This weekend I was unfortunate enough to be burdened with some wisdom tooth pain. I had to abandon most of my commitments, including work and study, but trying out new recipes was possible; I was in dire need of coming out of an enforced liquid diet. I experimented with Natasha Corrett’s turmeric omelette with some leftover vegetables in the fridge – I absolutely hate food waste (who doesn’t?!) and this weekend has also allowed me to peruse some very ripe bananas I have accumulated from the last week or so.
I have recently discovered that my local green grocer’s store their black bananas in a crate (at a reduced price) for customers looking to make loaves and ice cream! If you’re using bananas on the reg like myself, you’ll know how hard it is to find that you need/want some for the next day, only to find green ones everywhere. It is a nuisance, especially if you get the urge to make a banana loaf in the evening. So I thank my green grocer for sparing a thought for spontaneous bananaphiles like myself.
The loaf in question is amazing in many different ways – no butter or sugar and prevents food waste. Advantages all-round! It is more like a fruit cake in texture rather than bread. Surprisingly, however, it is not as dense and allows you to have seconds… or thirds.
The fructose in bananas is exploited here, allowing you to consume all-natural sugars, without the need for sweeteners – artificial or natural! I love that it is sugar-free: you’re able to use bananas for their sweetness AND flavour in this recipe, with the former seemingly underrated at the best of times.
Chocolate banana loaf
Loosely-based on salsfitkitchen’s recipe.
1 cup flour of choice – I would usually use spelt for its nutty flavour (as did Sal in her recipe) but plain flour was the only one available to me.
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
4 very ripe, medium bananas
1/4 cup milk of choice – unsweetened almond milk, dairy milk, other nut milk or oat milk.
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cardamom
2 large eggs
3 tbsp coconut oil
1. Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees C. Grease and line a loaf tin.
2. Melt the coconut oil. I used a microwave, placing the coconut oil on a large, microwave-safe bowl and heating it to 1 min at max. heat.
3. Mash the bananas with the coconut oil and whisk the eggs and the milk.
4. Put all the dry ingredients into one bowl and sieve it onto the banana mixture. Mix whilst adding the dry ingredients, ensuring the batter is smooth and lump-free.
5. Bake the loaf in the oven for 45-50 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean upon insertion. The banana bread may seem ‘under baked’ but this is just the nature of the loaf due to the volume of mashed bananas – the middle part will cool nicely into a rather soft consistency similar to a fruit cake… but less dense!
Best served warm with a spread of your favourite nut butter or Nutella. Ice cream or yoghurt also goes well!
I love experimenting with flavours and tweaking recipes. At first, I use tried and tested flavour combinations and then venture onto more adventurous palates later on in the process; some are successful, others are not. It is all part of the learning curve and one of the factors I enjoy cooking and baking!