It’s come to my attention over the years that folk are rather peculiar when it comes to bananas. The single hint of brown upon their skin and half the population is repulsed and couldn’t possibly consider touching them. Package those browning bananas in the form of a cake however and they’ll happily gulp it down. This banana bread recipe never fails to find a happy audience.
Over the years I’ve tried and tested many, many banana bread recipes. As is the way with most recipes, this one has evolved over time to include bits and pieces of others, hints and tips lifted from everywhere from Martha Stewart to BBC Good Food. Along the way I decided to add in the oats and cinnamon although neither are required if you’re averse to either. I’ve also used everything from buckwheat flour to brown rice flour to produce the loaf, all with great success. The only flour I wouldn’t recommend using is coconut due to its habit of draining just about every last drop of moisture out of anything it comes into contact with.
After the loaf is baked and the flat smells of beautifully sweet bananas and cinnamon I tend to slice it straight away, sending all but three slices to the freezer in a zip lock bag. Three always seems like the appropriate amount to leave for yourself. Saturday, Sunday and the Monday pick me up. The loaf freezes perfectly and can just be defrosted slice by slice as you need it.
Whilst it may seem a very odd thing to do, I recommend serving it toasted and slathered in peanut butter. I know, toasted banana bread may sound a little obscure, but I promise you it’s heavenly. Drizzle with honey, stew some fruit in a pan with some maple syrup to make a simple compote, or lightly toast and butter it. It’s up to you.
Banana & Oat Bread
4 Ripe Bananas
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg
3 tbsp coconut oil – melted and left to cool slightly
110g coconut sugar
2 tbsp honey
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
180ml almond milk, unsweetened
130g ground almonds
200g spelt flour
3 tsp baking powder
Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees (160 degrees fan) and line a standard 9×5 inch loaf tin with greaseproof paper.
The bananas should be as ripe as possible, brown speckled and soft. Break them into a bowl and mash them with a fork. Add in the honey, vanilla, egg, coconut oil, coconut sugar, salt, cinnamon and almond milk and combine until you’ve got a lovely banana-scented glop.
Add in the oats, spelt flour, ground almonds and baking powder and mix until combined. The mixture won’t be your usual smooth cake batter due to the oats and lumps of banana, so don’t worry. Tip into the loaf tin and pop into the centre of the oven for an hour. It may need a little longer but keep checking from the hour mark. The cake should be golden brown on top but still nice and moist (awful word and rather repulsed to be using it here, but I am all the same) inside.
If you want to check slide in a skewer or knife, it should come out relatively clean, although not perfectly clean as it might for your regular sponge cake. Transfer, in the tin, to a cooling tray and leave to cool slightly before removing from the tin and leaving to cool completely.