about me

    Emily Malone

    culinary arts grad. nutrition facts lover. vegetarian chef. marathon runner. country music maniac. failed dog trainer. barre fanatic. loving mama.

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    EmilyBMalone@gmail.com

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    A Look Back.



(Sugar-Free) Banana Orange Bread.

On December 31st, I made a resolution that I’d go sugar-free for the month of January.  I am 24 days in, and I am very aware of all 24 of those.  I’ll probably write a whole post about this at the end of the month, but here’s the short version.  I love sugar, and I miss sugar.  But sugar and I had an unhealthy relationship, and we needed some time apart.

One of the good things that has come from this sugarless month is that I’m finding new, creative ways to satisfy what used to be a very sweet tooth.  Banana bread is one of my all-time favorite comfort foods, and even without added sugar, this loaf did not disappoint.

(Sugar-Free) Banana Orange Bread by Daily Garnish

For my own purposes, I’m defining sugar-free as eliminating cane sugar, brown sugar, maple syrup, honey, and other added sweeteners.  So I’m still eating fruit (and occasional dried fruit), which do contain natural sugars, but I’ve drastically reduced my overall sugar intake.  This bread is ever so lightly sweetened with fresh orange juice, and the orange zest and fennel seeds really take it up a notch.  It’s not your typical sweet breakfast bread, but it’s a savory treat you won’t be able to stop eating.

(Sugar-Free) Banana Orange Bread

by Emily Malone

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 50-55 minutes

Ingredients (1 loaf)

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds (whole)
  • 3 large ripe bananas
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • zest of one large orange

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients – from flour through the spices.

In a separate, smaller dish, mash the bananas until they mostly liquid and there are minimal lumps. Add the eggs, vanilla, and orange juice, and whisk until all the wet ingredients are combined.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and stir with a spatula. Once the mixture is combined, use a microplane to zest one large orange over the batter. Mix the zest into the bread batter, and then pour into a greased loaf pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes. The outside should have a nice golden brown crunchy crust, while the inside will be fluffy and moist. Allow bread to cool on a wire cooling rack for a few minutes before slicing.

(Sugar-Free) Banana Orange Bread by Daily Garnish

Slice and serve! This bread pairs well with many things – butter, jelly, cream cheese – but I personally recommend coconut oil or coconut spread. Yum!

(Sugar-Free) Banana Orange Bread by Daily Garnish

I think my favorite thing about this bread is the orange zest.  Seriously – don’t skimp on the zest.  I made this recipe twice, and I really bulked up the zest on the second version.  It was not a mistake – there is no such thing as too much!

(Sugar-Free) Banana Orange Bread by Daily Garnish

I made this for my mom’s group on Wednesday (along with this veggie salad), and there was just a small stump left after everyone went home.  I warned them ahead of time that I was going to try some sugar-free baking, but no one seemed to mind judging by what was left over. 

(Sugar-Free) Banana Orange Bread by Daily Garnish

Another bonus?  I can feed this to Cullen with zero guilt or worry.  At this stage in his life, he’s not really getting any sugar other than fruit, and a little bit of dried fruit.  I know there will come a time where he’ll know all about cupcakes and ice cream, but I figure there’s no real need for that right.  He’s been gobbling this bread down by the slice, and can’t get enough!  He doesn’t seem to know that it’s missing anything…

(Sugar-Free) Banana Orange Bread by Daily Garnish

Looking forward to my next batch of ripe bananas!

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105 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Michelle (The Runner's Plate)     at 9:45 pm

I am excited to try this recipe! I, as well, have cut nearly all sugar out of my diet for a month now. I can’t say I’ve cut it out 100% but very close. Surprisingly I haven’t craved it as much as I thought I would because I definitely love my desserts!

[Reply]

Carly @ Snack Therapy     at 10:59 pm

I’m going sugar-free too, so this recipe makes me verrrry happy. Thanks!

[Reply]

aworldwide-travel.com Reply:

I would like to say thank for sharing this great article. We can’t get this kind of information from

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Marie-Sophie     at 2:47 am

Sounds like a great recipe! My problem is that an advertisement banner keeps covering the recipe (I’ve had that problem with posts on your blog for quite a few weeks now). Just wanted to let you know that something might be going wrong there.

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Nancy Reply:

Me too! One ad comes up that goes all the way across the middle of the page. That one I can close, but there’s another under it that still covers part of the blog post that I can’t close. Computers are crazy!

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Whitney Reply:

Yep I get the same ad covering up the middle part of the recipe!

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Kate Reply:

To assist with troubleshooting, this happens for me in Internet Explorer and Safari… but not in Firefox.

[Reply]

Sarah G Reply:

Just want to pipe in here…. I have a Mac and use Safari and haven’t had any of the problems mentioned here or anywhere else.

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

Thanks Sarah – that helps!

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

That was a huge help, and now it’s fixed! Thank you!

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

Thanks for letting me know. Figured it out and fixed it! Please let me know if it happens again.

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

Thanks for letting me know! Fixed it!

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

Thank you for telling me. Finally figured it out and fixed it! Hopefully no more problems now. :)

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Marie-Sophie Reply:

Yay, it’s gone! Thanks so much, Emily! I have a Mac, use Safari (like Sarah G above) and I had the problem – so weird! But it’s all good now!!

[Reply]

Nancy Reply:

You fixed it! Thanks! Now, I’m off to make some of that yummy banana bread!

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Kristen @ Change of Pace     at 3:02 am

When I read sugar free I was really wondering where the sugar would come from. Bananas! That coconut spread is really yummy :)

[Reply]

Erica     at 3:38 am

Looks delicious! I’m also working on cutting out all artificial sweeteners as I’ve developed a wicked habit with them.

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Leah Reply:

Good for you! Fake sugar is not safe for pregnant women so how is it safe for the rest of us!

They are a headache inducer for me so I *have* to avoid them (and it’s hard)

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Christine     at 3:58 am

Looks delicious! I can’t wait to try it because I’ve also been working on cutting down on sugar.

[Reply]

Sarah     at 4:34 am

Looks good! How long would you bake it for in muffin tins?

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

Maybe 20 minutes?

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Sarah     at 4:56 am

I’m curious about how your sugar-free month was…I have contemplated doing that for some time but don’t know if I have the willpower! The fennel seeds seem like such an interesting addition. I’ll have to give this recipe a whirl!

[Reply]

Elizabeth @ My Neon Running Shoes     at 5:00 am

I also cut out almost all sugar about a week ago and miss it! Thanks for the recipe!

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Krissy @ Make it Naked     at 5:40 am

Good for you! That’s awesome! I keep telling myself I’m going to give up sugar but then I found myself testing marshmallow recipes. So, yeah…I haven’t committed yet. I start training for my 1/2 marathon next week and I’m hoping I’m motivated then to ditch the crap. It really does make a difference.

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Erica {Coffee & Quinoa}     at 6:14 am

I love banana bread variations! Kudos to you for a sugar free month… I don’t think I could do it!

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Janelle     at 6:25 am

Ooh, yum – this looks great. I’ll have to try a gluten free version.

Also, I wanted to mention to you that I finally tried the Theo chocolate bars – so yummy!

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

Yummmm! I have missed them!

[Reply]

Leah Reply:

TAZA chocolate out of Somerville, MA is dairy and soy free. It might also not have any sugar. It’s the stone ground Mexican style and a little goes a long way.

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

I LOVE Taza chocolate!!

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Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers     at 6:29 am

Good for you going sugar free! I have really have bee cutting back big time ont he sugar this year. For my baking I have been using NuNaturals Presweet Tagatose,which has no sugar in ti. I do that becasue my Husband won’t eat if it doesn’t have sugar! Love the recipe!!

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Samantha     at 7:22 am

Very intriguing, I might be trying this today. Thanks for doing a sugar-free without an artificial sweetener. :)

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Ali @ Peaches and Football     at 7:25 am

I like the idea of using the orange juice as a natural sweetener. This would be a fun recipe to try!!!

