What’s better than homemade banana bread!? Banana bread with cheesecake swirled in, duh. Not only are these Banana Bread Cheesecake Bars fab, they’re an easy recipe to use when you want to get rid of those overripe bananas.
Banana bread is a recipe I have tried to perfect for years. My Mom and Grandma made it effortlessly, but for some reason, I could never get it right. Not to mention, baking with wheat (hence, why I concocted this healthy recipe) is terrible for my PCOS and causes my hormones to run amuck.
But why does wheat sometimes cause PCOS to flare-up? The connection between PCOS and gluten is ongoing but to-date, there’s no concrete evidence-based research showing a connection between PCOS and gluten.
What we DO know if that women with PCOS have higher markets of inflammation (CRP being one of those markers) and it is suggested that the daily consumption of wheat products and other related cereal grains may contribute to chronic inflammation and autoimmune diseases (1)
If you want to try a gluten-free lifestyle, go for it. But it is always recommended that you get tested for celiac disease before you start a gluten-free diet.
INGREDIENTS FOR BANANA BREAD CHEESECAKE BARS
Bananas – Banana’s are the worlds most popular fruit. A medium size banana has roughly 105 calories and consists almost exclusively of water and carbs. Bananas hold very little protein and almost no fat. They are however packed with nutrition! You will get 33% of your Vitamin B6 RDI, 8% of your magnesium RDI, and 11% of your RDI in Vitamin C.
Egg – Make sure your eggs are true room temperature to ensure they seamlessly incorporate into the cream cheese and sour cream mixture!
Butter – Butter gets a bad wrap and I’m asked all the time… “what exactly is butter and why do people think it’s so bad?” Butter is a dairy product made by churning milk, a process separating the solid fats from the liquid, known as buttermilk. I like butter because it is calorie dense, contains a lot of Vitamin A, and Vitamin E, B12, and K. Butter also is an excellent source of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) — a type of fat found in meat and dairy products. CLA has been linked to impressive health benefits. (2)
Vanilla extract – As always, I suggest splurging on a high quality pure vanilla extract. You won’t regret it. For a review of the 3 I like (and are reasonably priced) refer back to my Vanilla Custard Cake recipe.
Almond flour – The vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in almond flour can provide important health benefits. For example, manganese helps the body properly clot blood, allowing it to heal after injuries. Manganese also helps the body break down carbohydrates and cholesterol. Almond flour is also rich in magnesium, which can help you better control your blood sugar levels.
Flax meal – aka, ground of flaxseeds, is knows to help improve digestive issues or relieve constipation, lower cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or “bad”) cholesterol levels which in turn, reduces the risk of heart disease, and helps reduce inflammation.
Cinnamon – Cinnamon is thought to have many medicinal and soothing properties, and is used frequently in Chinese herbal medicine. The distinctive smell and flavour of cinnamon comes from the essential oils contained in the bark, called cinnamaldehyde. Cinnamon also contains large amounts of polyphenol antioxidants which helps to calm inflammation.
Baking Powder – Baking powder is made up of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate), cream of tartar (potassium bitartrate), and cornstarch. Baking powder works by releasing carbon dioxide gas into a batter or dough through an acid-base reaction, causing bubbles in the wet mixture to expand and thus leavening the mixture. It also makes for a great homemade toothpaste!
Cream cheese – I truly believe cheesecake is one of the rare cases where the off-brand option really does make a difference. Philly cream cheese always produces a foolproof creamy, clump free cheesecake! Make sure you get the full fat kind.
Sour cream – We find that a mixture of sour cream and cream cheese makes for the creamiest, dreamiest, perfectly rich cheesecake. Make sure your sour cream is also at room temperature so it beats right into the cream cheese without any problems.
Heavy Cream – Heavy whipping cream contains necessary fat-soluble vitamins like Vitamin A, D, E, and K. Full-fat dairy products such as heavy whipping cream contain more of these vitamins than low-fat or nonfat dairy. This is why I always preach about full-fat dairy products over low or fat free. Fat-soluble vitamins are better absorbed by the body when they are consumed with fat.
