My kids are kooky cucumbers when it comes to fruit and veg.
C1 loves strawberries; C2 prefers blueberries.
C1 digs crunchy carrots; C2 likes steamed carrot sticks.
C1 chooses red grapes; C2 picks green.
C1 loves any melon (rock, honeydew, water); C2 will not touch them.
C1 can devour a punnet of cherry tomatoes; C2 would rather eat cherries.
Drives. Me. Bananas.
Oh yeah, they both refuse to eat bananas (along with broccoli and Brussels sprouts). I know! Bananas!!
B left for his scuba diving trip to Bali last week. I soon realised that we had a bunch of bananas in the fruit bowl, their freckled faces getting spottier by the day. This could only mean one thing: Banana Bread. Now this my kids will eat in a jiffy. I have a sneaky suspicion they refuse to eat bananas just so that I’ll bake Banana Bread.
Only this time, I decided to make two types. My Regular Banana Bread (RBB) that I’ve been making for yonks and a loaf of Paleo Banana Bread (PBB).
Just so you know, I believe that “Banana Bread” should be charged with fraud. It tells a big, fat, delicious lie claiming to be bread. It’s cake, people! Then again, BB can counter my claim, saying it can be toasted and smeared with butter…
But, I digress. I got my trusty taste-testers, C1 and C2, to trial the PBB and the RBB without telling them which was which. Surprise, surprise! The PBB won by a (coconutty) sliver. Here are both the recipes.
Regular Banana Bread (RBB)
3 overripe bananas
¾ cup sugar
¼ tsp salt
½ cup oil
¼ cup milk
½ tsp vanilla bean paste
1 tsp cinnamon or grated nutmeg
1 ½ cup plain flour
½ cup chopped walnuts (optional) to sprinkle on top
Preheat the oven to 170° C. Grease and line a loaf pan.
Take a large bowl and potato masher (or fork). Starting with the bananas, mash and mix the ingredients one by one in the order listed above.
Pour batter into your loaf pan, tap the pan down a couple of times to release any air bubbles.
Bake for 40-50 minutes until cooked through.
Serve warm or toasted with a small knob of butter melting on top.
If you leave out the walnuts, you could make this for your kids’ recess, perhaps in the form of banana muffins.
Paleo Banana Bread (PBB)
Adapted from Frisky Lemon by Allison Nichols.
I tried this recipe because there is no added sugar – just the natural sugar present in bananas and dates. For a sugar addict like me, I was surprised how much the kids and I liked it. While not as sweet as RBB, we liked the coconut flavour and the texture that the almond meal and chia seeds gave it. This recipe is a keeper.
5-8 Medjool dates
¼ cup boiling water
½ tsp baking soda (soda bicarb)
3 overripe bananas
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
½ tsp salt
¼ cup coconut oil
2 cups almond meal
1 tbsp coconut flour
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp baking powder
1 tbsp chia seeds (optional)
1 tbsp desiccated coconut (optional)
Coconut flakes (optional)
Preheat the oven to 170° C. Line a loaf tin with baking paper and grease with coconut oil.
Pit the dates and chop roughly. In a small bowl, add the soda bicarb to the boiling water. Add the dates. The mixture should bubble and the bicarb will soften the dates. Set aside.
With a potato masher, mash the bananas until smooth. Add the dates and keep mashing. Next add the eggs and the coconut oil.
In another bowl, mix all the dry ingredients with your hands. Gradually add the wet ingredients to the dry ones, stirring to form a batter.
Pour the batter into the loaf tin. Sprinkle with coconut flakes on top, pressing down slightly into the cake batter.
Bake for approx. 45-50 minutes. Leave in the oven for another 10-15 minutes for the residual temperature to cook the cake further.
Almond Meal is almonds that have been ground to a powder. You can buy this or make your own by grinding blanched almonds (without the skin) or almonds with their skins in a food processor.
Coconut flour: If your supermarket doesn’t stock this, buy it from a healthfood/ wholefood store. You only need a small quantity as it absorbs all liquid in sight.
Coconut oil: If it has solidified, you can nuke it on a low power setting in your microwave or heat it on a low fire just till the coconut oil liquefies.
So tell me, are there certain fruit and veg you (or your kids) will not eat? Do you like some fruit in one form (say, in a dessert) but will not eat it otherwise? And should Banana Bread be renamed Banana Cake? 😉