A consistent crowd-pleaser, banana nut bread is popular among home cooks and a common bakery item. The calories found in banana nut bread can vary greatly with the type and amount of each ingredient used as well as the size of the slice. A typical loaf of homemade banana nut bread can range from 2500 to 3700 calories. Measuring by 12 fairly small slices per loaf, the calories in one slice of banana nut bread range from 210-300.
Calorie counts are a mystery when it comes to homemade recipes or foods that aren't required to label nutrition information, such as items from small bakeries or certain restaurant items. While there is no single recipe for banana nut bread, those who count calories or manage their body weight need a reasonable estimate of calories for every food they eat.
The basic recipe for banana nut bread is flour, sugar, bananas, eggs, a fat (oil, butter or margarine), nuts and a leavening agent such as baking soda or baking powder. The oil, butter or margarine accounts for most of the calories in banana nut bread, about one-third of total calories. Nuts, even though they are relatively calorie dense, only contribute 10 percent of total calories. The most common nuts found in banana nut bread are walnuts and pecans. These two nuts have similar calorie content.
While homemade banana bread is a great way to salvage over-brown bananas, you can also purchase pre-made banana nut bread in bakeries or coffee shops, or even find boxed mixes at the supermarket. You will find more highly processed ingredients such as hydrogenated fats and preservatives in many store-bought banana nut breads. But the calories will most likely be comparable to the same-sized slice of homemade bread.
You can modify recipes for banana nut bread to reduce calories. Use applesauce in place of some of the oil or butter to reduce calories to less than 200 per slice. It is worthwhile to train your palate to enjoy less sweetness in foods like banana nut bread. Using one half to two thirds of the original amount of sugar is another simple way to reduce total calories. Whole wheat flour can be substituted for part of the white, all-purpose flour. This results in slightly fewer calories but also adds fiber and other nutrient lost during the processing of white flour.
When it comes to sweet treats, banana nut bread wins points for nutrient density. Unlike some other foods made from flour and sugar, such as cakes and cookies, banana nut bread offers nutrient dense nuts and bananas. Along with the calories, banana nut bread provides a range of vitamins and minerals.