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Cailin     at 7:35 am

I hope you do post about going sugar free. I always have had a bit of a sugar problem, but with breastfeeding (and running) it gets to a whole new level (hello peanut M&M’s). This is my third child and the cravings for sugar (she’s 12 weeks) are strong and fulfilled. I’d love to know what it feels like to give it up!

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Heather     at 7:53 am

I’m making banana bread this weekend so I might have to try adding some orange zest to it. Did you go through any sort of ‘withdrawal’ from sugar (headaches, tiredness, etc..?) Just asking because I feel like if I took honey/maple syrup/peanut butter out of my diet I’d become rabid haha.

[Reply]

Debbie Nichols     at 8:14 am

Thanks for posting these Emily! I may try both – sounds yummy! I am really impressed with the 6:30 am cooking time….: )

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Jennifer     at 8:59 am

I happened to have 3 over-ripe bananas on my counter and a sad orange in the fridge so I made this this morning! I’m not exactly cutting back on sugar, but I am on a diet and this recipe works great for me!
I veganized it by using Ener-G egg replacer and it came out great. As long as you aren’t expecting a typical sweet banana bread, you can really appreciate this recipe for what it is! I think it is a nice change.
(PS- I didn’t have fennel seeds, so I left them out… next time!)

FYI, using egg replacer, I calculate the total calories for the loaf to be 1155. So that is less than 100 calories per piece if you cut it into 12 slices!

[Reply]

Sally Mae     at 9:06 am

Yay for sugar free! I’m still nursing my 14month old and definitely fell into the “convenience food” rut this past year so I’m doing the Whole Living Action Plan and have been dairy/gluten/ sugar free for 1 week and seriously feel amazing. :) I think you would LOVE some of the recipes. Good luck, keep it up, and I can’t wait to read your re-cap post.

http://www.wholeliving.com/216880/2013-whole-living-action-plan

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

Thanks for the link!

[Reply]

Wendy     at 9:08 am

This looks fabulous! I really need to watch my sugar these days. It’s not normally an issue for me but I’m 28 weeks pregnant and when I am pregnant I crave sugar. Can’t wait to give this one a try!

[Reply]

Leah     at 10:07 am

oh thank goodness. I had a weird feeling you were going to start being like my yoga teacher (love her) that is all into the Stevia (which is bad for folks on blood pressure meds per WebMD). Thank you for posting–this looks fantastic.

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

Oh gosh no. No fake sugar here.

[Reply]

Leah Reply:

Thank you–one of the big reasons I love your blog. :) :)

P.S. Tried steel cut oats in the crockpot over night for the first time. Thought of you and your rice cooker method. :)

[Reply]

Nana Phyllis     at 10:22 am

Making this this afternoon, but adding walnuts!

[Reply]

Michelle @ The Fresh Direction     at 11:16 am

This looks great, Emily! Thanks for sharing. I am trying to cut sugar out of my diet as well – but will probably never give up the natural stuff. I love fruit too much. Oh and dark chocolate, does that have sugar in it? ;)

[Reply]

julia     at 2:37 pm

I’m surprised that you feel guilty and/or worried about giving Cullen regular banana bread.

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

Not every once in a while, but I try not to give him a lot of added sugar at his young age. He doesn’t know about it, so there is no real reason to offer if he likes the sugar free just as much!

[Reply]

Jill Reply:

I totally agree. I feel like sugar is crack for kids, and adults. Once in awhile is fine(birthday parties, treats) but what they don’t know won’t hurt them!!

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Alej     at 3:58 pm

Oh that looks yummy and I love that it doesn’t have any refined sugar.
So I see you ilke coconut about as much as I do, so in case you don’t know it yet, have you ever tried coconut manna (coconut butter), it’s not oil, it’s butter (ground with the coconut meat). Out of this world!

[Reply]

Lee     at 4:47 pm

Looks delicious. I am such a sucker for banana breads. Love them!

