Eating Dairy-Free Is A Piece Of Cake (Or Bread)

For the first two months of my daughter’s life, we had one miserable baby on our hands. She barely slept, and when she wasn’t nursing, she was gassy and screaming all the time. She was quickly diagnosed with reflux, but while the medicine seemed to ease some of her discomfort, she was still profoundly unhappy. On the recommendation of a lactation counselor, I totally cut dairy out of my life. Within two weeks, Eisley’s gassiness and pain were a thing of the past. She was a calmer, mellower, and most importantly, happier baby.

She’s four months old now, and I have maintained my rigorous dairy-free lifestyle, and will do so for as long as she continues to nurse. It’s a little hard. I miss cheese like a long-lost friend, and I get a little resentful whenever Blue Bell ice cream goes on sale. But my daughter’s happiness and health is more important to me than even the sharpest cheddar cheese.

Because I now scrutinize labels so closely to look for hidden dairy, I decided I might as well start counting calories. And as a result of my increased awareness (and my inability to sit down and devour a brick of Gouda in one sitting), I’ve lost 24 pounds since the beginning of December. Except for the dairy, I haven’t had to change my diet that much. I still cook all the same things I used to, but I swap out a few ingredients here and there to make them lighter and lactose-free. I’ll be sharing some of these recipes as I perfect them.

I’ve been keeping my sweet tooth satisfied with fruit, granola bars, Dulce de Leche Cheerios (yes, these are a thing, and they are stupid good) and the occasional nibble of soy “ice cream”. But this week, I found myself with a real hankering for a luscious baked good. I had some bananas quickly going overripe on my counter, so it was easy to decide on banana bread. I took a pretty basic quickbread recipe and swapped out the fat and some of the sugar for applesauce. I do love butter on banana bread, but since that’s not in the cards, I added some imitation butter extract to the mix. For a little twist on the boring old loaf, I decided to bake it in a bundt pan instead. This would also be great with some walnuts added in. I left them out to keep the recipe lighter. And also because I didn’t have any in the house, and I didn’t feel like putting a shirt on and going to the store.


Dairy-Free Banana Bundt Bread 

Dry Ingredients:

-                   3½ c. unbleached all-purpose flour

-                   3 tsp. baking powder

-                   1 tsp. baking soda           

-                   1 tsp. salt

-                   1 ½ c. sugar

-                   pinch of cinnamon

-                   pinch of nutmeg

     Wet Ingredients:

-                   ¾ c. applesauce

-                   ¾ c. egg substitute (I used Eggbeaters)

-                   ¾ c. almond milk

-                   1 tsp. vanilla extract

-                   2 tsp. imitation butter extract

-                   4 ripe mashed Dole bananas

Combine dry ingredients in bowl. In a separate bowl combine wet ingredients and mix on low speed. Slowly add dry ingredients until mixed well. Resulting batter should be thick but still wet. Spray a bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray and pour in batter. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

The bundt bread should yield 16 slices at 177 calories and 0.2 grams of fat per slice. Each slice will have 42.6 grams of carbs, 24.8 grams of sugar, and 3.2 grams of protein.

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