One of the hardest parts about giving up dessert for lent is figuring out alternative ways to satisfy my sweet tooth. Oh, that sweet tooth still rears it’s ugly head QUITE OFTEN. Peanut butter, just spoonfuls right from the jar and bananas with yogurt drizzled on top seem to be some things that really satisfy my sweet tooth. I had 2 bananas that were brown and speckled. You know, the perfect bananas for banana bread. I have made a few versions of banana bread; with nuts, granola, chunks of banana, and chocolate chips. But never with peanut butter. BAM, done and done.

I found inspiration for this bread from Visions of Sugar Plum. But I wanted to lower the sugar content so it wasn’t like a dessert, but more like a muffin (and not the sweet ‘mini cake’ muffins, but the hearty ‘good for you’ muffins). So that is exactly what I did. I lowered the sugar, added whole wheat flour, and eliminated the oil and replaced it with applesauce. Next time I will add some oats as well.

The verdict: the bread has subtle banana and peanut butter flavors. Neither flavor overpowers the other. Because they don’t have extra oil (there’s plenty of fat in the peanut butter), some might think they are slightly dry. But I don’t think they are dry, they just aren’t leaking with oil that sticks to your lips after each bite.

As you can see, I cut the bread into slices and spread even more peanut butter and added sliced bananas on top. Wow, that was good!!!! This would be super yummy bread for french toast too.

Makes 12 muffins, 1 loaf or 3 mini loaves
3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 medium banana, mashed
1 medium banana, diced
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup applesauce, unsweetened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
1/2 cup milk (I used 1%)
1/2 cup chopped peanuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with liners.

In a medium mixing bowl, sift together flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In a large mixing bowl, using a mixer on medium speed, beat together banana, peanut butter, brown sugar and applesauce until creamy – about 1-2 minutes; beat in vanilla and egg until combined. Reduce mixer speed to low and gradually beat in flour mixture, alternating with milk. Fold in the chopped peanuts and diced banana.

Fill the baking pan of your choice (muffin tins, loaf an, mini loaf pan) with the batter.

Muffins: 20-22 minutes
Mini Loaf: 30 minutes
Loaf: 40-45 minutes

Cool 5 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool.