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Diabetic-Friendly Banana Bread Recipes

 Help! I understand that you're not "brilliant" at emergency questions, but my new husband's best friend is coming for dinner tonight. I promised to make his favorite, Banana Bread. However, I have just found out that his friend is diabetic. I have Sweet 10 sweetener and Equal Spoonful sweetener on hand. I need a good recipe that uses one of these sweeteners. I don't have dates or yogurt for the recipes I've found so far. I am an excellent baker and don't want to "tarnish my reputation" with a sub-standard bread. Please help in a hurry if you can!

 Well, we do just happen to be sitting around the computers. And you asked so nicely (except for the not brilliant comment...). So for the sake of young love and your precious reputation, we've done some scouring, although no actual baking.

We understand your desire not to waste time by going to the store, but this is not a case where you're making a minor substitution — you're looking for a different recipe with an entirely different approach to something that is already a favorite dish. The first question is, how are your bananas? The riper they are, the sweeter they are, and some of the recipes we've turned up rely solely on the bananas for sweetness. This would be a good time to have overripe, black bananas on hand.

The second issue is the sweeteners you have. Of the core ingredient in the three major types of artificial sweeteners on the market — aspartame, saccharin, and acesulfame K — the two you have are the least highly-regarded for baking projects. Aspartame, found in various Equal and NutraSweet products, loses much of its sweetening ability when heated. Saccharin (found in Sweet-10 Sprinkle Sweet, Sweet 'N Low, and Sugar Twin) can produce a bitter aftertaste. Acesulfame K, found in Sweet One, appears to be the sugar substitute of choice for baking recipes among writers of diabetic-oriented cookbooks.

There are a variety of other issues related to your question that we are not qualified to answer — issues of total carbohydrate intake versus sugar content, dietary exchanges, whether your world-famous banana bread could be integrated into an otherwise low-carbohydrate meal, etc. The best we can do is point you toward the following recipes and let you choose.

  • Banana Bread, relies solely on the bananas for sweetness.
  • Banana Bread II, stretches natural sweeteners with spices and flavorings.
  • Banana Nut Bread, a little closer to a traditional recipe, offers the option of using sugar or a substitute.

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