It’s spring, but it feels like summer! For some reason the weather seems to have gone from freezing cold to pretty summery in a single week. It makes me want to go on holiday rather than to work, but at least the sunny weather has a nice effect on everyone’s moods and everything is all cheery.
Meal prepping, Compartes Cereal Bowl chocolate, a martini made with Strathearn Heather Rose Gin with a lemon twist, and pancakes for breakfast.
Being cheerful puts me in a baking mood, and I had some manky bananas that were on their way out, so I decided to make banana bread – as you do. You could call this banana bread healthy, although I do sometimes think healthy baking is a bit of an oxymoron. Unless you manage to avoid butter, sugar and flour in your baking, it’s probably not a health food. But life is about balance, and this recipe contains things like wholemeal flour, nuts, and olive oil. Aside from butter, sugar and flour. So just call it what you like.
Anyway, get started by chopping up your nuts. I used a mixture of walnuts, almonds, macadamias and pecans that I put in a jar once in an attempt to stimulate healthy snacking. It didn’t work.
Get your ingredients ready. My nuts measured to about a cup, I’d stick with this for the banana bread. You could also add chocolate chips to make it even less healthy.
Mix your dry ingredients together in one bowl…
And your wet ingredients in another.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, measure your butter and sugar. Mix until fluffy, about five minutes.
Add your wet ingredients into the butter mixture. It will look a bit curdled – this is fine. Peel your bananas and chuck them into the mixture.
Start mixing until the bananas are fully incorporated into the mixture – about five minutes on a medium speed.
Add in your dry ingredients, and mix in gently. Never over-mix banana bread – lumps are a good thing, they’ll make your bread rise beautifully.
When your mixture gets to this stage, chuck in the nuts, and give the mixture a quick mix just to incorporate them.
Spoon the mixture into a loaf tin dressed with baking paper. Bake for one hour, or until golden brown. Cooking time may depend on the size of your loaf tin, so keep an eye on the colour and use a skewer or cake tester to test the centre once you feel it may be ready.
And there we are! Lovely golden banana bread.
You can really see how this particular recipe gives the illusion of healthiness, with the nuts and all.
- 250 grams (about 1 cup) chopped nuts (optional)
- 85 grams butter, at room temperature
- 200 grams sugar
- 1 egg
- 100 grams milk
- 10 grams vinegar
- 20 grams olive oil
- 2 grams vanilla extract
- 2 ripe bananas
- 100 grams wholemeal flour
- 125 grams plain flour
- 3 grams baking powder
- 3 grams baking soda
- 2 grams salt
- Preheat your oven to 160 degrees Celsius.
- In a measuring jug, add milk and vinegar together to create buttermilk. Let stand whilst you get started.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, whip butter and sugar until fluffy, about five minutes. Add egg, buttermilk, olive oil, and vanilla extract. Mix on a medium speed for about three minutes - the mixture will look curdled. Peel bananas and add them into the mixer bowl, and mix for a further three minutes to break up the bananas and incorporate them into the mixture.
- Add wholemeal and plain flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix until the mixture comes together, and add in nuts. Mix to incorporate, and make sure not to over-mix.
- Spoon mixture into a prepared loaf tin, and bake at 160 degrees Celcius for roughly 1 hour. After 45 minutes, check that the top of the cake isn't browning too quickly and start testing for doneness with a skewer or cake tester every 10 minutes.