Alternatives to something sweet
Lent is often a time when people consider the habits they have and which ones they feel would be good to give up! Often, sweets and chocolates are top of the list or things to give up. So are there any alternatives in terms of sweet things to enjoy?
One of the key dangers of sweets and chocolate is the large proportion of sugar in these foods. I have talked in the past about carbohydrates, all of which contain sugars. The sugar you get in many standard chocolates is highly processed. All its fibre and nutrients have been removed. As a result, this means is that when the sugar enters your digestive system, it takes a very short time before that sugar then enters your blood stream.
Sugar in your blood stream is a dangerous thing, being linked closely to heart disease, and so the body produces insulin to remove the sugar from the blood. Where does this sugar go? It gets converted into fat and gets stored around the belly, typically. Too much sugar can result in weight gain.
So when my clients want to eat something sweet, I encourage them to keep their sugar to a minimum and to mix their sugar in with a range of other ingredients. Below, I have used the natural sweetness of ripe bananas and cinnamon to sweeten this bread, and I’ve also put the goodness of whole wheat flour and a couple of eggs – easy!
Healthy Banana Bread Recipe
- 225g whole wheat flour
- 2 eggs – beaten
- 3 small ripe bananas (black!) – mashed with a fork
- 2 level teaspoons of baking powder
- 20 mls of honey, maple or agave syrup
- 2 tbsp natural yogurt
- Grated rind of 1 orange
- Grated rind of 1 lemon
- 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
- 70g of chopped walnuts (or your favourite nuts) – I like to toast them lightly first
Pre heat the oven to 180 oc
Line a loaf tin (3 * 7 inches) with greaseproof paper.
Combine the honey (or syrup), yogurt , mashed bananas and eggs in a mixing bowl.
Sift in the flour, cinnamon and baking powder.
Whisk well with an eclectic mixer until fully combined.
Add the orange and lemon rind and the walnuts and mix well.
If the mixture is very liquid at this stage, add a handful more flour.
Transfer the mixture to the loaf tin.
Place in oven for 50 minutes.
Remove from oven, cool for 10 mins in the tin and then remove.
Allow to cool before slicing.
This is great for a quick breakfast or a snack on the run.