Gooey & Delicious Banana Blondies (Reduced Fat & 139 Calories)



CONGRATS TO MY HUBBY!

  
Today was a big day for my hubby because it was his last day at his company.  I knew he would be a bit sad leaving after 4 years, but I believe he is moving on to a better opportunity.  Since I knew today would be bittersweet for him, I baked him Banana Blondies, I guess you can say I simply couldn't wait to try out this recipe.  :-)  Well, at the end I guess it is the thought that counts, right?  


OMG, so let's talk about the S.N.O.W!  

Yesterday we got slammed with at least 14 inches of snow in the Tri-State.  Thank God I didn't have to shovel, but I feel so bad for those who did.  

I managed to get some gorgeous shots with NYC in the backdrop... so pretty.

So for my Banana Blondies, I went straight to the source, none other than Smitten KitchenDeb of Smitten Kitchen is a cook who makes a lot of comfort foods from her tiny kitchen in Manhattan.  Living in an apartment myself I can attest to the challenges of cooking in a relatively small kitchen with a lack of storage space and a passion for food.  At the end I guess it's a choice we have to make, do you pay for location or do you pay for lots of space? 

Well, enough digressing!  CONGRATS VS on your HUGE accomplishment and here is to the next chapter in your life.  Also, when I land my next gig, you better return the favor and bake me something just as good.  :-)  SCRUMPTIOUS!


TELL ME: If you have a small kitchen, how do you handle the challenges?


NUTRITION: Bananas are a very good source of Vitamin B6.  They are also a good source of Vitamin C and Fiber.  Pecans contain natural antioxidants and are heart-healthy nuts known to lower cholesterol.  Whole Wheat Flour adds fiber and protein to this cake.


MODIFICATIONS I MADE:
  • Instead of using 8 tbsp (1 stick) of butter, I reduced the amount to 5 tbsp.  I believe I can further reduce the amount to 4 tbsp - next time.
  • Instead of All Purpose White Flour, I used 1/2 white and 1/2 whole wheat flour.  This adds some fiber and protein.
  • I went ahead and added 2 bananas resulting in 2/3 cup of mashed bananas.  This also helped replace some of the missing butter.
  • I also added 1/2 cup of chopped pecans.  You can certainly use walnuts instead.  

APPROXIMATE NUTRITION PER SERVING (yields 16 bars)
  • Calories: 139 cals
  • Fat: 6.4 g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.5 g
  • Carbs: 30 g
  • Protein: 1.7 g
  • Fiber: 1.1 g

BANANA BLONDIES (REDUCED FAT) (inspired by Smitten Kitchen)
~ yields 16 bars @ 350 degrees using a 8" x 8" baking tray
~ fat reduced by 24%; saturated fat reduced by 34%; calories reduced by 11%.  I based these values by comparing Smitten Kitchen's recipe with the additions of banana and pecans to my reduced fat version with banana and pecans.  

INGREDIENTS:
  • Unsalted Butter - 5 tbsp (melted); reduce to 4 tbsp next time.
  • Brown Sugar - 1 cup
  • Egg - 1 
  • Vanilla Extract - 1 tsp
  • Bananas - 2 medium = 2/3 cup (mashed)
  • Salt - 1/8 tsp
  • All Purpose White Flour - 1/2 cup
  • Whole Wheat Flour - 1/2 cup
  • Pecans - 1/2 cup (roughly chopped); you can use walnuts instead.

DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.


2. Grease your baking tray with butter or cooking spray.


3. In a small pot, melt the butter over a stove top on medium heat.


4. Once melted...


5. Add brown sugar to a mixing bowl.  


6. Pour the melted butter.


7. Blend until well combined.


8. Add egg and vanilla extract.  Blend until well combined and smooth. 


9. Add mashed bananas, about 2/3 cup.  Blend until well combined.


10. Add salt, white, and whole wheat flours.  Combine, but DO NOT OVERMIX.


11. Roughly chop pecans.  Dust with 2 tsp of flour.  This will prevent the pecans from sinking to the bottom.


12. Add pecans to the batter.  


13. Combine, but DO NOT OVERMIX.


14. Pour batter into the greased tray.  


15. Bake for 20-25 minutes.  I baked mine for 25 minutes.  


16. This is what you should have.  Cut into 16 bars.


17. DELICIOUS!


OVERALL RATING: 5 / 5
I really loved these Banana Blondies.  At tea time today, I ended up eating 3 in one sitting - I'm so BAD!  It's a good thing I worked out today.  :-)  The banana flavor is a little dominant in this recipe, but these are Banana Blondies after all.  You can skip the bananas and perhaps increase the butter amount to 6 tbsp and end up with regular Blondies.  You can also opt to add walnuts instead of pecans.  Either way, these are gonna turn out wonderful. 

