Banana Bread made with almond pulp and oatmeal for a healthy alternative to a favorite classic recipe.
A snow storm in mid-March? I’m not complaining! Although I have lived in the Northeast for many years now, and I’ll NEVER get used to the cold weather, I find the snow beautiful……and I just LOVE an excuse to stay home and spend the day in the kitchen.
I didn’t actually shop for the storm—-I’m not brave enough to fight the crowds who all seem to be stocking up on milk and bread (I’m still trying to figure out WHAT exactly they’re going to DO with all of that!)—but I generally keep a well-stocked kitchen because I like to play when the urge strikes me, and in my book, having to run to the grocery is the fastest way to kill recipe inspiration. Ingredients on hand for a healthy banana bread? You bet!
Students in my cooking workshops have been asking for more recipes that use up the almond pulp that is left when you make homemade almond milk. I hate wasting food and I make almond milk at least once a week, so I am often experimenting with different ways to use the pulp.
What to do with almond pulp:
I use it in pancake batter, and quick breads and muffins most often. I make crackers with almond pulp as the base and I use it in dips and spreads. Sometimes I just throw some into the blender when I’m making a smoothie. Using the pulp from your almond milk is a great way to up the nutritional value to other recipes
I admit, I like to cook….but what I like even more is the smell in the house when something is in the oven. To me, the smell of healthy banana bread baking is akin to a warm hug from a dear friend.
I’ve been using the same recipe for years—–the one my kids adore—-that is laden with oil, sugar, chocolate chips—-you probably have a similar one in your collection of family favorite recipes as well.
I’ve made a few tweaks and substitutions over the years—in fact, the cookbook that I originally made the recipe from opens directly to the banana bread page that is dog eared, stained, written on—with so many cross outs, arrows and lines drawn to make a new substitution—-at this point it’s almost illegible, and when I do follow that recipe it barely resembles the original.
Make it healthy!
Over the years, each time I altered the recipe it went un-noticed. A little less sugar, a little more honey. Half the oil became apple sauce. The rest of the sugar became dates. Maybe some almond pulp to keep things moist…. and why do we need any oil at all? The chocolate chips turned into berries….you get the idea.
It was a slow and steady march towards healthy……and it’s interesting how you can get away with changing a family favorite, if you do it gradually, rather than just introducing a brand new recipe. Cuz let me tell you, I’m quite sure if one day I just made this nutritious and delicious banana bread they would all balk and ask why I have to always ruin everything turning it into something healthy and to bring back the original. See how I did that? You can too…..the smell alone will sell this for you!
UPDATE ON THIS RECIPE 12/5/18
I wanted to make some healthy banana bread into mini loaves to package for gifts, and I didn’t have any almond pulp……no problem! I subbed 2 Tablespoons almond butter + ½ cup almond flour for the ¾ cup of almond pulp. In addition, I skipped the blueberries and added chocolate chips instead. Poured the batter into 3 mini loaves and baked at 350 for 45 minutes. AWESOME. Let me know if you have any questions.
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1 Tablespoon ground oats*
- ½ cup applesauce
- ¼ cup honey**
- 5 pitted Medjool dates
- 2 large eggs***
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- ¾ cup (approximate) almond pulp (taken from 1 recipe almond milk using 1 cup almonds)
- 3 cups old fashioned oats
- 1 teaspoon baking Soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 ripe bananas, broken into pieces
- Optional: ½ cup chopped pecans or walnuts
- Preheat oven to 350. Line loaf pan with unbleached parchment. (For “brownie” squares, use 9 x 13 pyrex).
- Use a coffee grinder to turn 1 Tablespoon oatmeal into flour. Mix in blueberries and set aside.
- Use a food processor (or you can use a blender) to thoroughly blend apple sauce, honey, dates, egg and lemon juice.
- Add in almond pulp and process until smooth.
- Add in oatmeal, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon and process until oats are no longer recognizable.
- Add bananas and process until very smooth, about 2 minutes.
- Transfer batter to bowl and mix in blueberries by hand. If you’re going to add nuts, do this now.
- Turn into prepared pan and decorate top with thinly sliced bananas if desired.
- Bake for 1 hour, or until toothpick inserted into center comes back clean. If using a 9 x 13 pan, bake for 35 minutes.
- Let cool completely before cutting.
- Banana bread can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.
GROUND OATS: Use a coffee grinder, food processor or blender to turn regular old fashioned oats into oat flour.
VEGAN: substitute maple syrup for the honey and flax eggs (mix 1 Tablespoons ground flax with 3 Tablespoons warm water for each egg. Let mixture sit for 5 minutes to "gel" and then stir into recipe).
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 204Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 184mgCarbohydrates: 36gFiber: 4gSugar: 18gProtein: 5g
The nutrition calculations were done using online tools. To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in any given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients you used. You are ultimately responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information is accurate, complete and useful.