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Healthy Banana Bread

I’ve never really had a sweet tooth, even as a child I hated lollies, I wouldn’t drink soft drink and stock piled my easter eggs in my cupboard for months because I didn’t want to eat them but I sure as heck wasn’t gonna let my brothers get to them either, my Mum would find them 6 months later.

Although I had this natural aversion to sugar, I still have favourite sweet treats and one of those is banana bread but after watching a documentary called ‘That Sugar Film’  four years ago I began to educate myself on the adverse effects of sugar on health and mood. I have now stripped what I call ‘unconscious sugar’ from my diet. Meaning if I eat sugar, I know I’m eating it, I’m aware of it and I only eat it on occasions when I’ve weighed up the reward from eating potentially a favourite dessert or treat with the affects it can have on my health and mood (sugar hangovers are a real thing once you wean your body off of it). Once you start to assess your sugar intake you may be astounded how much your consuming without knowing it, it’s added into nearly everything which is also why I prefer to keep all processed or packaged foods to a minimum. I like Michael Pollan’s theory “eat food (natural, whole unprocessed), not too much (only what your body needs to sustain optimal health and function), mainly plants (lots of organic micronutrient dense plant food)”.

Now whilst on this adventure to find innovative ways to satisfy the natural human taste for sweet I’ve come up with some super yummy alternatives (which I’ll be sharing more of with you). This banana bread is one of my favourites!

I use Yacon Syrup which is a great alternative to many other sweeteners, you could swap it out for stevia if you want to be really diligent on your sugar intake. What is great about Yacon Syrup is that it’s a prebiotic so it has health benefits besides just adding its delicious sweet syrupy flavour and is very low in natural sugars! I’ve also swapped out the traditional flours which are stripped of a lot of their nutrients with ground nuts and seeds that are full of good fats and fibre!

UTENSILS

  • 2 mixing bowls (one for dry, one for wet ingredients)
  • Mixing Spoon
  • Loaf Tin
  • Baking Paper
  • Fork (for mashing bananas)

INGREDIENTS (SOURCE ORGANIC IF YOU CAN!)

 Dry

  • 2 cups Almond Meal
  • 1/4 cup Ground Flaxseeds
  • 1/4 cup Psyllium Husk
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoons Baking Soda
  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup pecans roughly chopped (or any nut you prefer)

Wet

  • 2-3 very ripe bananas (mashed)
  • 3 free range eggs (could use chia ‘egg’ to make it vegan)
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (melted)
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract (really go for quality here it makes a big difference)
  • 2-3 tablespoons of Yacon Syrup (or any sweetener you prefer)

Note: I top my loaf with banana slices, crushed hazelnuts, macadamias and pecans, a sprinkle of cinnamon and a drizzle more of Yacon Syrup. Feel free to omit this or find your own variation depending on what you have in your cupboards. **These toppings are not included in calorie count or nutritional info below

METHOD

Step 1. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees celsius.

Step 2. Place all of your dry ingredients in one of your bowls and mix to combine them well. You may need to work some clumps out of the almond meal with your fingers (make sure your hands are clean) or the spoon.

Step 3. In your second bowl combine all of your wet ingredients and mix them well before folding them into your dry ingredients so you have all of your mixture in one bowl.

Step 4. Pop some lightly greased baking paper in your tin (I use butter but you could also use coconut oil).

Step 5. Pour your batter into the lined tin.

Optional: top it with sliced bananas and nuts of your choice and drizzle it with some more Yacon Syrup.

Step 6. Pop it in the oven to bake for around 45 – 60 minutes. Set a timer to check it at 45 minutes. Test it by inserting a skewer, it should come out nice and dry once it’s done.

Step 7. Once it’s cooked take it out and allow it to cool in the tin before turning the tin upside down and removing the loaf.

You can enjoy it as is or toast it and top with some butter or almond butter….dreamy!

Per Slice (without toppings and based on cutting loaf into 12 slices)
Calories 223
Protein 6 grams
Net Carbohydrates 11 grams
Fat 17 grams

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