My Secret Recipe Club assignment this month was The Ginger Snap Girl, and after scouring her blog to pick a recipe to make, I’m a little smitten. Gloria and I have so much in common! We’re both in our thirties, married about the same amount of time, no children except the animal variety, we both have day jobs, and we both LOVE to bake! It was so hard not to leave comments on the many gorgeous recipes she has shared, but I was afraid I would spoil the surprise of who had her blog this month, so I kept mum.
There were so many recipes of hers that I wanted to make. Pretty much every single one, in fact. I mean, hello, the large majority are baked goods so of course I wanted to make them all! I was reminded of my mother’s love for Boston Cream Pie when I saw Gloria’s recipe, though hers is a million times prettier than anything my mother ever purchased. Then there was the glorious eggplant parmesan, a recipe that I’ve always wanted to try. I thought about making her ginger snaps since she’s the “gingersnap girl,” but I decided against it because I don’t like ginger snaps (the only thing I’ve found that we don’t have in common-forgive me, Gloria!). I still might make them for my Dad, though, who almost always had a bag of them stowed away when we were growing up.
The recipe I chose actually ended up choosing me. I had a bunch of screaming bananas (you know, the kind that are so black they start screaming at you to use them) on the same day that I wanted to bake something sugar-free for the visiting diabetic preacher during our church’s gospel meeting. I had bookmarked Gloria’s banana bread because, as many of you know, I’m on the hunt for a recipe that will beat my baking nemesis’ banana bread at the state fair next year. I decided I’d try turning it sugar-free for Connie. (Yes, the preacher’s a man and his name is Connie. And his wife? Bobby. No joke!)
So of course I had to try it, because I’m not going to hand over a loaf of bread that tastes vile or might make our guest preacher violently ill. I figured he’d forgive me for whacking off a hunk of his loaf for the sake of his health. (My Grandpa always said, “I’m saving your life,” when he found our stash of candy and ate the whole thing. So I guess I got this habit from him! haha) I have had really good results using Truvia, an all-natural sugarless sweetener, in baking and again, I’m quite pleased with the results. The loaf rose well, had a good texture, was perfectly sweet, but turned out just a tad dry, most likely because of the sweetener substitution. I imagine the brown sugar lends moisture to the loaf that the Truvia didn’t.
While Connie loved the slightly dry bread, I decided to try making another loaf, this time upping the sour cream to 1/2 cup and using the NuNaturals MoreFiber Stevia Baking Blend that I recently got in a giveaway from My Kitchen Adventures. This banana bread was the definite winner. So unbelievably moist and soft and absolutely NO weird taste/aftertaste. It was just like sugar-sweetened banana bread, but with a the softest texture in a bread I’ve ever experienced. I think the baking blend was responsible for the texture since it says that it will help the texture of your baked goods, and I have to say I’m very, very pleased with this product. Truvia works very well, but the NuNaturals baking blend works even better (so far).
Thanks, Ginger Snap Girl, for giving me a wonderful recipe to share with brother Connie. Next, I will be trying the recipe as written. If it’s this good without real sugar, just think how amazing it will be with brown sugar. I feel a blue ribbon coming on. :)
Sugar Free Banana Bread
2 cups flour
½ cup Truvia or NuNaturals More Fiber Stevia Baking Blend
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 large bananas, mashed (a heaping cup)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
½ cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
7 drops NuNaturals Vanilla Stevia (optional)
½ cup chopped nuts
2 tablespoons cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter the bottom only of a large loaf pan; set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk flour, sweetener, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. In a separate bowl, whisk the remaining ingredients, save the add-ins, until fully combined. Stir in the dry ingredients with a spoon or spatula until just combined. Batter will be thick. Spread into prepared pan and bake for 50 – 60 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
For banana-nut bread, stir in nuts when the batter is barely stirred together, then continue stirring until just combined. Bake as directed.
For cinnamon-swirl bread, spread half the mixed batter into prepared pan, then sprinkle liberally with cinnamon, avoiding the edges. Spread remaining batter on top, then use a folding motion to swirl the batter. I did this by facing the pan horizontally in front of me, taking my fork and plunking it down on the far left side from me, then pulling it toward me and upward in a circular motion, then repeating it 2-3 more times, moving down the pan to the right. Smooth the batter on top and bake as directed.
Recipe source: adapted from The Ginger Snap Girl
Be sure to check out the other member’s recipes! Click on Mr. Linky below to view all of them.