(and it’s vegan, gluten, dairy, nut and refined sugar free too. But you would never know)
As many of you will know, I took a bit of a break from Blogging (nearly 4 years, in fact) because…I’m no longer the carefree, slightly wild Professional Party Girl I used to be (Gosh, I’ve been writing this blog a long time) but am now, in fact, a Mummy to the most heavenly little boy you could wish for. Most of the time. Sometimes he can be a little git, but he’s 4 and is super cute, so he gets away with it.
Anyway. Now that it’s my responsibility to look after another human, I’ve started to take a lot more interest in what goes into his, and my body, as his health is the most important thing to me. I’ve had a few friends with cancer do extensive research over the last 5 years, and refined sugar is a big no-no (you can see my wonderful friend Alex’s blog Wild Ginger here – lots of healthy, post-cancer treats). Which is fine for me, as I don’t like sweet things, but try telling a small boy of 4 he can’t have sweet treats when all his friends are? Yeah. Not fun.
So, instead of loading up the supermarket trolley with crap, I’ve taken to buying (mainly, I’m not perfect!) organic, fruit based sweets that aren’t full of chemicals, and otherwise making my own. I love a bit of home baking, and it’s something we can do together, so it actually works out killing 2 birds with one stone – he gets to play with messy stuff and lick the spoon, and I get a child whose not high on processed, bleached sugar. Win/win. Really. Sugar highs are THE WORST!
I came across the basis for this recipe while browsing the net for vegan treats (I’m totally not vegan, but know that heading that way at least partially is good for both our systems and the planet) and thought it looked delicious, although to be honest, thought it would turn out to be rubbish. I mean, we’re so used to cakes laden with all the bad stuff, we think it must be necessary for flavour. I’m really, really pleased to tell you, that’s wrong.
So here it is. The recipe for the world’s most delicious banana and chocolate bread, that’s also vegan and refined-sugar free. I would LOVE to hear if you try it, and what you think. It was a complete hit in this house, and with anyone who tried it!
- 3 ripe bananas, Mashed
- 150g Gluten Free Flour (I used Buckwheat)
- 60g Maple Syrup
- 30g Coconut Sugar
- 75g Coconut Oil (solid weight, before softening)
- 3 teaspoons cinnamon
- 3 teaspoons of Gluten Free Baking Powder
- 100g dairy free (and nut free, if needed) Chocolate Spread*
(*OK. So. I ADORE Sweet Freedom chocolate spread. I found it by accident in Sainsburys while looking for a nut free Nutella substitute for mini me, and it is AMAZING! It’s dairy free, nut free, vegan friendly, and made just of cocoa and natural fruit sweeteners. It’s chocolatey and lush and you would never know it’s not “normal”. And no, I’m not working with them, have never spoken to them, just a genuine super-fan!)
- Pre-heat the oven to 200° (180 fan)
- Mix together all the dry ingredients
- In a separate bowl, mash up the bananas with a fork
- Add the Maple Syrup and gently melted* coconut oil to the banana
- Combine wet and dry ingredients thoroughly
- Add mixture to a loaf tin (silicone are awesome, otherwise make sure it’s fully lined/greased!)
- Take the chocolate spread, add some dollops on top of mixture and gently marble through with a knife. Don’t mix throughly or you won’t get the marbled effect (or do, if you don’t care!)
- Bake for 15 minutes, then cover with foil or baking paper and bake for an extra 30ish minutes, or until you can stick in a knife or skewer & it comes out clean.
And that is that. You will end up with a delicious, moist, moreish, vegan/gluten free/nut free/dairy free banana loaf that you will want to eat in one sitting.
Mini human has already asked me to make this again, and I can see it becoming a weekend staple for us. Although everyone who visits wants a piece, so it’s unlikely to ever last a weekend!
Send me some pictures if you do bake this, I’d love to see you enjoying it too. I’m sorry I didn’t take more pics, I will next time, just wasn’t expecting it to be noteworthy! x
Huge thanks to Lucy & Lentils as I originally found the recipe over there. Everything on Lucy’s blog looks INCREDIBLE so definitely check it out, I adore it!