Swerve Sweetener – Swerve is zero-calorie, non-glycemic and measures cup-for-cup like sugar. It’s sweet, safe and natural. It also works great with cold recipes because it dissolves very well.
Here are a few tips if you’re considering a Gluten-Free diet:
Before trying a gluten-free diet, consult a Registered Dietitian for help creating a gluten-free meal plan that meets your unique needs.
Enjoy naturally gluten-free foods that are packed with nutrients and fiber, such as fruits, vegetables, beans, rice, amaranth, buckwheat, millet, and quinoa.
Mark gluten-free foods in your pantry with bright labels or keep them on a separate shelf.
Dedicate an area of your kitchen counter as the “gluten-free zone.” Then let it be known!
Avoid using cookware and utensils made of scratched or porous materials that can hold onto gluten, such as silicone or plastic spatulas, and wooden cutting boards, spoons, and bowls. If you choose to use such items, keep them as your exclusive gluten-free set. A dedicated gluten-free cutting board is essential.
HOW TO MAKE BANANA BREAD CHEESECAKE BARS
Preheat the oven to 350 F and grease a 8″ pan with non stick spray.
In a large bowl, mash the banana with a fork then add in the melted butter, egg, egg yolk, and vanilla. Stir until well combined.
Gradually combine the dry ingredients with the wet, stirring after each addition, until they are well incorporated.
Transfer batter to your prepared pan, and bake 10-15 minutes, taking it out when it is still slightly underdone
For the cheesecake:
Preheat oven to 400°F. Place a large pan filled with 1/2 inch of water in the oven.
In a large bowl, combine the cream cheese and erythritol using an electric hand mixer, until smooth and creamy. Add in the vanilla, sour cream, and heavy cream and mix until well combined.
Add the egg, and mix 1 min or until combined.
Pour this mixture into the prepared banana bread crust
Carefully place cheesecake into preheated water bath in oven. Bake for 10 minutes, then turn the oven down to 350°F and bake for 25 minutes or until top is browned.
Remove from oven and allow to sit at room temp for 1 hour, then chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours before serving.
Banana Bread Cheesecake Bars
- 3 Overripe Bananas
- 1 Egg
- 1 Egg Yolk
- 4 tbsp Melted Butter
- ½ tsp Vanilla Extract
- ⅓ cup Almond Flour
- 2 tbsp Flax Meal
- Pinch of Salt
- ½ tsp Cinnamon
- ½ tsp Baking Powder
- 16 oz Cream Cheese Room Temp
- ¼ cup Swerve Sweetener
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- ¼ cup Sour Cream Room Temp
- ¼ cup Heavy Cream Room Temp
- 1 Egg
- Preheat the oven to 350 F and grease a 8″ pan with non stick spray.
- In a large bowl, mash the banana with a fork then add in the melted butter, egg, egg yolk, and vanilla. Stir until well combined.
- Gradually combine the dry ingredients with the wet, stirring after each addition, until they are well incorporated.
- Transfer batter to your prepared pan, and bake 10-15 minutes, taking it out when it is still slightly underdone
For the Cheesecake
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Place a large pan filled with 1/2 inch of water in the oven.
- In a large bowl, combine the cream cheese and erythritol using an electric hand mixer, until smooth and creamy. Add in the vanilla, sour cream, and heavy cream and mix until well combined.
- Add the egg, and mix 1 min or until combined.
- Pour this mixture into the prepared banana bread crust
- Carefully place cheesecake into preheated water bath in oven. Bake for 10 minutes, then turn the oven down to 350°F and bake for 25 minutes or until top is browned.
- Remove from oven and allow to sit at room temp for 1 hour, then chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours before serving.
De punder K, Pruimboom L. The dietary intake of wheat and other cereal grains and their role in inflammation. Nutrients. 2013;5(3):771-87. doi:10.3390/nu5030771
2. Ki Won Lee 1 , Hyong Joo Lee, Hong Yon Cho, Young Jun Kim. Role of the conjugated linoleic acid in the prevention of cancer. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2005;45(2):135-44. doi: 10.1080/10408690490911800.