Bored. Frustrated. Infuriated. Apathetic. Numb. I could go on listing various synonyms but you get the idea. Essentially nothing new is happening so I am spending far too much time in my own head and it is making me edgy. Never a good sign. Trying to stem the tide of oncoming ennui or what my nanna might call " the Blues" I am trying to find something good in each day (sans the awful #liveauthentic bullshit). Chasing happiness i guess you could call it. We spent the weekend cleaning and rearranging. Spring is here after-all, time for change and shifting winter debris. I used up some overripe bananas and made out house smell sweet, casually adding to the illusion of domestic functionality.
Banana bread is homey though isn't it? Type " Banana Bread" into Google and literally 15 billion recipes pop up. So many claim to be the "Best Recipe" that it has sort of lost all meaning. Is there a best recipe?
There are the traditional buttery loaves, super sugary loaves, moist loaves, dry loaves, the gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free (occasionally enjoyment-free) varieties, recipes including chocolate, chia seeds or blueberries. Then there are the paleo varieties who owners insist are "like so delicious" despite the fact that many end up looking like shitty turd bricks. I like looking at the loaves with crunchy munch toppings, or are glammed up into desserts or the little loaves that look so sad you wonder why someone bothered to keep that recipe in circulation.
I have experimented with a few and am yet to find a recipe I can comfortably call the "best".
My banana bread recipe is not the best. Far from it. But it is my favourite to use. Every home cook should and usually do have a solid trusty banana bread staple in their repertoire. It is rich, delicious, pillowy soft on the inside and crunchy sweet on the outside. This recipe is gluten free (for no other reason than I prefer the flavour and heaviness buckwheat flour lends to the bread). It is refined sugar free too, using coconut sugar and maple syrup instead. There is no butter, the fat comes from Greek yogurt and a little grapeseed oil. I like using the yogurt as the acidity reacts with the baking soda creating carbon dioxide, allowing the bread to rise more, giving it a characteristic fluffiness. It is also an infinitely and gorgeously adaptable - flavour it with other fruits, chocolate chips, seeds, nuts etcetera etcetera. Whatever is delicious, in season or in your pantry.
HEALTHY(ISH) BANANA BREAD
- 1 1/2 Cups/230g Buckwheat flour
- 1 Cup Coconut Sugar or Rapadura Sugar*
- 1 tsp Gluten-free Baking powder
- 1 tsp Gluten-free Bicarb Soda
- 1 1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp Mixed Spice
- 4 Overripe Bananas**, mashed
- 1 Egg, at room temperature
- 1/2 Cup/ 150 grams Greek yogurt (unsweetened)
- 1/4 Cup/60ml Grapeseed Oil/Rice Bran oil
- 1/3 Cup/80 ml pure Maple Syrup
- 2 tsp Vanilla Bean paste
- Preheat oven to 160C/325F. Lightly grease a standard loaf tin (1.75Litre Capacity).
- Whisk together the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, bicarb and spices).
- In a separate bowl, thoroughly combine the wet ingredients (bananas, egg, yogurt, oil, maple syrup and vanilla).
- Fold into the dry ingredients. Pour into prepared loaf tin and bake in oven for 1 hour or until cooked through.
- Brush with some extra maple syrup to glaze while cooling.
*Coconut sugar is from the sap of the flowers of the coconut palm. Rapadura sugar is similar to brown sugar but is produced from cane sugar juice, retaining most of natural vitamins and minerals as its is not separated from the molasses part of the sugar cane.
** If your bananas are not at the overripe stage you can speed up the process using Kelsey's (from Appeasing a Food Geek) method. She also explains why you should be using overripe bananas for banana breads.