but we sliced it carefully once the bread was completely cool.  (The inspiring recipe said 16 servings, but we sliced it into 12 slices, which we thought was the minimum serving size most people would want.)
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South Beach Suggestions:
Even though I did my best to make this with more diet-friendly ingredients, there is still sugar in this from the canned pumpkin, banana, and the small amount of brown sugar, so I'd guess this would be Phase 3 for the South Beach Diet, or maybe a "once-in-a-while-treat" limited serving for Phase 2. 

Nutritional Information?
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.

More Delicious Low-Sugar Bread or Muffins You Might Like:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Low-Sugar and Whole Wheat Zucchini Bread with Blueberries and Pecans ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Low-Fat and Low-Sugar Pumpkin Biscoff Bread - Budget Gourmet Mom
Low-Sugar and Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins with Pecans ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Made-from-Scratch Low-Sugar and Whole Wheat Bran Muffins with Apple and Walnuts ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Paleo Banana Bread ~ Elana's Pantry
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)

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Posts may include links to my affiliate account at Amazon.com, and Kalyn's Kitchen earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend, so thanks for supporting my blog when you shop at Amazon!
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  1. Hi Kalyn,

    I'm a long time site visitor. Did you know your website is a default on Microsoft's One Note software for the holiday cooking template? It's your Cilantro BBQ chicken recipe that they showcase. Congrats!

  2. I didn't know that, thanks for telling me!

  3. I've never been a huge fan of either banana bread or pumpkin bread -- because they're usually too sweet. Maybe I'll give this lower sugar version a try.

  4. Lydia, I promise you that this recipe is amazing. And also hard to resist!

  5. I could see myself going back for slice after slice of this!

  6. Joanne, I was glad I sent half of it home with Jake, because the part I kept didn't last long!

  7. This bread was excellent! Thank you for the great recipe! By the way,I used whole wheat pastry flour, and past-their-prime-bananas from my freezer.

  8. Shauna, so glad you liked it! I have some bananas in the freezer that are going to get made into this; definitely a repeater for me.

  9. The recipe has one cup of pumpkin, about half of a 15 oz. can. You can freeze the rest.


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