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A Few Healthy Subsitutions (for our “perfect” Banana Bread)

Well, it couldn’t last forever!   Nothing good can, I suppose.  I’m referring, of course, to the glorious luxury my husband and I allowed ourselves over the past week and a half to put our usual workout routine on hold and eat whatever we wanted every night.  It was wonderful!  We soaked up every second of the 60-70 degree evenings by going for long walks around the lake by our house.  When we had worked up nice, raving appetites, we’d head on over to Kroger and choose the junk food of our choice and settle in for an evening of blissful relaxation.

My choice?  Oh Baby!

Ben and Jerry’s Cake Batter Ice Cream is one of my favorite splurge-foods of all time!  Yum Yum Yummy.  I ate this Friday night, Saturday night, and Sunday night this weekend.  And I do mean I ate a pint each time.  Three pints in all.  That’s right.  And it was heavenly!  Pure scrumptiosity!

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My husband’s junk food of choice: these.  He likes to called them D-Oh-Netties (because of the spelling.)

I think these are nasty and that he is weird for liking them.  But hey, he doesn’t knock my snack of choice so I let him buy what he wants!  Chris enjoyed D-O-netties every single night this weekend as well.  And if I’ve left any doubt in your mind as to how glorious the experience was… let me repeat once more that it was glorious.

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But alas, we’re crawling feebly back onto the bandwagon… starting today.  Back to P90X.  Back to plenty of water and way less juice/soda/beer.  Back to edamame and V8.  Back to cooking lean proteins in the evenings instead of pouring a bowl of cereal or wolfing down a box of Mac n’ Cheese (or worse… see above.)

Do I sound less than enthusiastic?  To be fair, I’m actually all for the switch.  You can really only live like a slob for so long before you become one.  And we’ve pulled the e-brake just a few days shy of full-on slobdom.  Back to reality we go!

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So I thought I’d share with you a few of the substitutions I used tonight on our favorite banana bread recipe.

See, we had three and a half bananas that were absolutely going to go bad if I let them sit one more day.  They had to be used tonight!  My banana bread recipe (while delicious) doesn’t exactly fit into our detox plan… so I had to adapt it.

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I’ll make it reeeeeal simple for ya:

  -Less sugar

  -Less fat

  -More banana (to make up for the lost moisture from the decreased fat)

  -A little stevia (for added sweetness)

  -A little bran cereal (this helps with the “detox” part)

  -Bake in muffin tins (built-in portion control!)

And that’s it!  Bada bing!

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First off… grab little bran cereal.  (I really like Bran Buds, they’re not as rock-hard as other brands.)  Pour 1/4 cup into a small bowl and add just a tablespoon or two of milk so that they can start to soften.

I didn’t totally eliminate the chocolate chips (although you could.)  But I did decrease them to a scant 1/2 cup and I used dark chocolate mini-chips instead of regular semi-sweet.

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Mash up three and a half brown bananas…

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Then add in a HALF-cup of organic sugar.

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Melt 3 tablespoons of Crisco and 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter in the microwave… and add it to the banana/sugar mixture.

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Add in about a tablespoon of real vanilla.

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Lightly beat an eggwhite and add it in as well!

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Now in a separate bowl… measure out 1/2 C. whole wheat flour, 1/2 C. soft white wheat flour (also known as White Whole Wheat), and 1/2 C. all-purpose flour.  Also add in 1 tsp. baking powder, 1 tsp. baking soda, 1/3 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. stevia powder.  (Stevia is a great natural sweetener.  Zero-calorie… but not fake like Splenda!  A half-teaspoon may not seem like much but a little goes a long way.  Also note that if you’re using a Stevia “blend,” you may need more than a 1/2 tsp. to equal the sweetness of the 1/2 C. sugar you’re leaving out.)  Sift together or mix with a fork to combine.

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Toss in the (very few) chocolate chips you are adding to get them coated with flour.  (Fewer than what you see here, of course, since this picture comes from the full-throttle recipe.)

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Now just mix the flour and chocolate chips into the wet ingredient mixture gently with a  fork.  It should be lumpy.

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Lightly spray muffin tins with canola oil spray, then fill each muffin cup 3/4 full of batter.  I did sprinkle just a dash of raw sugar and a dusting of cinnamon onto each muffin before baking.  I mean, I literally split one coffee-sized packet of raw sugar among the entire pan of muffins.  It’s negligible but makes ALL the difference.  Bake muffins at 350 for about 28 minutes (for large muffins)… less time for smaller-size muffins.

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There you go!  Healthy snack, healthy breakfast, and (in my case tonight) a light and healthy dinner.  (Comparatively speaking anyway… see above.)

Let it not be said that I’m out to ruin anyone’s diet.  You can enjoy yummy treats AND find ways to trim them down :)  Enjoy!

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