A beautiful romance between sweet bananas, chunky dates and earthy cinnamon.
Yes ... I gave in and also jumped onto the banana - bread making bandwagon. However, I always try to make health-ier versions to ensure it is still packed with nutritional goodness!
This version has a subtly sweetness coming from the natural sugars found in ripe bananas and chopped dates. I am a lover of cinnamon so I used a fair amount in the recipe, but feel free to play around with the amounts to suit your preference. Although it is a vegan friendly recipe (doesn't include eggs and uses a plant based milk), it still rises perfectly and the texture is that of a classic banana bread: somewhat gooey yet fluffy!
Recipe adapted from Rhi-Nutrition.
Makes: 1 loaf (12 slices)
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 50 - 55 minutes
4 ripe medium bananas (3 for the batter, 1 for the topping)
1/4 cup (60 ml) extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla essence
1 Tbsp (15 ml) lemon juice
3/4 cup (180 ml) milk of choice
1/2 cup (90 g) chopped dates (2/3 for the batter, the remainder 1/3 as toppings)
1 cup (250 g) flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 Tbsp (30 ml) ground cinnamon, divided
2 Tbsp (30 ml) sugar
Preheat oven to 180°C. Line a loaf tin with parchment paper or use spray & cook.
Mash 3 of the bananas with a fork in a large bowl. Add in the rest of the wet ingredients i.e. oil, vanilla essence, lemon juice and milk of choice. Leave to stand for 5 minutes. Add in 2/3 of the chopped dates.
Sift in the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon to the banana mixture and mix until just combined. Note: The batter will be quite thick. Do not over mix.
In a small bowl mix together 2 Tbsp sugar and 1 Tbsp of cinnamon.
Pour half of the batter into the tin, sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture over the top and swirl the cinnamon sugar mixture around. Then top with the rest of the batter.
Optional: Slice a banana in half lengthways and press onto the top of the batter. Add the remainder of the chopped dates.
Bake for 50 - 55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the tin before removing and leave to cool further before you slice. The wait is difficult (...I know...) but it is important as the bread can crumble because it is quite delicate.
Serve fresh with some home - made berry jam (find recipe here) or nut butter and banana slices.
Freezer Storage Tip: Cut the loaf into slices, and store separately using wax paper before freezing in an airtight container. This makes it easier to grab a slice once frozen. Pop into a toaster to defrost and make it extra crunchy!
A healthy banana bread recipe ... but with a sweetened plot twist!
Bananas: A fruit that provides ...
Quick - release carbohydrates: Good source of energy for the body.
Packed with potassium (K+): Important electrolyte for nerve function, muscle contractions, nutrient transportation, heart beat regulation and so much more.
Source of fiber (around 3g per medium banana): Assists with regular bowel movement and is a great source of prebiotic fibers that help to feed your good gut bacteria. Yay for optimizing your gut health!
Dietary source of micronutrients: Manganese, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin C.
Incorporate banana bread as a healthy snack: A slice of banana bread is equivalent to roughly 2 carbohydrate servings, so enjoy with 2 tsp of nut butter or a small handful of mixed nuts/seeds (and a dollop of plain yoghurt) for a balanced snack, or enjoy on its own as a great energy rich pre - workout snack!