[Reply]

Luv What You Do     at 5:53 pm

That looks delish!
I think there a lot of us trying to decrease our sugar intake, but I never want to give up my quick breads!

[Reply]

Lisa     at 6:15 pm

Thank you for making this bread! It looks outstanding. I am also doing the same thing @ our house. I just determined after the holidays that we were eating far too much sugar and we needed to cut way back. So, we’re taking a break. Like you, I love the sugar. And, I don’t overly sweeten things. But, it was getting to the point where I was making muffins or healthy cookies for the kids’ lunchboxes every day and they had some type of sugar in them. So, we’re making homemade larabars instead lately and enjoying some sugar-free time.

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Carrie     at 6:33 pm

This recipe looks great. I have had such a hard time finding sugar free baking that does not use artificial sweeteners instead. I also don’t give my little mister (he is a about a week younger than your guy!) any sugar other than fruit and I would love to be able to bake more for him so I can’t wait to try this! DO you think it would work using a flax “egg”?

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

I think a flax egg would work well!

[Reply]

Alex @ Raw Recovery     at 7:53 pm

I love the idea of this bread because I too am looking after my sugar consumption. I’ve been wanting to try that coconut spread too, so I guess this is a sign to get my inner baker in gear :)

[Reply]

Kristen     at 12:58 am

Yummmm! I’ve started acupuncture and he’s asked me to try cutting out or greatly reducing my intake of dairy and sugar- I didn’t realize how much of a sweet tooth I had until I was made aware of it- def need to get that under control (don’t talk to me about the dairy though- struggling to come to terms with a life temporarily without cheese). I will definitely be making this soon- thanks Emily!

[Reply]

Mariah     at 8:44 am

My boyfriend is diabetic and has a monster sweet tooth. We are trying really hard to find ways for him (and me!) to eat better. I am SOOOOOO excited to make this for him. Do you by chance know how many carbs/fiber it has?

If you have time to post more of your sugar-free recipes, I would LOVE to see them!!

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

I didn’t calculate, but a few other people posted their calculations in the comments!

[Reply]

Catherine     at 10:36 am

My boyfriend and i made this last night and we both loved it!! Thanks for sharing.

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

Thanks for letting me know!!

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Beth     at 12:41 pm

I made this today — it was delicious! I left out the fennel seeds and upped the cinnamon a bit. Great tasting and healthy with no sugar or oil. I froze half the loaf, and will plan to make again the next time I have too many ripe bananas to eat. For 1/8th of the recipe (which is a huge piece) – I got 140 calories, 1.6 g fat, 28.4 g carbs, 2.5 g fiber, and 4.8 g protein (but not sure how accurate that is).

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

Thanks for calculating!!

[Reply]

Emily @ www.main-eats.com     at 1:56 pm

YUM! That looks so good!!! Great idea and a nice change-up of bread!

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Ninu     at 4:01 pm

We just made this and it was amazing! We omitted the fennel and swapped the white flour for brown rice flour and it turned out perfect! Very moist and flavourful, thanks so much!

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

Glad to hear it – thanks for coming back to let me know!

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Andrea     at 7:16 pm

The best way to do it! Yay for you for cutting out sugar. That was my resolution for 2012, and it made a HUGE difference. I didn’t completely cut it out, but WHOAAA Nellie did I ever decrease it. I had a raging sweet tooth too! Now if it rages, I have learned how more properly to do deal with it. I definitely am more sensitive to sugar now and I more aware of my body cues when I have ingested too much (however little it may have been) It also made me more aware of how much sugar is in EVERYTHING!!! If anything it has encouraged me to tweak recipes more. Can’t wait to try the recipe. I have a couple of bananas going ripe as we speak… (if the hubby doesn’t eat them first)

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afarmerinthedell.com     at 7:22 pm

your photos are looking great Emily! This bread sounds amazing!

