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I have a favorite banana bread recipe by Paula Deen that I make frequently. It’s super moist, very banana-y and a home run every time. I was reluctant to mess with this recipe because it’s perfection as it is. However, I wanted to make it just a bit healthier so I didn’t feel quite so guilty indulging in it so often.

I made a few minor changes by reducing the amount of sugar, replacing one egg with unsweetened applesauce and swapping ½ cup of regular flour with whole-wheat flour.

The changes were minor, and the results were … practically identical! I couldn’t taste a difference in my new version. The key was making small changes.


I know it’s tempting to use all whole-wheat flour, but don’t. It will affect the texture of your baked goods as well as the flavor. But substituting a little bit didn’t change the taste or texture at all! Same went with the applesauce and reduction in sugar—the changes were just enough to make the recipe a bit healthier without compromising flavor or texture.


  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
    3/4 cup sugar
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 egg
  • ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1-cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    3 ripe bananas, mashed


1. Preheat the oven to 350.

2. Grease a 9×5 loaf pan.

3. In a mixing bowl, combine the butter and sugar; mix well. Add the salt, egg, applesauce, vanilla, flour, baking soda, baking powder and bananas. Mix well. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 50 minutes.