Are you bananas for banana bread? I am! When those nanas turn Leopard-spotty brown in the fruit bowl, you know there is only one thing a girl can do; make banana bread!
I know there are lots of banana bread recipes out there, but this one is sooo good and healthy. I call it my Immune boosting protein banana bread! With lockdown 3 in the UK, there has never been more of an emphasis to not waste food and eat well. This is a perfect way of using up those ripe bananas and take advantage of the natural sweetness they have and boost your immune system at the same time!
How is it healthy? It is almost fat-free (just 2 tbsp olive oil needed) as applesauce and mashed banana replaces the fat. It is sweetened with Medjool dates and it is enriched in chia seeds and protein powder. To add crunch and nutrition I added Cashew, Goji and Chocolate Goldenberry Mix @naturesheartuk, which is a source of zinc and selenium supporting a healthy immune system. The hardest thing is to decide whether to serve it with tea or coffee!
The texture of this banana bread is light and pillowy fluffy. I love adding nuts to my banana bread to add a textural dimension, but if you have a nut intolerance, you can always substitute for seeds or just add dried fruit instead.
My nieces love these as bite-sized mini-muffins (slathered in peanut butter!), while the grown-ups prefer the loaf version (more cake they say!!) How do you like to eat your banana bread?
This banana bread freezes exceptionally well (my dad has a freezer shelf full of these!) as he loves them! They otherwise keep in the fridge for about 7-8 days. You know it is a good recipe when the mugs of tea and coffee are made as soon as you remove the banana bread from the oven!
Preparation time: 30-35 mins
24 mini muffins or 2 x small loaves or 1 large loaf
Baking time: Under 25 mins for the muffins, 70 mins for the small loaves and 90-100 mins for a large loaf.
- 4 ripe bananas, plus 1 extra per loaf for decoration if making loaves. These can be less ripe ones.
- 30ml (2 tbsp.) of oil of choice: olive oil, rapeseed or melted coconut oil
- 70g applesauce
- 2 eggs or chia or flaxseed eggs (1 egg is equivalent to 1 tbsp. of seed and 3 tbsp. of water; allow to sit for about 5 mins before using to allow the mixture to thicken up)
- ½ tsp. vanilla extract
- 180g wholemeal flour
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- ½ tsp. baking powder
- 4 tbsp. protein powder (if not using, compensate with more wholemeal flour)
- 170g Medjool dates, chopped finely
- 80g ground flaxseed
- 2 tbsp. chia seeds
- 100g nuts and seeds. I used Nature’s Heart Cashew, Goji and Chocolate Goldenberry Mix
- Grease the loaf tin(s) or muffin pans of choice and line the loaf tin(s) and pop in paper cases in the muffin tin holes, if required. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
- Peel the bananas and place in a medium sized bowl. (If making a loaf or small loaves, leave the bananas for decoration later). Using the back of a fork, mash the bananas so that there are no lumps.
- To the mashed bananas add the oil of choice, applesauce, eggs (or chia or flaxseed eggs), vanilla extract. Whisk together.
- In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients with a wooden spoon.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix together with the wooden spoon. Fold in 80% of the Cashew, Goji and Chocolate Goldenberry Mix or dried fruit, nuts and seeds of choice.
- Spoon the banana bread batter into the loaf tin(s) or muffin tins 2/3 the way full.
- If making banana bread loaves, I slice a banana in half, sideways and pop on top of the loaves. Sprinkle with the remaining Cashew, Goji and Chocolate Goldenberry Mix or some dried fruit, nuts and seeds of choice.
- If making mini muffins, just sprinkle with the remaining Cashew, Goji and Chocolate Goldenberry Mix or some dried fruit, nuts and seeds of choice.
- Bake in the middle shelf of the oven at 180°C for 22-24 mins for mini muffins, 1hr 10 mins for small loaves and 1 hr 10 mins and 5-10 mins longer for the for the large loaves or until a skewer comes out clean.
- Once baked, remove from the oven and allow to cool for 30 mins before removing from the tins onto a wire tray to cool properly. (Although my sister likes to eat these smothered in peanut butter while still warm!) Enjoy!