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.
Heart Healthy Banana Bread
- 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
- 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.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together Benecol, sugar, eggs, milk and lemon juice.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine flours, baking powder,baking soda and spices.
- Gently fold in the dry ingredients to the Benecol mixture and add mashed bananas.
- Pour batter into prepped baking loaf and sprinkle top with chopped pistachios.
- Bake for 40 minutes or until golden brown.