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Sunday, July 11, 2010

Whole Foods Banana Bread

It occurred to me recently, while I was perusing the shelves at Whole Foods, that up to this point, I had neglected to talk about the people who really started it all in terms of getting not only large quantities of gluten-free products on store shelves, but in concentrated areas that made for easier shopping. That company? Whole Foods themselves! Whole Foods have had, for years and years now, a freezer case in their stores dedicated to gluten-free food (mostly breakfast and dessert options). With the vast majority of the offerings coming from their own label! And by that I don't mean their usual "365" brand, but a "Whole Foods Gluten Free Bakehouse" label that produces everything from bread to scones, to muffins, to biscuits, to cupcakes... it's an impressive and extensive list.

But you didn't come to hear me gush about Whole Foods, you came to hear me talk about their gluten free banana bread. Well, here's the short version: it's pretty good! Their take on banana bread comes in a loaf approximately one foot long by four inches wide by four inches tall. That doesn't make for large slices, but that's okay. The density of each slice is high enough that there's going to be a fair amount of banana-related goodness on your plate. And not just banana-related goodness: pecan-related goodness, as well! Yes, the banana bread is infused with pecans, which have to be about the perfect nut to use for such things. The amount of pecans is just right, though most are sprinkled along the top of the loaf, where they can become easily dislodged during preparation. The rest are in the body of the bread, and are enough to find easily, but not too numerous to make the bread difficult to slice. You have to slice it, by the way, so you have full control over the thickness of your meal!

One negative I will point out: the bread tends ever-so-slightly towards the dry side. Then again, that's nothing a little margarine can't solve! (And then again, how many problems CAN'T a little margarine solve? Anyway.) It's not that big of a deal, but I thought I should try and bring a teensy bit of critique to this... critique. Oh, and there's the nutritional information, too. Parsing the info from the Whole Foods website is a bit difficult (they don't provide a nutrition label graphic), but I can tell you that a "serving" holds 220 calories (100 from fat), which is... okay. You'll also get 11g fat (4.5g saturated), and 28g carbs; that last number seems low to me. Rounding out the important stats, we have 55mg cholesterol and 170mg sodium. This is all from a serving size of "About 2oz/57g." I have no idea how much banana bread that is, but they seem to think that each loaf will run you nine servings. Your mileage, of course, may vary.

The bottom line is, if you're a fan of banana bread (and aren't allergic to pecans), head on over to Whole Foods. You'll be glad you did!

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