I was never one of those highly active athletic kids who played a plethora of sports after school. Mum tried to involve me in as many extracurricular sports as she could as a way of encouraging me to exercise, but I just wouldn’t have it – I didn’t see the point in moving for the sake of ‘being active’ unless there was a game to win, or junk involved straight after. I lived for Saturday netball game day (as well as the post-game canteen sausage roll breakfast), but you could almost count on me feeling too nauseous/headachy/sore/tired to train on Tuesday nights. Mum could only get me to go to swimming lessons if hot chips and a large packet of Skittles were promised at the cafeteria afterward. You get the picture.
All I wanted to do after school each day was write love stories (the protagonists were always named Rose and Jack), read The Babysitter’s Club, choreograph Britney Spears video clips, listen to my Discman (So Fresh was on heavy rotation), create magical elixirs with my Professor Snape’s Potion Making Class Lab, and attend Spy Club meetings and missions with Mitch, my Top Secret Agent partner and childhood bestie/neighbour. I didn’t have time for swimming lessons in an over-chlorinated public pool full of disgusting bandaids – I had way more fun and important shit to do!
But just as important as Spy Club meetings and bedroom dance concerts was the afterschool ritual that took place beforehand – Snack Time.
I’d barge through the front door at 3:45pm, throw four slices of Brumby’s banana bread in the toaster before I’d even put my bag down, then smother them with so much butter and honey that it would all run down my chin and hands as I took each bite. It’s only in hindsight I realise that mum’s encouragement of getting my heart rate up might have been to help counteract some of the snack consumption that was definitely excessive for my age and physical activity level at the time. Bless her for being so subtle.
I’d still eat the delectably sugary, buttery, bananary, refined floury classic from Brumby’s every day if I could, but I had to cease the road to type 2 diabetes at some point.
If the hundreds of thousands of Google results for ‘banana bread recipe’ are anything to go by, the world is kinda obsessed with banana bread. And the internet probably didn’t need another recipe, but I always struggled to find one that was tasty and genuinely healthy enough to snack on daily.
So. Here’s my every-damn-day-friendly-version! It’s gluten and grain-free, relatively low in sugar, and FODMAP friendly (see recipe notes). It’s also high in all the good stuff – fibre, healthy fats, complete proteins, a range of vitamins and minerals, and anti-inflammatory properties that your gut, body and brain will thank you for.
You can’t really go wrong with this recipe. It’s perfect on its own, but also delicious with blueberries added to the batter. Or try it my favourite way – laden with dark choc. Dayum:Print
- 5 (560g)* medium overripe bananas, mashed, plus one firm banana cut lengthways, for topping
- 3 large organic free range eggs (approx 65g each), lightly beaten
- ¼ cup (50g) coconut oil, melted
- 4 tbsp (70g) pure maple syrup
- 1 tbsp (17g) pure vanilla extract
- 220g buckwheat flour
- ½ cup (30g) unsweetened shredded coconut (optional)
- ¾ cup (80g) pecans or walnuts, roughly chopped, plus extra for topping
- 5 tbsp (50g) chia seeds
- 1 tsp baking powder (no aluminium added)
- 2 tsp baking soda (aluminium free)
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground cardamom
- 2 generous pinches fine sea salt
- Preheat oven to 160*C and line a loaf tin with baking paper. My tin is approximately 29cm x 11cm.
- In a medium sized bowl, whisk the mashed banana, beaten eggs, melted coconut oil, vanilla extract and maple syrup until fully combined.
- In a large bowl, combine the buckwheat flour, shredded coconut, chia seeds, chopped nuts, spices, and salt. Sift in the baking soda and baking powder to ensure there are no lumps (this is important). Create a well in the middle of the flour mixture and pour the banana mixture into it. Gently fold with a wooden spoon until just fully combined. Be very careful not to over-mix.
- Pour the batter evenly into the prepared loaf tin and smooth with the back of a spoon. Arrange the halved banana over the top of the batter, then top with extra pecans (or walnuts if using), and a little drizzle of maple syrup. Place on the middle oven rack and bake for 50 minutes to an hour, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out mostly clean with some moist crumbs on it. Don’t wait until the skewer comes out completely clean because the loaf will be too dry. If the top begins to brown too much while cooking, simply place some foil over the top. Remove from oven.
- Allow the loaf to stand in the tin for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days, or slice it up and freeze for up to one month.
- Serve toasted with a slab of organic salted butter. Also lovely on its own or with nut butter and fresh berries. For something a little more indulgent, serve warm with organic butter, a drizzle of maple syrup, and shaved dark chocolate. Ooo yeah.
- Can’t find buckwheat flour at your local store? You can use buckwheat grouts instead! Simply process 220g buckwheat grouts on high speed for one minute or until a fine flour forms 🙂
- For blueberry banana bread, fold 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries through the batter at the end of Step 3. You may need a little extra cooking time with frozen blueberries due to their water content
- For choc-chip banana bread (my absolute fave), fold 3/4 cup roughly chopped good quality dark chocolate (I usually use Lindt 50-70%) through the batter at the end of Step 3, then sprinkle some extra on top. You could also use good quality dark choc chips.
- Overripe bananas do contain excess fructose. Half a medium ripe banana (approx. 56g) is considered safe in terms of fructose content. When this loaf is topped with the extra banana and divided into 12 slices, each slice coincidentally contains 56g of banana, and is thus considered low in fructose. If you’re highly sensitive to fructose, use 4 bananas (450g) instead and reduce the chia seeds to 4 tbsp (40g).
- The polyol content from the dried coconut is considered low if just one slice is consumed