By Nutritionist and Health Editor Melissa Fine.
If you’re trying to kick that banana bread with your coffee habit, the good news is there are some healthy, delicious alternatives on the market. Here’s what you’ll find in them:
1) Real fruit: A good-for-you banana bread relies on nothing but fruit to provide sweetness; Alongside banana, dates – nature’s caramel, sultanas and creamy coconut are nice additions, reducing the need for adding refined sugars. And fruit is so much more than just sugar; It’s a wholefood – A package that comes with fibre and nutrients like potassium from bananas, and iron and calcium from dried fruit.
2) Wholesome flours –Yes that banana bread in the café cabinet looks golden-brown and wholesome, but it’s really no different to a piece of cake, made from refined, high GI white flour…Which explains why you’re starving 20 minutes after eating a generous slice of the stuff.
If you’d like a healthier version of banana bread but don’t have time to make it yourself, why not treat yourself to a Banana Leda bar? (You’ll find these at some health food stores or in the supermarket’s health food aisle). I was so impressed the first time I tried one of these; It tastes close to café-style banana bread, but is far more satisfying, being slower to digest thanks to the fibre and protein-rich besan (chickpea) flour used.
3) A high fibre content: Banana bread based on ingredients like besan flour, dried fruit and nuts will have a far superior fibre content to one that’s made with refined flour and sugar. Just one 85 g Banana Leda Bar comes with 6.4 g of filling, good-for-your-gut fibre, versus only 1.7 g of fibre in the equivalent amount in your typical banana bread.
4) Some protein – To help stabilise your blood sugar; Think ingredients like chopped, vitamin-E packed almonds or omega-3 rich walnuts for extra flavour, crunch and staying power.
5) One that’s a sensible portion size: It’s hard to find a banana bread that’s not huge and energy dense – After all, if you’re just having it for a snack, you don’t really need a kilojoule count that’s worth a main meal. A slice of café-style banana bread is often the size of your face, and even if you intend to only eat half, because it’s so sweet and moreish, it’s easy to eat it all before you’ve realised.
That’s why I like Banana Leda Bars – A much more sensible size than your typical banana bread, half a Leda Bar is perfect for a snack, and a whole bar is great for breakkie on-the-go; I like mine heated up with a side of natural yoghurt and almond butter to keep me going until lunch…Tastes like a treat!
LEDA NUTRITION : BANANA LEDA BAR generous tasty baked slice with chunky pieces of real fruit. Great for a snack on the run. The Leda bar was originally designed for cyclists and triathletes. It is also good to keep one handy as a meal replacement. Website | Instagram