Monday, January 16, 2012

Zero Fat Banana Muffins - an Experiment

     When replacing fats in fat-free baking, it is often recommended to use applesauce or fruit purees. I've successfully tried to replace eggs before with mashed bananas in banana bread before, but I've never tried to completely eliminate the oil or butter. I've read somewhere that green papaya is high in pectin, and since pectin the sought-after component in applesauce and other fruit-based fat substitutes, I decided to give green papaya a try. I juiced half a green papaya and decided to make banana muffins.

     I followed this banana bread recipe and replaced the same amount of oil with green papaya juice, and 1/2 cup mashed bananas for every egg. I used ripe plantains and pureed it using a food processor. I discovered that it's more moist when I puree the bananas instead of just mashing it. This recipe can make 12 muffins.

  1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  1 cup brown sugar
  1 tsp baking soda
  1 tsp salt
  2 cups banana puree/mashed bananas
  1/2 cup green papaya juice
  1 tsp vanilla essence

Cooking procedure:
  1. Sift and combine all dry ingredients. Mix thoroughly and evenly.
  2. Combine all wet ingredient and mix together evenly.
  3. Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix well until a batter is formed.
  4. Lightly grease the paper cups and pour the batter up to 3/4 of each cup.
  5. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 10 - 15 mins.
  6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

     I was so happy that the muffins rose more than I expected it would. The first thing I noticed was there were less of those little fibers or stringy things that I see in my other banana breads. The color was also lighter. My theory is that since green papaya contains a lot of enzymes and is an effective meat tenderizer, I believe that the enzymes broke down those fibers. Just a theory. :)

     I was more than happy with the result. It come out soft and moist, like it was just like any regular muffin/cupcake. You cannot even tell that it's vegan. You can taste the green papaya behind the banana flavor but it's not overpowering. Overall this experiment came out a success and I'm looking forward to using green papaya in other recipes. I'm happy to boast that this is an absolutely all natural fat free recipe. Cheers! :)



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