Substitutions in cooking are made for many reasons, including health concerns, allergies and personal preference. Sometimes you might run out of an ingredient listed in a recipe and need to find a substitute. Most recipes aren't set in stone and come out just fine with small alterations. When replacing some of the mashed bananas in banana bread, consider the sweetness, moisture and texture of the replacement. Several ingredients will work just fine when you substitute the same amount of the replacement for banana puree in your banana bread recipe.
Adding other fruit purees in place of some of the banana puree in a quick bread recipe can increase the fiber content. Prunes, for example, contain more fiber, vitamin A, iron, boron and calcium than bananas. Prunes add a dark color, so you bread won't be as light as regular banana bread. Since prunes are much sweeter than bananas, consider reducing the sugar slightly in your recipe, depending how sweet you like your baked goods. Adding pureed white beans or garbanzo beans in place of banana puree will also increase the fiber in your recipes, but add a tablespoon or two of honey per 100 grams of bean puree, since beans are not as sweet as bananas.
If you are looking to increase the protein content in your banana bread, substitute Greek yogurt for some of the banana puree. Non-fat Greek yogurt has a whopping 15 to 20 grams of protein per six ounces, while banana puree has less than three grams per six ounces. Greek yogurt is almost the same consistency as banana puree too. The main difference is that the puree is much sweeter than yogurt, so add a tablespoon or so of sugar or the equivalent alternative sweetener to each 100 grams of yogurt.
One of the easiest substitutions to use in place of banana puree when making banana bread is applesauce. Applesauce and banana puree are similar in terms of sweetness and consistency. You can replace banana puree with applesauce without having to worry about adding or cutting out ingredients such as sugar or fat. The banana flavor won't be quite as strong when using some applesauce, but you won't have any strong flavors from the applesauce affecting your banana bread.
When using other substitutions in place of banana puree, the main issues are how much sugar and fat the replacement ingredient add. Pumpkin puree is a good replacement for banana. It has a mild flavor, but it's not nearly as sweet as a fruit puree. You will have to adjust the sweetness by adding sugar or a sugar alternative to your recipe. Mashed avocados are another option, but these are high in fat and will increase the calorie content of your banana bread.
- National Center for Biotechnology Information: Chemical Composition and Potential Health Effects of Prunes: A Functional Food?
- Mayo Clinic: Dietary Fiber: Essential For a Healthy Diet
- U.S. News: Greek Yogurt Vs. Regular Yogurt: Which Is More Healthful?
- Fruit Sweet and Sugar Free; Janice Feuer
- Deceptively Delicious: Simple Secrets to Get Your Kids Eating Good Food; Jessica Seinfeld
- Jupiterimages/Stockbyte/Getty Images