How to Sweeten Food With Bananas Instead of Sugar
Craving sweet food is natural, but consuming lots of added sugar isn’t. Too much added sugar in your diet can lead to poor digestion and moodiness as well as negatively impact your overall health — and you may not even be aware of how much added sugar you consume due to all the names sugar hides under in packaged foods.
Cutting out added sugars can have such a positive effect on your wellness that we introduced Sugar Free 3, a three-week program created by Michele Promaulayko to help you rid your diet of excess sugar painlessly. The program allows for foods that are naturally sweet, and you may be surprised by how simple it is to substitute fruit for sugar in baking and other desserts. When it comes to naturally sweet foods, one could be considered the best of the bunch: the humble banana.
Ripe bananas contain over 14 grams of sugar, making them one of the sweetest fruits we eat, but they also come packed with fiber, which helps regulate blood sugar. Plus, thanks to their creamy texture, and how well they hold up to freezing and baking, bananas are an incredibly versatile and inexpensive way to sweeten food without refined sugar. Below are some easy ways to substitute bananas for sugar in desserts.
Thanks to their rich and creamy texture, bananas are an excellent base for a frozen treat.
- Chocolate banana protein ice cream isn’t just a delicious dessert — it’s filling, too.
- “Nice Cream” is a one-ingredient treat that anyone can make.
- The PB addition in chocolate peanut butter protein ice cream adds comforting peanut butter flavor to the chocolate protein ice cream recipe above.
Breads and Muffins
Though traditionally used as a fat replacer, bananas are sweet enough to swap out for sugar in quick breads and muffins.
- Chocolate chip banana bread employs both vanilla and cinnamon for well-rounded flavor.
- These banana muffins are technically oatmeal — but you’d never know.
Puddings and Shakes
Blended bananas work their magic way beyond smoothies!
- Chocolate banana pudding has protein-rich Greek yogurt and can help you recover from workouts, too.
- Peanut butter shakes are meant for breakfast , but are tasty enough to do double-duty as dessert.
- Spiced chocolate almond shake will give your day the kick it needs.
… And Beyond
If you have a dessert idea, chances are bananas fit well with it. You can make a sauce for bread pudding by mixing mashed banana with coconut milk, a topping for pancakes by mashing a banana with a smidge of maple syrup, or sweeten your overnight oats with thinly sliced layers of them. Whichever way you cut — or mash— them, bananas are a healthy substitute for sugar.