Banana Pecan Bread

I can't think of a single person who doesn't love banana bread. In my version, I introduce toasted pecans and orange to add another level of tantalizing flavor. Creamy mashed banana supplies plenty of moisture, so there's no need to add a lot of extra fat. To plan ahead, I peel and wrap overripe bananas and stockpile them in my freezer so I can bake this bread at a moment's notice. Gotta love a dessert with just 100 calories per delicious slice, and as an added bonus, ample potassium to keep your blood pressure in check.

Slim & Scrumptious by Joy Bauer; William Morrow (2010)

Banana Pecan Bread

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    Ingredients

    1/2 cup pecans 1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana (2 large or 3 to 4 small bananas)
    1 cup whole wheat flour 2 tablespoons reduced fat trans-fat-free soft tub margarine spread, at room temperature
    1 cup all-purpose flour 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
    2 teaspoons baking powder 2 large egg whites
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
    1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg Juice of 1 small orange

    directions

    Prep: 25 min Total: More than 60 min
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    • 1

      Preheat the oven to 350°F. Coat a 9 × 5-inch loaf pan with oil spray, and set it aside.

    • 2

      Spread the pecans in single layer on a baking sheet. Roast the pecans in the oven until they are lightly toasted, 6 to 8 minutes. Allow them to cool slightly. Then finely chop and set aside.

    • 3

      In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

    • 4

      In a large bowl, thoroughly combine the mashed bananas, margarine spread, brown sugar, egg whites, and orange zest and juice.

    • 5

      Sprinkle the dry ingredients over the wet mixture and fold together until the ingredients are just combined. Take care not to overmix; the batter will be slightly lumpy. Gently fold in the pecans.

    • 6

      Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Tap the pan on the counter to settle the batter.

    • 7

      Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of loaf comes out clean. Cool completely before removing the bread from the loaf pan and transferring it to a plate.

    • 8

      Cut the loaf into 10 slices (about 1⁄2-inch thick), and then cut each slice in half.

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