Tis the season for pumpkin and cranberry recipes, but what do you do when you’re stuck with bananas? The Kid asks for bananas every time I go to the store, and half the time I find them turning a lovely shade of dark brown. I’ve used plenty of them recently in double chocolate banana bread, high protein banana bread, and fat free banana bread.
Instead of sticking with the same banana bread theme, I decided to take advantage of both pumpkin and cranberries and make a pumpkin cranberry bread. Bananas make a great substitute for part of the fat in a recipe so you can get away with using a lot less oil and not end up with a dry, crusty loaf. This bread came out so tender and moist, you won’t believe that it’s the closest thing to fat free.
Low Calorie Pumpkin Cranberry Bread
- 1 small very ripe banana (60g)
- 3/4 cup (180g) canned pumpkin
- 1/4 cup (48g) granulated sugar
- 1 Tbsp (14g) unsulphured molasses
- 1 Tbsp (14g) vegetable oil
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups (180g) white wheat flour
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1 cup (110g) fresh cranberries
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray an 8×4 inch loaf pan with non-stick spray. Mash the ripe banana in a large bowl with a fork until relatively smooth. A few lumps are OK so don’t worry about pureeing it. Add the pumpkin, sugar, molasses, oil, and vanilla. Mix with a fork or spoon until blended.
Measure and add the flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Add to the wet ingredients and stir to combine slightly. Add about 1/2 cup of the almond milk and stir until blended. The batter should be spreadable but slightly thick like brownie batter (not thin like cake batter).
The thickness of batter will vary depending on the ripeness of your banana. If necessary, add the remaining 1/4 cup of almond milk and stir until blended. Fold in the fresh cranberries. Spread batter into prepared loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 55 to 60 minutes. Remove from oven and cool before cutting.
Makes eight 1 inch slices at approximately 137 calories each – 3g protein, 29g carbs, and 1g fat.
- Don’t stress over the size of your banana and amount of pumpkin. You want 1 cup or 240g total of the pumpkin-banana combination. I would just mash your banana and add enough pumpkin to make up the rest.
- The fresh cranberries add a great tartness to the bread so it’s not sickeningly sweet like some banana breads can be. If you prefer a sweeter bread, you can use craisins in place of the cranberries or add additional sugar (up to 1/2 cup total) to the batter before baking.
- I don’t keep brown sugar on hand since it always turns into a sugar brick before I use it all. I learned a trick years ago to sub white sugar and molasses in place of brown sugar. You can use 1/4 cup of brown sugar in this recipe if you like in place of the sugar-molasses combo.
The kitchen filled with an amazing fall smell while it was baking. Experiment with spices and add nutmeg, ginger, or mace along with the cinnamon. Mix in pecans, walnuts or mini chips to add more fun. You can also bake these as muffins if you prefer. Make sure to adjust the baking time and check the muffins after about 20 minutes or so.
The slices are great spread with butter while they’re warm or toasted slightly as leftovers. So many bread combinations and so little time. Leave me a comment below and let me know what combination you tried.