Heart Healthy Banana Bread

Heart Healthy Banana bread is low in saturated fat and sodium, rich in potassium and a source of fiber and plant stanols shown to reduce blood cholesterol levels.

This heart healthy banana bread is not only delicious, it has the benefits of  plant stanols, the natural way to reduce blood cholesterol levels.

 

Bake some bread. It’s February’s Recipe Redux theme! In keeping with my commitment to  heart month,  I’m baking  banana bread with benefits for your ticker. It’s  low in saturated fat and sodium,  rich in nutrients like potassium and a source of fiber and plant stanols.

For those of you who aren’t yet familiar with plant stanols, let me briefly explain. Plant stanol esters  work by reducing the absorption of cholesterol from the digestive tract. They are naturally found in many fruits, vegetables and grains,  but because these foods have only trace amounts, you would have to consume ridiculous quantities everyday, to see  a signficant effect on  blood cholesterol (i.e. 12 pounds of broccoli, 29 pounds of carrots and 60 pounds of tomatoes).    This challenge has been overcome by fortifying foods with stanols and sterols. New food products, with the added benefit of sterol/stanol esters, may provide a more healthful alternative to high-saturated fat, high-cholesterol products such as butter.

This banana bread was made using one of these relatively new food products with the added benefit of plant stanols (Benecol®) . It’s simple to use because it is a direct substitute for butter or oil in recipes. Enjoying your favorite foods can be good for your heart if you make the proper substitutions.

 

 

 

 

 

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Heart Healthy Banana Bread


  • Author: Diane Boyd
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 10 1x
Scale

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup Benecol
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons skim milk
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 .5 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cardamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 cup mashed ripe bananas
  • 2 tablespoons crushed pistachios

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Using a piece of waxed paper, spread a light layer of Benecol inside a 8″ baking loaf. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together Benecol, sugar, eggs, milk and lemon juice.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, combine flours, baking powder,baking soda and spices. 
  4. Gently fold in the dry ingredients to the Benecol mixture and add mashed bananas.
  5. Pour batter into prepped baking loaf and sprinkle top with chopped pistachios.  
  6. Bake for 40 minutes or until golden brown.

Notes


Nutrition

  • Calories: 171kcal
  • Sugar: 17g
  • Sodium: 117mg
  • Fat: 3g
  • Saturated Fat: 1g
  • Carbohydrates: 34g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Protein: 4g
  • Cholesterol: 37mg

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Tumeric Milk Baked Oatmeal with Pistachios and Dried Cranberries

Tumeric Milk Baked Oatmeal with Pistachios and Dried Cranberries is a heart healthy breakfast.

Tumeric Milk Baked Oatmeal is not only heart healthy, it’s a great tasting way to start the day!
Disclosure: By posting this recipe I am entering a contest sponsored by Wonderful Pistachios and am eligle to win prizes. I was not compensated for my time. 

It’s no secret, I love pistachios. In recogition of heart month, I’d like to  share how  I easily consume a daily 1.5 ounce portion of this nut, aka the Fit NutTM, as part of my  heart-healthy lifestyle.

First of all, I snack on them by the handful. I highly recommend you do the same; pistachios are one of the lowest calorie and lowest fat snack nuts, earning them the name Skinny Nut TM! In-Shell Pistachios, aka the Mindful NutTM, are my number one choice for snacking.  Cracking each shell slows me down and helps me to eat mindfully.  One preliminary behavioral study found that participants who consumed in-shell pistachios ate 41 percent fewer calories compared to those who consumed pistachios without the shell. This suggests what’s referred to as the Pistachio Principal: the empty shells may provide a visual cue for portions. BTW, my clients smile when I include them in  their meal plans. It’s not surprising  pistachios are also the Happy NutTM. 

Secondly, I like to use ’em in granola and as toppings on yogurt and breads to add texture, crunch, and a pop of color. Did you  know they are aka the colorful NutTM?  Pistachios’ green, red-purple hues come from antioxidants. Take note: it’s healthy to add color to your plate, all colors!

Finally,  I find great satisfaction by combining them with other  good for you foods!   Their notes of butter and nuts and rich texture  complement a broad range of foods.  One of my all time favorite pistachio flavor combos is:

pistachios + oatmeal + tumeric + cranberries

and it just so happens to be the inspiration for this Tumeric Milk Baked Oatmeal with Pistachios and Dried Cranberries.

Tumeric Milk Baked Oatmeal with Pistachios and Dried CranberriesSimilar to a bread pudding (total comfort food) this  baked oatmeal has a  cake like texture. (If you don’t like runny oatmeal, this is your oatmeal opportunity.) At  first bite,  you’re going to  think dessert. That’s ok, but you should know that  it’s so nutrient rich, I approve of it as a stand alone breakfast entree.  It’s low in fat, low in saturated fat, high in fiber, and  a source of whole grains.  I served it with tumeric milk to get close to  my breakfast  protein goal of 20 grams (which also boosted the DV for calcium to 45% based on a 2000 calorie diet).

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the potential health benefits of turmeric. Extensive clinical trials are ongoing examining the efficacy of curcumin (the major component of turmeric) against many human diseases including (but not limited to): diabetes, cardiovascular disease, metabolic diseases, cancer, lupus, and  IBD. Poor bioavailability and limited adverse effects are reported as major limitations to the therapeutic usefulness of curcumin. Perhaps one day we will have a deeper  understanding of this nutraceutical against human pro-inflammatory diseases. Until then, let’s continue to enjoy its common use as a spice and food coloring agent!

If you’re looking for an energizing breakfast to keep you active throughout the day, this my friends, is your ticket.

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Tumeric Baked Oatmeal with Pistachios and Dried Cranberries

Tumeric Baked Oatmeal
  • Author: Diane Boyd
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 3 servings 1x
Scale

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 ounces no shell Wonderful roasted and salted pistachios (may substitute no salt)
  • 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground tumeric + 3/4 teaspoon for tumeric milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon + 3/4 teaspoon for turmeric milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 4 cups skim milk, divided
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 1 Tablespoon canola oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat overn to 375 degrees F.
  2. Spray a 5 x 7 baking dish with cooking spray.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine dried cranberries, pistachios, oats, baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon gound tumeric, 1/4 teaspoon  ground cinnamon and salt. Stir to combine. Spread evenly into baking dish.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk egg. Mix in  one cup milk, honey , vanilla extract, and oil.
  5. Slowly drizzle liquid over the oat mixture. Bake 20 minutes or until oatmeal is firm.
  6. Make turmeric milk by pouring 3 cups skim milk into a saucepan  over medium low heat. Stir in 3/4 teaspoon of turmeric and 3/4 teaspoon of cinnamon. Continue to heat and stir for about 3 minutes or until flavors blend.
  7. Serve baked oatmeal in a bowl or mug with warm turmeric milk on top.

Notes

Can be enjoyed both warm and cold. This dish can be made ahead of time and reheated in a warm oven (no higher than 350 degree sF)  for about 15 minutes.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 427 grams
  • Calories: 490
  • Sugar: 48 grams
  • Sodium: 550 mg
  • Fat: 14 grams
  • Saturated Fat: 1.5 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 73 grams
  • Fiber: 6 grams
  • Protein: 19 grams
  • Cholesterol: 55 grams

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