a healthier banana bread recipe to make with little ones…

img_6782There is just something so comforting about warm banana bread straight from the oven smothered in melting real butter. I do like other sweet breads like pumpkin, chocolate zucchini and cranberry, but nothing beats banana bread. The crunchy dark crust and the soft and sweet inside with the browned banana fibers streaking through each piece.

I think it’s always good to have at least one good go to recipe that you have memorized and can make backwards and forwards. I love to cook with my children, but trying to follow a complicated and unfamiliar recipe with them is not fun. I love to be able to give them my mental space so I can be present with them instead of worrying about the recipe. Simple is better when baking with little ones.

The only problem is that most recipes out there for banana bread are loaded with sugar. We’ve tried all kinds of healthier banana bread recipes over the years but I had never been able to find one that ticked all of the allergy boxes with us. I decided it was about time I just created my own. I don’t eat breads all the time, but sometimes I like to indulge. And you can feel better about indulging when you know it is a healthier version of the classic dessert.

This is a dairy and refined sugar free recipe that includes some quinoa in the batter for some added protein. You can never go wrong with more protein in my book. I don’t think many people get enough unless they eat meat at every meal and our family definitely does not do that. Not because we don’t like meat, but it’s very expensive and I don’t think meat is something we should eat every single meal. But protein is important to eat with every single meal, so its good to add it to your snacks or meals in plant or diary form when you can. We can’t eat dairy in our house just now, so I’ve had to develop a recipe that doesn’t use butter or milk/yoghurt of any kind.

Instead of using all white flour I’ve used a mix of oat flour, which I used my nutribullet to grind the whole oats into flour. Normally I use wholemeal instead of white flour for baking but ran out so this recipe uses white flour, but you could easily swap it out.You could also swap for gluten free flours, but I’d avoid coconut flour as the texture just wouldn’t work with this recipe.

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It’s a simple recipe, one bowl, one spoon, less mess. Unless of course you are cooking with your children, then you better be ready to just embrace the mess. My boys love being in charge of the bananas. They count out the bananas, peel & mash them to their hearts content. Measuring out the flour is another favorite (of theirs that is), not all of the flour gets into the bowl but this recipe is quite forgiving. Just another reason to try it with children.

Quinoa Banana Bread {Dairy & Refined Sugar Free}

Makes 1 loaf

Ingredients:

2-3 mashed bananas

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil or melted coconut oil

1/4 cup maple syrup or coconut palm sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

3/4 cup cooked quinoa

1 cup oat flour (ground oats)

1/2 cup white or wholemeal flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

pinch of salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F/ 175 degrees C.
  2. Mix the bananas, oil, syrup/sugar, egg & vanilla together in a bowl until combined.
  3. Stir in the cooked quinoa.
  4. Add the flours, baking soda & spices to the bowl and mix together until combined and free from lumps.
  5. Pour into greased bread pan (or ungreased silicon pan) and bake for 45-50 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean when poked into the center of the bread.
  6. Remove from pan and let cool on a rack for a few minutes. The texture is better the longer you let it cool before eating.

I advise doubling the recipe because the single loaf usually is gone within a day. You can put it in the freezer for later or if you have a big family it will be gone in a few days anyway. Hope you and your family enjoys it as much as ours does.

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