[Reply]

Lauren     at 12:05 pm

I am going sugar free this month too! I was so excited to see this post. I will have to wait a few weeks till I try it though as I am not doing wheat or dairy either for the moment. Love the blog!

[Reply]

Emily @ Life on Food     at 12:28 pm

I am impressed by your sugarfree month. I take a day or two off but always go back. This is inspiration. I will be trying the bread soon.

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Susan     at 12:53 pm

Thank you for posting the recipes. I’m in the process of overhauling my dietary habits and this recipes is perfect. I’m enjoying a piece as I type this still warm from the oven. Yummy for the tummy. Thank you again.

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

Mmmmmm wish I still had some left! :)

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Jacquelynn     at 3:51 pm

I’m going to try this tonight or tomorrow morning… just bought the fennel seeds at the store :) I loved the ginger pear bread, I made that for my mom and it was a hit!

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

So glad you got the fennel seeds – they are a MUST! :)

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Lauren     at 4:06 pm

This was so good! I didn’t have fennel seeds so I just left out, used 1/2 cup of regular flour and 1 cup white whole wheat (from TJs). Didn’t have orange juice (and wanted to eat the orange that I used the zest from and not juice it haha) so I just added 1/4 cup maple syrup. So, I guess a few substitutions (and not sugar free anymore) but so delicious! I was thinking this would probably be so good with craisins as well, and I love chocolate and orange together so I bet some chocolate chips would be yummy too and some raw sugar sprinkled on top–hahah so basically making it not quite healthy but it would be a great dessert with a fraction of the sugar most breads and cakes have. Thanks for another amazing recipe, Emily!

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

So glad to hear this! You have to promise to make it again with the fennel seeds SO much great anise flavor!

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Grace     at 4:18 pm

I made this banana orange bread today – it was FABULOUS!! I decided to make 3 mini loafs….I gave one to my uncle, who is diabetic and my boys & I have been eating it….so needless to say, all we have left is less than half a loaf! I’ll be making this again – very, very soon!!
Thanks for the fantastic recipe! Your never disappoint. :)

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

So glad to hear it! Thanks ! :)

[Reply]

Andrea     at 5:08 pm

Yay for the recipe I had some ripe bananas and we have an orange tree for the orange juice. The bread was great so excited to make it again! :) thank you. Now do you know the calories per slice? Or how many slices per loaf?

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

I didn’t calculate it, but a few other people did and I think it came out to around 1100 calories for the whole loaf. So less than 100 each if you do 12 slices!

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Isabella     at 7:37 pm

Thank you for this inspiration. I was able to make this with a few tweaks and it turned out beautiful. I disregarded the fennel and zest (I would have added it but forgot!). Also, I went against your sugar free philosophy because I need to use some caramel syrup I made. I can’t wait to try it sugar free! Thank you again!!!

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

The fennel and zest are the best part! You have to promise you will make it again. :)

[Reply]

Angela @ Happy Fit Mama     at 7:44 am

I love this! I always cut back on the sugar of all my fruit breads. It doesn’t need it! The fruit is the star and I want it to shine through rather than sugar. Great recipe!

[Reply]

Sugar and Diet     at 10:20 am

This sounds like a great recipe that I’d like to try. Now I have another use for the fennel seeds I love to work with. I’ve been going added sugar free for over a year. Recently, I tried putting back some sugar. It didn’t work for me. However, I think this recipe will. Thanks.

[Reply]

Anne V     at 10:26 am

Hello from a French reader!
Sugar-free banana bread: baked, tasted and approved this weekend :) It was yummy, AND it doesn’t go dry too fast (it’s been 2 days already, and it’s still as soft and tasty as when it came out of the oven).
So, thanks a bunch.
Oh, and thanks for this blog as well actually; I’ve never posted any comments before, and I don’t know if there are many of us Frenchies out there reading this blog, but I’ve found it a pleasurable read from so many points of view!
So keep it going! :)

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

Bonjour! (Nerd alert). Thanks for saying hi! :) Glad to hear you liked the bread!

