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An experiment in reducing the carbs in a Pumpkin Banana bread recipe.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

I recently found myself with two overripe bananas and needed to do something with them, so I went to SparkRecipes and did a search on banana bread looking specifically for something to use two bananas. Most banana bread recipes call for three or four.

I found something called "Healthy Pumpkin Banana Bread" ( recipes.sparkpeople.com/
) that would also let me get rid of a can of pumpkin that I'd opened up earlier. Now, as a diabetic, I need to watch my carb intake, so I figured that I'd modify the recipe to reduce its carb content.

If you're wondering about a diabetic eating bananas, 1) I'm a picky eater and bananas are one of the few fruits I like. 2) While one banana has too many carbs for a snack by ADA standards, it's acceptable as part of a meal as long as any other carbs in the meal don't put you over the limit. I usually have them with breakfast. I'll probably lay off the bananas for a while anyway though, as I'm planning on doing some heavy duty testing to figure just how many grams of carbs I can safely eat, and when.

Back to the bread. I basically did two things to reduce the carbs in the bread: 1) I used 3/4 cup of brown sugar and a product called "Sweetzfree"( sweetzfree.com/ )that's sucrolose dissolved in water to fake the Splenda/brown sugar mix that's available in stores in place of the half cup of brown sugar and cup of granulated sugar in the original recipe.
2) I replaced the flours with a blend based on a recipe for a fake whole wheat bread by Dana Carpender, www.holdthetoast.
author of many low carb cookbooks.

I put the blend together as follows:
1 1/2 cup Vital wheat gluten
1/4 cup Wheat bran, crude
1/4 cup Raw Wheat Germ
1 cup Oat Flour
1/2 cup Hemp Protein Powder Vanilla (Trade Joe's Brand)
1/2 cup Psyllium Husk

Yeah, all that to replace four cups of flour (2 all-purpose, 2 whole wheat). It does, however, cut the carbs down and bump up the fiber content. It also makes a pretty good bread. My housemate approved of it, and while she's willing to eat a wider variety of things than I am, she's pickier about quality.

I did make a couple of other minor changes that weren't related to the carb content. 1) Replacing the cow's milk with soymilk because I have issues with lactose and have gotten into the habit of using milk substitutes. 2) Carpender's bread mix calls for whey protein powder, but I used the hemp protein powder because that's what I happened to have on hand.

I also ran into a road bump or two on the way to making this bread, the most notable one being that I forgot to add the pumpkin when creaming together the moist ingredients and sweetener, so I had to add it to the complete batter. NB, at least when doing it this way, a whisk is completely inadequate to mix in the pumpkin.

The finished bread is tasty, and there are occasional recognizable bits of pumpkin it. It takes a lot to toast it though; it's very moist and it wants to stay that way.
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