Banana bread is great for afternoon tea, when you are feeling peckish and need something to keep you going without falling into the chocolate bar trap. There’s lots of reasons to love this version: buttermilk makes it moist; walnuts, bran and chia seeds give you the fibre you need so you won’t be hungry again in an hour; and with only half a cup of sugar, there’s really nothing to feel guilty about.
I’m no stranger to using bananas as a core ingredient in cakes: banana cake, and even better, banana and chocolate cake , are firm favourites that are made again and again and again. Whilst they do a really good job of satisfying any sugar craving, they also make you feel just a little bit indulgent. Questions start to play on your mind: do I really need this? Yes! I scream back, but deep down I know that ‘no’ is a more appropriate response.
With this in mind, the October challenge was born. One month of only eating food that is beneficial to your wellbeing. No refined sugar, no refined flour, and no….whatever else the ‘heart smart’ book tells me isn’t good for me. Flicking through the ‘healthy cholesterol’ book wasn’t very scary. Our diet is basically on target. The hard thing will be avoiding chocolate, and not whipping up a dessert just because.
This banana bread sets the tone. Let’s see how we go.
- 225 g (1½ cups) plain flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 110 g (1/2 cup - firmly packed) brown sugar
- ½ cup oat bran
- 35 g (1/3 cup) walnuts roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 160ml (2/3 cup) buttermilk
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 ripe bananas, mashed
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds
- 1 tablespoon sunflower seeds
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius. Line a 21cm x 11cm x 5cm loaf tin with baking paper.
- Put the flour and baking powder in a large bowl and whisk together with a balloon whisk. Stir in the brown sugar, oat bran, walnuts and chia seeds.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, eggs and vanilla. Add the mashed banana and stir until well combined. Pour into the flour mixture and fold until just combined.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared tin and level the surface with the back of a large metal spoon, then sprinkle with the seeds.
- Bake for 50-55 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre of the banana bread comes out clean.
- Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- The bread will keep for up to 3 days.