When it comes to weight loss, simple is not the best idea.
Instead of cutting on certain foods, think complexity. Scientists found that people who eat a high-fiber diet tend to lose weight just as effectively as people restraining from high-calorie ingredients.
Dietary fiber moves quickly and easily through your digestive system and helps it function properly. Fiber-enriched diet may also help lower the risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease.
I chose banana bread to experiment with some of the most common high-fiber foods because I have double benefit from transforming sweet treats into healthy delights: I get to eat my dessert totally guilt-free. I just open my cooking app MyGreatRecipes and find an easy banana bread recipe to nag 🙂
Basic Banana Bread Changes
Just to be clear: simply adding a high-fiber ingredient doesn’t make your banana bread healthier. You have to make other changes in the base:
– Start byditching regular sugar. Choose honey, stevia, molasses, gave or maple syrup;
– Change the flour. Instead of regular refined flour use whole wheat, oatmeal, soy, almond, coconut flour or even buckwheat. The best high-fiber options are oatmeal (4.0g fiber/one cup) and whole wheat (1.9g).
Fruit Banana Bread
According to USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, the highest fiber source in the fruit world are raspberries (8g per cup), pears (5.5g in one medium pear), apple (4.4g/medium apple), orange (3.1g/medium orange), strawberry (3,0g/cup), figs (1.6g/2 medium figs) and raisins (1.0/1oz.).
You can add one cup of any fruit of your choice to your banana bread. Here are a couple of tips.
– Berries work great in chocolate banana bread;
– Apple and pear pair well with cinnamon, ginger, clove and nutmeg, as well as vanilla;
– Orange is best when used for glaze. If you want orange in the batter, one tablespoon orange juice + one tablespoon orange zest will do the trick.
Fun fact: banana itself is a high-fiber ingredient, with 3.1g fiber.
Nutty Banana Bread
The list of nuts that can be used in banana bread starts with almonds (3.5g/1oz.), followed by pistachios (2.9g) and pecans (2.7).
I like adding cinnamon and vanilla in nutty banana loaves, but I especially like to prepare thick cream cheese frosting. This topping transforms the quick-bread into a cake (this is not something you add if you’re trying to lose weight, just so you know). Don’t forget to sprinkle some more nuts over it.
Carrot Banana Bread
Carrot is the only high-fiber vegetable that can be used in banana bread. One medium carrot contains 1.7g fiber. One cup of grated carrot in the batter will do the trick. Here is what carrot goes well with:
– Nuts (I’ve tried pecans and walnuts in carrot banana loaf so far);
– Spices (cinnamon especially);
– Vanilla (prepare a vanilla-based glaze to pour over the carrot banana bread).
Who says that if it’s good for you it can’t taste good too?