Nutty banana-berry bread

Banana bread.

Stop. And just read those two simple words again: Banana (and) bread.

A moist, dense, aerated thick slice of banana flavoured, sweet bread deliciousness. Toasted and spread with a wee bit of salty-butter. Oh man… your senses are alive, right?

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Some people LOVE banana bread. Simply put, I’m not a lover of cake and super sweet anything. While I personally don’t LOVE banana bread, I do like it. So banana bread, is actually a treat for me. Plus as I am a bit “time-poor” to put things in the mildest, happiest terms + wheat doesn’t like me much + my mom bought me a big bag of coconut flour + I have purposefully been over-ripening bananas to use in baking of some description, I decided to make some banana-berry bread.

However banana bread, even though it may sound “healthy”, can more often than not be extremely calorie dense. Once all the bananas are mixed up with the refined flours, sugars and fat, a single slice (60g) can have about 200 calories (839kJ) the same calorie content of 3 cups of fresh pineapple + 3 tablespoons of cottage cheese (233 calories; 975kj). The issue is that up to 1/3 of these calories in commercial banana bread are generally composed of fat (mainly saturated) and the ensuing 2/3 of energy is derived from refined carbohydrates. I have cut back on the eggs – usually there are about 6 eggs (!) in a traditional banana bread recipe. But with a bit of smart food chemistry knowledge, I’ve substituted the eggs with chia seeds, bicarb and vinegar (sounds crazy, I know – but it totally works in performing the binding and fluffiness properties of egg in baked cake/muffin products).

There is only 1 tablespoon of honey, and instead of refined flour, I have used coconut flour making it completely gluten-free for those who are unable to tolerate wheat based flours (or you could be like like me, and have been given a big bag of coconut flour from your mom). The texture is still light and springy, not dense and clumpy – you’d never know it wasn’t made using a wheat-based flour. And it is completely dairy-free as well. So for the gluten intolerants, lactose intolerants and those who are both gluten and lactose intolerant, this is totally for you. Those who are on a grain-free diet (cavemen dieters, I’m talking to you), you actually can make this cake and eat it too :-). Bonus! If you’re a flexible dieter, IIFYM eater, I’ve worked out the macros for you.

Per serve there is 681kJ (163 calories), ~5g protein, 6g carbs, 12 g fat (of which the majority is heart-smart healthier unsaturated fats).2016-02-19 23.01.51

As I LOVE banana and peanut butter (this is definitely my vice!), nutty banana-berry bread was born. If you like banana bread, banana and peanut butter combos, you will love this bread. If you don’t like peanut butter, or are making this for school-lunch boxes feel free to change it to another nut butter. Hope you enjoy this as much as I do. Instead of baking it in a loaf tin, I bake it in a muffin-tin. Makes the perfect individual portions. Plus if you wrap up individual muffin-breads in clingfilm and freeze it, it is the perfect, easy, ready-to-go snack.

Plus it is super easy to make – all you need is a high-speed blender/processor. I often get asked if I own a high-speed blender, and if so, what? So here’s the secret: I own a Froothie Optimum 9400 high-speed commercial blender. It’s a competitor to Vitamix, and personally I think Optimum 9400 is the bomb. Froothie has not paid me to say nice things about their blender. I’m saying nice things about this blender because 1) I have used it to make everything from home made flours, falafel mixtures, hummus, nut butters, almond milk, smoothies, raw soups, cooked soups, cake mix, protein balls etc. – this machine just works! It’s so great, I love it, and no, as much as sharing is caring, I can’t share my blender with you because I use it EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. Plus we’ve used this make of blender  (Optimum 9400) to make purple carrot smoothies for my 18 piggies (nutrition research project), and as pigs eat a lot (and clearly LOVE purple carrot smoothies), the total weight of their smoothies was about 6kg per day!!! That’s a lot of carrots! And a lot of blending… and the Froothie Optimum 9400 not only lived up to the job, but soldiered on impressively. You can read my review of this blender at www.productreview.com.au and check out the optimum range at www.froothie.com.au .

So here’s the method. In a blender, blend together:

3 eggs
3 tablespoon ground chia that has been mixed into 9 tablespoons water (sit for 5 minutes to gel)
1 teaspoon bicarb soda that has been mixed into 1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup rice bran oil or extra light olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup coconut flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup pure peanut butter (I like semi-chunky)
2 medium over-ripe bananas (2 x 70g) mashed

Stir through the banana batter 1 cup of either diced fresh strawberries or 1 cup whole blueberries.

Pour mixture into a lined, greased 12 cup muffin tin (or a heavy duty non-stick Baccarat muffin tin is amazing. Does not need greasing or liners, works like a dream). Slice an extra banana into 12 pieces and top each muffin-bread with 1 slice (looks super pretty, means you don’t need frosting and also makes it easy to work out what the flavour is ;-)).

Bake in a 170 deg C preheated oven for 30mins.

Freezes well for up to 3 months.

Nutrition per serve:

NIP-banana berry bread

I actually eat this for breakfast with 100g of 0.5% plain Greek yoghurt making in the perfect balance of macronutrients. I’m a macro eater. This muffin-bread coupled with 100g of plain Greek yoghurt fits in perfectly with hitting my macros.
Nutrition breakdown: 1 (55g) banana-berry muffin-bread + 100g plain 0.5% fat Greek yoghurt:

Total energy: 885kJ (211 calories)
Protein: 14.5g
Total fat: 12.2g
– saturated: 3.2g
Total carbohydrates: 10.5g
– sugars: 7.4g
Sodium: 238mg

This is seriously delicious. Easy. Nutritious. Packs well. Freezes well. Looks pretty. Doesn’t need frosting or butter. And is just down-right yum. Enjoy.

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