Banana Cherry Scones

I don’t know what started it, but sometime during the week before Easter, I got a craving for a scone and it just wouldn’t go away! On Easter Sunday, I caved and bought one from a local bakery on my way to church, but knowing that it was full of refined sugars and flours and devoid of nutrition somehow ruined the whole experience. That and after weeks of eating almost no sugar, it tasted excessively sweet. I was left with a stomachache and a still-unsatisfied craving.

Yesterday I decided to do something about it. I found two different recipes for healthier scones and the baking began.

The first one I tried was a grain-free raspberry drop scone recipe from Dr. Oz. At first I wasn’t going to try it because of the called-for 1/3 cup of sugar substitute, but I read in the comments that someone had made it with mashed bananas and claimed they were delicious. Bananas. Almonds. Berries. Eggs. Sounded like the perfect high-protein, on-the-go breakfast to me. I didn’t have any raspberries on hand and I didn’t feel like running to the store (It’s one black away. Yes, I am that lazy.), so I used blueberries instead.

The batter was really runny which was my first clue that something wasn’t quite right. I probably should’ve added more almond flour or even some coconut flour to thicken it up, but I didn’t. They came out looking more like Thomas’s Toaster Cakes than scones. The texture was closer to the Toaster Cakes, too. Or a wide, thin, droopy muffin. As for taste, they really didn’t have much. I didn’t even bother taking pictures because they were just so…blah. You win some, you lose some, right?

The next recipe was definitely a win. I made Anja’s Banana Cherry Scones with a few modifications. I wanted to halve the recipe (3 scones was the perfect amount!) so I substituted a half a flax egg for the real egg.¹ I also substituted unrefined coconut oil for the olive oil and since I didn’t have any dried cherries I used raisins.

The result? A delicious, healthy (and pretty) scone that really didn’t taste healthy at all.

Half of the recipe made 3 scones, but you could easily make them slightly smaller and get 4 out of it. There are only two in the photo because they just looked so good that I couldn’t resist eating one straight out of the oven. That’s some tasty honey butter on the plate with them (1 stick of unsalted butter mixed with 1 teaspoon of raw honey).

And just in case anyone is curious, here’s how this whole grain, naturally sweetened scone compares to the Starbuck’s variety:

Anja’s Scone with Flax & Raisin² Anja’s Scone with Flax Egg & Fresh Blueberries² Starbuck’s Raspberry Scone (¾)³ Starbuck’s Blueberry Scone (¾)³
Per Serving Calories: 210Carbs: 42

Sugar: 12

Fat: 3

Fiber: 6

Protein: 4

Calories: 187Carbs: 36

Sugar: 7

Fat: 4

Fiber: 6

Protein: 4

Calories: 360Carbs: 44

Sugar: 13.5

Fat: 19

Fiber: 2

Protein: 6

Calories: 345Carbs: 13

Sugar: 17

Fat: 17

Fiber: 2

Protein: 5

I admit I was shocked that the sugar content was pretty much the same between the whole wheat raisin scone and the Starbuck’s raspberry scone, but then I remember that it’s not sugar alone that matters. It’s sugar in conjunction with fiber and in that category, Anja has Starbuck’s beat. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Fiber, particularly soluble fiber, can slow the absorption of sugar, which for people with diabetes can help improve blood sugar levels. A diet that includes insoluble fiber has been associated with a reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes.”

That means I can justify eating a pint of Ben & Jerry’s by chasing it with a can of black beans, right? That balances sugar with fiber? Sadly, no. But it does explain why eating a banana or a date (fruits which have a lot natural sugar) won’t cause your insulin levels (and your energy) to spike and crash like the Starbuck’s scone can.

There’ll be more on sugar in the days and weeks to come. Don’t worry, I’ll post them with disclaimers so if you prefer the “ignorance is bliss” approach to food (and I don’t blame you. There are many articles I wish I could unread!), you can just skip those posts.

But enough writing for now. The last lonely scone is calling my name.

_________________________
1. 1 egg = 1 T ground flax meal + 3 T warm water
2. Calculated using myfitnesspal.com
3. My scones came out to about 90g each whereas each Starbuck’s scone is about 120g. To account for the size difference, I reduced the numbers given on Starbuck’s website by 25%.

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15 April 2012. Recipes/Reviews.

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