I loved that these blondies are so gooey, dense, and slightly chewy.  The key to obtaining this texture is skipping the baking powder and baking soda.  The batter tasted like butterscotch fudge to me - so damn good!  Despite them being a little fattening, there was no grease left behind on my finger.  I honestly think I can reduce the fat by 1 more tablespoon and bring the butter amount down to 4 tbsp.  If you try that, let me know how it works out.

Lastly, I would have loved more than anything to add butterscotch chips to these blondies over bananas, however I am unable to find a brand that makes butterscotch chips without hydrogenated oils.  Does anyone know of a brand besides Nestle?      

ONE MORE UPDATE: I have been invited by Lisa of Sweet As Sugar Cookies to be part of her Linky Party called, "Sweets for a Saturday."  Sounds exciting, this is my first linky party invite!  :-)


TELL ME: If you have a small kitchen, how do you handle the challenges?

38 comments:

  1. I've actually been looking for a banana blondie recipe. I'm so glad I found yours. They look dense, chewy, and delicious, everything I want. I have a linky party on my blog right now called "Sweets for a Saturday" and I'd like to invite you to stop by and link this recipe up.

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  2. A really nice blog I must say :) I will definitely try this banana blondie recipe , it looks yumm! Even i'm blogging my recipes which mainly focuses on Indian food but there are various other recipes that might interest you ! www.kitchensojourn.blogspot.com !! I would love to follow your blog too , will do that rt away :)

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  3. Those look fabulous! Great blog; happy I found you!

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  4. Bananas in a Blondie? You just made my day. These are definitely going to get made soon.

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  5. Hey there!

    I stumbled upon your blog from Tastespotting and (gotta say) I was rev'ed up to bake a batch of these then realized that I have no bananas (how depressing is that?). I'm putting it in top ten bookmarks though for the next grocery trip ^__^

    As for small kitchens, I have a galley so it pretty much fits just me with few spaces in between. Thankfully, the oven opens fully! Can you imagine losing cookies because they slide off of the sheet? The major challenge for me is reaching things because much of my storage is vertical (I'm short so its a compounded problem). For that, I have a heavy duty step stool. Using that and baking at the same time is quite tricky though! Not sure that answers your 'Tell Me' but hopefully it comes close!

    Best wishes in the kitchen!

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  6. Hi there! =)
    It's so nice to see such healthy recipes!! I'm definitely gonna bookmark your site!!
    Thank you sooo much for sharing~

    Coraine @ Life is like a Long Journey

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  7. These were really good and the texture was just right! :)

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  8. Wow!! I love the pictures of all the snow! The weather people here are calling for up to 10 inches of snow or up to 1 inch of ice depending on where the storm moves...either way I am not looking forward to it! OH well, I might have to head to the store before the storm and pick up the ingredients for these blondies...they look super yummy! :)

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  9. Thank You everyone for the comments! This isn't a so called "healthy" recipe as someone mentioned, but it definitely is much lower in fat/calories compared to other blondies WITHOUT sacrificing taste or texture! :-)

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  10. yumm my husband and i love blondies last time when i tried to add bananas to the recipe i had been using they turned out delish but cakey and we prefer them dense. so i fully intend to try this lowfat version, although if yu brown the butter they dance on your tastebuds

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  11. Bookmarked for sure! I'm an American living in The Netherlands and let me tell you..they are the capitol of small kitchens! When we moved into our new place,my inlaws bought us a fridge. I was really excited until I saw it..I kept saying over and over..you bought us a beer fridge? and laughed because I thought it was a joke..little did I know thats what people use here! I finally bought a much larger fridge..however I only have two tiny countertops! I can not roll anything large out. I have to roll it out onto the kitchen table. There are times where you can hear me screaming in the kitchen because I have no room..lol you take tons of things for granted when having an American kitchen!

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  12. this recipe sounds so good:) thanks for sharing this. i have to say that i love your hand mixer.. its such a pretty color. are you staying in NJ?

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  13. Thanks for linking this up at Sweets for a Saturday. I hope you'll be able to join in again.

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  14. Thanks Everyone!
    @Lisa - thanks for the invite - I will submit more! :-)

    @Sonya - Although I have never been to the Netherlands, I can probably sympathize since I only have 2 counter tops for cooking. Yes, most Americans do take things for granted...aka - large American kitchens. :-) We are lucky and blessed to be living here.

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  15. @blackbookkitchendiaries - Yes I do live in NJ, minutes from Manhattan. Thanks for the compliment - the hand mixer is a gorgeous tiffany blue color from the Martha Stewart KitchenAid collection.

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  16. I used 4 Tbsp of butter and they were amazing! I also changed the 1/2 cup nuts for 1/2 cup toasted coconut and added a few white chocolate chips since they were in my pantry. Amazing!