[Reply]

pam     at 11:59 am

I get that this probably has less sugar overall than using granulated sugar, but store bought juice is essentially just sugar. If you don’t want to feed your family so much sugar, shouldn’t you also cut out the juice?

[Reply]

laura Reply:

i gather that its freshly squeezed orange juice which eliminates processed sugar so you only get the natural sugars :)

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

Exactly. Thanks, Laura!

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

I juiced the orange that I zested, so it’s all just natural fruit juice!

[Reply]

pam Reply:

It’s not really made clear in the ingredients that you used fresh squeezed OJ. I see it in the description. I just think someone less informed will think that juice isn’t just as bad as sugar. I really enjoy your blog, Emily, but snarky comments like laura’s make me never want to return to your blog. I asked you a question about juice, perhaps to open up a wider discussion about sugar consumption. I’m sure one of your readers will say “if you don’t like it don’t come back here!”

[Reply]

Beth     at 1:19 pm

Thanks for this! I needed to take something to my neighbors for a favor they did for me, and this fit the bill. They are both diabetic so I wanted something low sugar. I didn’t have fennel seeds so I just left them out, and I used flax “eggs” instead of chicken eggs. I will make it for myself soon!

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

I hope they liked it!

[Reply]

Alexis @ Hummusapien     at 6:18 pm

I so appreciate you making a sugar-free bread! I love your oatmeal banana bread but I too am trying to cut down on sugar. I made muffins recently using straight-up black bananas and I was pleasantly surprised that were sweet enough without added sugar!

[Reply]

laura     at 7:35 pm

I was very excited to try this recipe and so I made it tonight…..I omitted the fennel seeds and ginger because I didn’t have any on hand. I added 1/2 tsp of nutmeg….I just really wasn’t impressed. It had no taste and was very bland. I was very disappointed. I guess I will just be putting sugars into my banana bread from now on

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

Hey Laura! Sorry you were disappointed. To be fair, you left out the fennel and ginger which are two of the main flavors of the bread. I’m not surprised it turned out bland! The fennel is the best part! Sorry again. I have a number of other (sugary) banana bread recipes you might like if you’re looking for something sweeter.

[Reply]

Jill Reply:

What??? This was the best banana bread I have ever made!!!!

[Reply]

Samantha     at 5:48 pm

This may officially be my new favorite banana bread.

[Reply]

Jill     at 2:38 pm

Made this today–the whole family loved it. Thank you so much!!!!!

[Reply]

The Bread Garden « Cupertino Chronicles     at 3:18 pm

[...] Sugar Free Banana Bread—–> YES PLEASE! [...]

Kate     at 12:08 pm

Just made this and it is amazing. I know you called it savory, but it is the perfect sweetness to have with a cup of milk or tea. Absolutely delicious and my 18 month old daughter loved it too. Thanks!

[Reply]

Heather O.     at 9:12 am

I made this over the weekend (so easy!) and my husband and I are loving it! Thank you so much for sharing. I just had a slice for breakfast with a cup of cinnamon tea. Perfection!

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

Glad to hear it! :)

[Reply]

Georgia     at 1:56 pm

Hi Emily, just wanted to thank you for this AMAZING recipe! I made it over the weekend and it was an absolute hit! I love how there’s a touch of sweetness with the bananas and OJ, but it’s not overbearing. The fennel is also delicious in there. I’ve been topping mine with fresh ricotta – yum! Thank you!! :)

[Reply]

Christine     at 3:10 pm

I bumped into this recipe yesterday and was intrigued. I also happened to have 3 over-ripe bananas. I did not skimp on the zest, used 1 cup all purpose flour and 1/2 cup emmer flour and added 1/2 cup walnuts. I like sweet things but I don’t like them very sweet, so this was a REVELATION.

[Reply]

Melissa     at 3:52 pm

I would like to make this for someone who is trying to avoid sugar, but doesn’t like orange juice. What would you suggest using? Apple juice? Apple sauce? Some other flavored juice?

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

Apple juice would be good!

[Reply]

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