I hate wasting food. With certain food items, there is a very small window where the ripeness is at its optimum for my taste buds. A very good example of this would be a banana; too green and I find the flavour a touch bitter, too ripe and the mushiness really puts me off. However, when I buy a bunch of bananas I find it hard to get through them all at their prime time ripeness. What to do? Well, this very straightforward recipe will utilise those blackening bananas and provide you with a delicious dish that can make a nutritious breakfast, a healthy accompaniment to elevenses or afternoon tea, or a not-so-naughty but nice dessert. Why on earth wouldn’t you?!
Overripe Banana Recipes: Healthy Banana Bread
Butter or oil for greasing the bread tin
240g wholemeal flour
2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
300g mashed bananas (this will be around 3 good medium-sized bananas. Choose very ripe bananas that are going black)
4 tablespoon agave syrup
3 large eggs
150ml natural yogurt
Pinch of salt
Tablespoon each of pumpkin and sunflower seeds (optional)
Grease a 2lb bread loaf tin with butter or oil and line with baking paper. This sized tin would be approximately 20cm in length, 10cm wide. Turn on the oven to preheat at 160C/140C fan/gas 3.
Take a large bowl and mix the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and the pinch salt.
In a separate, medium-sized bowl, beat the eggs before adding the mashed bananas, agave syrup and yoghurt. With a wooden spoon, mix the ingredients well.
Slowly add the egg and banana mixture to the large bowl of dry ingredients, using the wooden spoon to blend the ingredients.
Transfer the mixture to the bread tin and scatter the seeds evenly across the top of the mixture.
Bake in the centre of the preheated oven for 1 hour 10 minutes – 1 hour 15 minutes.
Cook for longer if necessary, until the loaf is well risen and a skewer inserted into the centre of the tin comes out clean.
Once cooked, leave to cool for around 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.
Serve either toasted with a generous spreading of butter, or simply serve it cold as it comes. Tasty either way, and is lovely washed down with a hot cup of English breakfast or herbal tea.
How much does it cost to make?
In total, a loaf of banana bread will cost between £3.50 and £4.00 to make. Several of the ingredients can become store cupboard staples as they keep well and are handy to have in stock (the seeds, baking powder, cinnamon, agave syrup, salt).
How long does the cooked loaf keep?
You would probably want to eat this loaf within 3 days of baking, as it is a very moist bread due to the consistency of the bananas.
Can I make up a big batch to freeze and eat later?
This loaf is best served fresh but I have frozen slices of it and these defrost ok for eating (but are probably better consumed toasted after freezing).
Are there any suggested variations on the recipe given here?
I am a firm believer that cooking is not so much about following a recipe to the letter, but that everybody knows which tastes they like and which work well together, so I am a strong advocate for tweeking recipes to suit you. A few suggestions would be to perhaps add chopped walnuts to the mix, or instead of seeds, sprinkle pecans or walnuts on the top.
How long does it take to make?
This recipe is very quick to prepare, taking around 15 to 20 minutes. Baking time is approximately 1 hour 15 minutes.
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