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  17. @Anonymous - thanks for the comment. I'd love to try these with coconut and white chocolate chips, I'm sure they were delicious! Thanks for the tip and I'm so glad it worked out with 4 tbsp of butter.

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  18. These look great! I plan on making them right away! :) Just a question though, how long can they keep in an airtight container? I would like to know how many days ahead I can make this. Thank you

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  19. @Anonymous.. honestly, these taste amazing when fresh. At the most, I would make this just 1 day ahead of time, like the night before maybe. Hope that helps.

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  20. This is my first time at your blog, and I am in love with it! I tried the Banana Blondies and they turned out beautifully! As far as cooking in a small kitchen, well I've done it most of my life. The key for me is to clean as you go. I have a cycle in which I will mix, bake, wash dishes, remove baked item from the oven, etc. Also utilize EVERY flat surface including the microwave, stove top, and sink by investing in a hard surface (large cutting board/spare cabinet door etc).

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  21. @Anonymous - that means a lot to me, thank you! Glad the blondies came out good. Yes, I clean as I go... mix, bake, wash, remove baked item. Yup! :-)

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  22. Those look fabulous! Great blog; happy I found you!

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  23. I've followed the recipe exactly but they still look completely raw aside from the edges. I don't know where I went wrong... any suggestions?

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  24. @Anonymous - my only guesses are :
    - oven - some ovens require more time than others.
    Did you check before removing the blondies from the oven? Do they taste raw?

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  25. Hmmm, I tried using only 4 Tbsp of butter (since I had a stick that was half gone) and they came out ok, but I think I might try adding that extra TBSP back in next time. Oh, I also used pistachios instead of Pecans/Walnuts because that's what I had on hand. Made for an interesting flavor profile. :-)

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  26. what if you replaced the butter completely with sour cream or yogurt and used solely the apple sauce or mashed banana's. Super moist and rich blondies! I am testing a batch myself and adding caramalized apples to the mix instead of nuts.

    Cheers and happy baking.

    S

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  27. @Anonymous S - You could try replacing the sour cream with butter, but I don't think it will have the same flavor since butter is BUTTER. Go ahead and try it and see how it turns out, I'd love to know. :)

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  28. I tried these with 5 tbsp butter, and although they tasted nice, I wouldn't call them blondies- the texture is more like a flat banana bread. I think there's too much banana and too little butter- instead of that chewy, dense, almost cookie-like blondie crumb its more cakey. I'd give them 3/5.

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  29. @Anonymous - I'm sorry these blondies didn't turn out the way you wanted. They are probably a little cake-like since I cut down on the butter, but not sure if I'd call it a banana bread. It definitely won't have the blondie crumb since it incorporates a fruit and it's slightly healthier. Take a banana cookie for example, I would imagine it to be soft and chewy, but not crumbly or crispy.
    Sorry these were disappointing.

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  30. I made these with 4 Tbsp. of butter and they turned out fantastic! They were so deliciously chewy and full of banana flavor. My co-workers went crazy for them. I'm going to have to make them again and remember to take pics so I can post them on Sweet as Sugar Cookies.

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    Replies
    1. Lisa - I'm so glad that worked out for you and your co-workers approved. Thanks for your feedback, really appreciate it.

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  31. I had over ripe bananas and dislike making banana bread. I also have an overabundance of rhubarb and a hubby and daughter that love most anything made with rhubarb. Worked well with only 4 Tbsp margarine. I used 100% whole wheat flour. I par-cooked (microwave 1-2 min) about 2 cups of chopped rhubarb, cooled and folded into the batter with the pecans. The daughter noted that the pecans added a nice texture to the blondies. Needed to bake a little longer with the moisture from the rhubarb. SOOO glad I found this. May have to double the batch to take along to family gatherings.

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    1. Anonymous - Thank you so much. Actually your version sounds so much better than mine. When you say rhubarb, I'm assuming you are talking about some kind of berry, right?

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  32. Honey, I got this definition from:

    http://www.almanac.com/plant/rhubarb

    "Rhubarb is a perennial vegetable, though it is generally used as a fruit in desserts and jams. You only eat the stalks, which have a rich tart flavor. The leaves of this plant are poisonous, so be sure that they are not ingested. Rhubarb is easy to grow, but needs cool weather to thrive."

    OK, now me again It is definitely not a berry but the stalk of the plant. Here in the midwest most farms had the plant which grows for years. Once it's established I've never know anyone to have to replant, but it can be transplanted if you dig up a good portion of the root.

    Most of the time it's used in pie and some old timers (my hubby) call it the "pie plant" A lot of the time people mix it with other fruits to offset the tartness - think strawberry especially. There are many recipes online - OK, maybe more than you wanted to know.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous - Awww... thanks for letting me know. I greatly appreciate it. Always better to know more then less. :)

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    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks anonymous. I will check up on IE once I get back home. Really appreciate it.

      Delete

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