Healthier Banana Bread!

 

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Ever have one of those weeks where nothing goes to plan?

One of those weeks where everything just gets thrown all to Hell and you actually start to long for your boring everyday routine?

Yup, me too.

I must say though, not everything this week has been bad. I got sent a ridiculous amount of bananas thanks to an either highly generous or downright blind staff member in this week’s supermarket home delivery. Extra bananas only ever means one thing: Banana Bread.

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I did toy with the idea of making a ton of banana pancakes, chocolate banana muffins or even banana ice cream with the spottier fellows of the bunch, however my mind (and my mother’s ever home-baked-treat-driven mind (sorry mum)) just couldn’t stray away from good ol’ banana bread.

The sweet, fluffy solace of a thick slice of this bread is exactly what you need after a hectic week, day, or even if you had a bloody brilliant day and just want to eat something sweet and delicious!

The addition of nuts or dried fruit makes this bread even more wonderful and unlike some of the dried up old loaves you might have had in your time, this one is wonderfully moist and doesn’t need spread of any kind to make it a gorgeous snack or breakfast. My boyfriend tried it with Nutella thickly slathered on top and even then he said he actually didn’t need it and preferred it on its own. That’s a first, trust me.

The best part? It’s unbelievably easy to make. If you can mash a banana, you can bake this banana bread. Also, it’s a little more on the health-conscious side for those who are interested, and that certainly doesn’t affect the flavour!

By health-conscious, I just mean that it uses a little less butter and sugar and some wholegrain flour to make it a little less like a regular banana cake!

This recipe makes enough for about 8-12 slices, depending on how greedy you are!

First of all, preheat your oven and grease/line a medium to large loaf tin.

Peel your bananas and mash them with a fork until they are almost liquid, set aside. I had 300g of mashed banana, but I’m sure a little touch more or less wouldn’t hurt!

In a large bowl, weigh all of your dry ingredients and set this aside too.

Beat the butter/margarine and sugar together in a separate bowl until well combined. Add in the egg, vanilla and the mashed banana and beat again until fully incorporated.

Sift your dry ingredients plus any extra nuts or dried fruit you like (I chose chopped dates because they add a gorgeous natural caramel bite into your banana bread, plus I had some spare…) into the wet ingredients and gently fold it all together until just combined. The mixture should be fairly thick.

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Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf tin, top with some chopped nuts or some oat flakes like I did and bake it until golden brown and a skewer inserted into the centre is clean when removed. If it still isn’t ready after an hour, cover the tin with some foil to stop the top of the bread from burning and give it a few more minutes in the oven.

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Once baked, allow your bread to cool for 5 minutes in the tin before removing it and cooling it completely on a wire rack, this discourages any sogginess from occurring. No one wants soggy bread.

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When the bread has cooled, you can top it with some icing, a syrup glaze or just do what my family did: take one humble slice each before finished two thirds of the loaf in the space of three hours…

Either way, enjoy the mashed, baked fruits of your labour and tuck in to your delicious banana bread!

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Brilliant Banana Bread!

Yield: 10-12 slices

Brilliant Banana Bread!

Spiced, moist and delicious banana bread made healthier with the addition of wholegrains and a little less butter and sugar!

Ingredients

  • 3 ripe bananas (medium to large are best)
  • 80g butter/margarine
  • 150g light brown sugar (you can use white but brown gives the best flavour!)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 250g white or wholemeal self-raising flour (I chose wholemeal because it has a lovely flavour)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 80g dried fruit such as chopped dates, raisins or sultanas (optional)
  • 80g chopped nuts (optional)

Instructions

  1. First of all, preheat your oven – 180 degrees for conventional ovens or 160 degrees for fan ovens – and grease/line a medium to large loaf tin (500g capacity or so).
  2. Unpeel your bananas and mash them with a fork until they are almost liquid, set aside. I had 300g of mashed banana.
  3. In a large bowl, weigh all of your dry ingredients and set this aside too.
  4. Beat the butter/margarine and sugar together in a separate bowl until well combined.
  5. Add in the eggs, vanilla and the mashed banana and beat again until fully incorporated.
  6. Sift your dry ingredients plus any extra nuts or dried fruit you like into the wet ingredients and gently fold it all together until just combined. The mixture should be fairly thick.
  7. Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf tin, top with some chopped nuts or some oat flakes like I did and bake it for 50-60 minutes until golden brown and a skewer inserted into the centre is clean when removed. If it still isn’t ready after an hour, cover the tin with some foil to stop the top of the bread from burning and give it a few more minutes in the oven.
  8. Once baked, allow your bread to cool for 5 minutes in the tin before removing it and cooling it completely on a wire rack, this discourages any sogginess from occurring.
  9. When the bread has cooled, you can top it with some icing, a syrup glaze or whatever you like!
  10. Enjoy!
http://maverickbaking.com/healthier-banana-bread/

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