Serves 12 / Naturally sweet bananas and dates team up in this hearty, refined-sugar-free bread, providing potassium, magnesium, and some key B vitamins. The more ripe the bananas, the sweeter the bread. Cinnamon adds another hint of sweetness and has been shown to boost blood sugar metabolism.
10-12 whole large dates, pitted 11/2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour, plus 1 tablespoon 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 3/4 cup walnut halves, coarsely chopped 3 ripe bananas, mashed 1/2 cup nonfat plain yogurt 1 whole egg 1 egg white 1 teaspoon vanilla extract Cinnamon, for garnish
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Place dates in small pan, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Turn off heat and allow dates to soften 5–7 minutes. Remove dates from water and transfer to a blender or food processor. Purée until a smooth paste is formed.
2. In a medium bowl, mix 1-1/2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Stir in walnuts.
3. In a small bowl, combine mashed bananas, yogurt, whole egg, egg white, and vanilla extract. Add 1/2 cup date purée to banana mixture. (Refrigerate any extra purée for future use.) Add banana mixture to flour mixture and mix just until combined. Do not over mix.
4. Coat a 9-inch loaf pan with cooking spray. Coat bottom and sides with remaining 1 tablespoon whole-wheat pastry flour, shaking out excess. Pour in batter and sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake for 55–60 minutes or until an inserted knife comes out clean. Cool in pan.