Banana Bread (but healthier)

So I borrowed this recipe from my new roommate Jess.  She used dried figs when she made it, and I’ve now experimented with both dried dates and plums, and both work well, although i will say that the prunes made the bread very (very) moist.  So here is the recipe:

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/4 cups baking soda
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
12 dried figs, or dates, or prunes
4 very ripe bananas, all mashed up

Directions:

1. Place the dried fruit in a small saucepan and cover with water.  Bring to simmer over medium heat until the fruit has plumped up a bit (it took me probably ten minutes). Remove from heat, and when cooled a bit puree in a food processor or blender.  You may need to use a few tablespoons of the cooking liquid to add to the puree to get it nice and smooth.

2. Mix the flour & the baking soda in a bowl and set aside. (You can sift them if you’re really ambitious, but I just don’t have the patience for that.)  In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and vanilla together and set aside. Spray a 9 x 4 loaf pan with nonstick spray and preheat oven to 350 F. 

3. In a mixer, cream the butter, pureed fruit, and applesauce together till well mixed.  Gradually pour the egg mixture into the mixing bow till incorporated.  Add the bananas, mix in and then remove the bowl from the mixer.

4. Fold in the flour mixture until just incorporated (a little unmixed flour is okay.)  Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake for 55 minutes or till a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool in the pan for at least ten minutes and then out of the pan till completely cooled. 

5. Enjoy your awesome creation.

Here are some of my photos:

Just out of the oven (this is the loaf I did with dates)

Slices of deliciousness…

This is the loaf I did with the prunes in place of figs or dates. As you can see it’s a lot darker, but it was still delicious, more moist though.

** For all my weight watchers friends, I calculated the points plus values of the bread to be 42 pts per loaf, so if you slice it into about 1/2 inch slices you should get about 12 slices, which would be 3.5 points a slice.  Enjoy!

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