Best banana bread

This banana bread recipe is the perfect marriage of a traditional banana loaf and a nutrient-filled healthy version. A little less naughty than those refined sugar, white flour, or oil-laden versions but still retaining the classic banana loaf flavour and more importantly, texture, which I find a lot of healthier versions lose. Add chocolate chips if it feels too virtuous!

I really wanted to strip the refined sugar out of this recipe and add in some other elements to boost it’s superfood benefits. This recipe has a smaller amount of butter in than most and if you use a good quality, organic butter then this is an amazing source of “good” fat for sustaining energy, you could use the same amount of coconut oil to make it dairy-free. The flour I used here is sprouted, whole, spelt flour (sprouted flours are easier to digest and more nutrient dense than regular flours - try Rude Health’s range), though you could just as easily use plain white flour, wholemeal flour or even buckwheat flour to make it gluten free.

I have added various extras to boost it’s nutritional qualities (the maca, chia, sunflower, pumpkin & flax seeds). All of which can be left out without affecting the bake. I add maca powder to my recipes as it is an amazing natural energy booster,  really nutrient rich and also really good for your immune system and creating general balance within the body (particularly hormonal balance). It is an ancient Peruvian superfood, a root of the radish family that you can buy in powder form from health shops. It’s best uncooked to retain the full amount of nutrients and has a mild, malty almost caramel flavour.

Makes 1 banana loaf

Ingredients:
3 medium bananas, mashed (plus an extra half for the top)
4tbsp coconut nectar/ honey/maple syrup (plus an extra tsp to drizzle at the end)
2 eggs
80g butter, melted
225g of sprouted flour
1tsp baking powder
Pinch of sea salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 heaped tsp maca powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp ground flaxseeds
2 tbsp sunflower seeds (plus extra to sprinkle on top)
2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
1 tbsp chia seeds

Heat the oven to 180C and line the bottom of the loaf tin with baking paper.

In a large bowl, mix the mashed bananas with the coconut nectar/maple syrup/honey, the eggs, melted butter, sea salt, cinnamon, vanilla, flax & the seeds until thoroughly combined. Add the flour & baking powder and fold through until just combined - try not to over mix.

Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and top with slices of banana and a sprinkling of seeds. Bake in the oven for 45-50 minutes or until firm and a skewer comes out just clean - it will be a little dense and squidgy in the middle still. As soon as you remove it from the oven, brush the top with maple syrup/honey/coconut nectar and sprinkle with the maca. Serve warm with nut butter and a cup of tea.

 

Georgina Davies