I’m so happy to say I’ve been getting some wonderful feedback from people who have read my book Eat Well Live Well with The Sensitive Foodie. As well as gaining some useful insight from the first half (which covers loads of information about health, food and plant-based eating), they’re loving the recipes.
It seems that my simple banana bread recipe is a particular favourite. I’m not surprised as it’s really easy and super yummy. It’s also the one that gets raved about whenever I make it for an event or shared lunch.
I fell in love with banana bread whilst living in India. The bananas there are small and unbelievably sweet. And due to the hot weather, they also ripen very quickly. We always seemed to be have bananas on the cusp of being over-ripe, so I got into the habit of making banana bread for the family very regularly. I made it so much it caused Sophia, my cleaning lady (the house needed a lot of cleaning – so much dust!), to comment – one that got a little lost in translation!
“Madam, you like banana bread too much”. I immediately took this as a criticism that I was eating too much cake. Having spent years on a diet feeling fat and overweight but having penchant for cake, I was more than a bit oversensitive!. After trouncing off in a huff, it was only later on reflection I realised she meant I must really like banana bread as I made it so often! Poor woman, I’m sure she wondered for a long time what she had said to offend ‘madam’.
My penchant for banana bread has never gone away, and I make it whenever we have ripe bananas, but not ‘too’ much I hope!
Bananas in plant-based cakes plays multiple roles.
- The first is flavour; if you love bananas, this is definitely the cake for you!
- Next is sweetness. As bananas ripen, the starch breaks down into sugars, hence their sweetness. This means the cake has more natural sugar that’s still bound up in the fibre and takes a little longer to be broken down and absorbed into the blood stream. This extra sweetness means it doesn’t need too much added sugar.
- The final role is as an egg replacement. Mashed banana helps to bind the other ingredients together, replacing the role of egg in traditional baking (I talk about this more in the baking section of my book).
This banana bread loaf works well with all sorts of flour – whole-grain, spelt, gluten-free. It also freezes well. In fact, freezing intensifies the sweetness, which is great if you enjoy super-sweet bakes. It also seems to keep it moist, particular useful for gluten-free versions that can become dry very quickly.
My daughter and I have an on-going debate about nuts in cakes. She’s not a fan, but I am; I particularly like chopped walnuts in banana bread. But if that’s not your thing, or if you’re nut-free, then no worries, just leave them out. The cake is still delicious!
If you like the look of this recipe, then you’ll love the others found in my book Eat Well Live Well with The Sensitive Foodie. You can check it out here on Amazon. And if you like this plain banana bread, then you’ll love the marbled banana and chocolate bread recipe that will be coming out soon (spoilers – it’s soooooo yummy!). Happy baking!
Banana bread loaf
- 250 grams flour - wholewhwat, gluten-free, spelt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- pinch salt
- 60 grams coconut sugar
- 3 medium ripe bananas mashed
- 75 ml olive oil
- 3 tablespoons dairy-free milk soya or oat is best
- 50 grams chopped walnuts optional
- Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC. LIne a 2lb loaf tin with non-stick baking paper.
- Mix the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt together in a bowl.
- In another bowl, mix the mashed banana, coconut sugar, olive oil and dairy-free milk together.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix together quickly. Add the walnuts and mix again but be careful not to over mix and knock out all the air bubbles. Transfer the mix to the prepared baking tin, gently level it out to reach all the corners and tap the tin on the worktop.
- Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until it's well risen and a skewer comes out clean. Remove from the oven. Carefully lift the cake out of the tin, remove the baking paper and leave to cool.
- Keeps in an air-tight container for up to 5 days (if you're lucky and no-one else eats it!) or can be frozen for up to 3 months. Defrost well before serving.