Friday, September 12, 2008

Adventures in baking without sugar...

A few weeks ago I bought two books with recipes for desserts (and other sweet things) that use no sugar, honey, or artificial sweeteners. Cook with Me Sugar Free tries to mimic the normal sweetness by using fruits (both juices and dried fruits, especially dates). Sweet and Sugar Free incorporates fruits, too, but the recipes tend to be less sweet. I've been dying to try some of this stuff out, and I had some ripe bananas that I needed to use, so I decided to make some banana coconut bars.

Here's the recipe (as I made it):

1/6 cup unsweetened applesauce and 1/6 cup oil (originally called for 1/3 cup oil)
1 cup mashed banana
2 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/4 tsp lemon juice
1 3/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour (originally called for unbleached white flour)
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
2/3 cup flaked unsweetened coconut (originally called for 1 cup)

2 Tbl flaked coconut (originally called for 1/2 cup)

Beat together oil and banana until creamy. Add eggs, milk, and lemon juice; beat well. Measure in flour, baking soda, and baking powder and beat. Stir in 2/3 cup coconut. Spoon batter into oiled 9x13" baking pan and sprinkle with 2 Tbl. coconut. Bake at 350 for 15-20 min or until browned. Cool and cut into bars. Serves 8 to 10.

Because I used pastry flour, it turned out more like a cake than bars, but it's incredibly moist and light. It's barely sweet, but I've adjusted to that, and that's all I want. If I make it again, I would probably add some cinnamon, but otherwise it's definitely a good recipe.

And, I had some leftover banana that I froze, which made for a great dessert last night :)

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