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recipe: banana bread; plus wheat germ and flax seed.

October 18, 2009

Due to my husband’s need of soft foods because of his recent dental surgery, I’ve had to come up with various items that would be easy for him to consume. As such, I decided to make banana bread (plus, the black spotted bananas were staring at me from the counter – I needed to do something with them!).

I don’t bake often but when I do, I try to use ground flaxseed and wheat germ to the mix.  Flaxseed for its benefits:

  • “Omega-3 essential fatty acids, “good” fats that have been shown to have heart-healthy effects. Each tablespoon of ground flaxseed contains about 1.8 grams of plant omega-3s.
  • Lignans, which have both plant estrogen and antioxidant qualities. Flaxseed contains 75- 800 times more lignans than other plant foods
  • Fiber. Flaxseed contains both the soluble and insoluble types.”

And wheat germ for its share of nutrients: “Folic acid reduces a compound in your body called homocysteine. Lower levels of homocysteine have been linked to reducing the risk of heart disease, osteoporosis bone fractures, and dementia. Wheat germ also contains a phytonutrient called L-ergothioneine, which is a powerful antioxidant that is not destroyed by cooking. The fiber boost you get from wheat germ is phenomenal.”

Armed with four spotty bananas, I found a new recipe online and gave it a go. The end result didn’t produce as moist of a banana bread as I’m used to making, but I think that is due to the wheat germ and ground flaxseed that I added, plus maybe using white sugar instead of honey. This wasn’t a bad thing, though, because the banana bread had more of a hearty normal bread texture as opposed to the cake-like consistency of quickbreads. Suffice to say, the banana bread was a hit with my husband and he quickly devoured two slices, even with pain in the right side of his mouth. I think I’ll definitely be making this bread again.

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Here’s the modified recipe, courtesy of Breadtopia, with my additions in bold:

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (I ran out of regular sticks of butter, so I made do with Smart Balance tub butter)
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3-4 large, ripe mashed bananas
  • 1/4 cup of honey (or white sugar, which is what I used)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups of whole wheat flour (I used regular, unbleached white flour)
  • 2 tbsp wheat germ
  • 1 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • pecan bits

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In one bowl, melt butter, then mix in brown sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla, until smooth.
3. In another bowl, mash the bananas together, then add sugar (or honey) and eggs; mix well. Then, add ingredients to the first bowl.
4. In the first bowl, add flour, wheat germ and ground flaxseed. Mix well, then add pecan bits (I just eye-balled the amount; more or less according to your preferences).
5. Lightly grease loaf pan and pour mixture in. Bake for about 45 to 50 minutes. Let cool, then slice and serve!

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