“There’s nothing I love more than the smell of baking wafting through the house on a weekend. I’ve always been a fan of baking. Partly because I’m a massive foodie (in particular a fanatic for anything sweet), but also because I’ve never really got the knack of cooking.”
There’s nothing I love more than the smell of baking wafting through the house on a weekend. I’ve always been a fan of baking. Partly because I’m a massive foodie (in particular a fanatic for anything sweet), but also because I’ve never really got the knack of cooking. I like the science behind baking, having to be precise with measurements in order for it all to come together and taste great. Cooking is more of an art. You can just add whatever you think the recipe needs, when I have no idea what the recipe needs. You get me? I just don’t get it.
Despite my love for baking, it’s been a while since I’ve actually done any. Our kitchen at home is quite small, so whenever you start doing anything in there, it automatically comes with a little stress of feeling too cramped, with no room to manoeuvre. Especially if there’s more than one person in there. But, as I had the house to myself yesterday, I fancied making up a little treat for when Harry came back from rugby. Which by the way, he loved. And yes, I’ve instantly fallen back in love with it and want to make just about everything. For me, shop bought treats aren’t even in the same league as baking your own. They never taste as good, they’re not as fresh, and you can almost guarantee they’re not as healthy.
Now, if you’re anything like me, you’ll understand that the only problem with baking is that it’s yet another excuse to eat badly. But, not all baking has to be bad for you. Which is why I’m always on the look out for healthier bakes which will curb my sweet tooth without leaving me with that overwhelming feeling of guilt. Alas! I give you Fearne Cotton’s ‘Cook Happy Cook Healthy’ recipe book. This has been my saviour and go-to book at least once a week. But, despite having this book since Christmas, I’ve only just got round to giving the banana bread a whirl. And my god it does not disappoint. With my first mouthful came a little moan of appreciation and the words “oh my god this is so good” alongside it (despite being home alone with no one to actually say it to). It was so good in fact, I ate two slices back to back. Not even sorry.
Although the ingredients are slightly more expensive due to using spelt flour and non-refined sugar (which remember, makes it a much healthier treat for you!), I’ve got to say, when is baking ever that cheap anyway? The good thing about buying the ingredients is it does mean you have them to make it a few times over. Which I can guarantee is exactly what you’ll want to do. And it means you get to fulfill those dreaded cravings, whilst being kind to your body. It’s a no-brainer.
To make this banana bread, you’ll need:
- 100g coconut oil at room temperature (plus extra for greasing)
- 150g coconut palm sugar
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 2 very ripe bananas, peeled and mashed with a fork
- 3 tbsp almond milk/ rice milk
- 150g white/ wholegrain spelt flour, sifted
- 2 and 1/2 tsp mixed spice
- 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 60g walnuts, roughly chopped
- 20g chia seeds
Got all that? Then here comes the good bit:
Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/ 350F/ Gas mark 4. Grease a loaf tin (approx 10 x 20cm) and line with baking paper. (I actually didn’t have any baking paper so skipped this part, and I didn’t have any issues getting the bread out the tin so this step can be missed).
Place the coconut oil and the sugar in a large bowl. Cream together until light and fluffy.
Then beat in the eggs, a little at a time, followed by the mashed banana and milk, until combined.
Add the remaining ingredients in a separate bowl. Gradually fold the dry ingredients into the coconut oil bowl until it just comes together – don’t over-mix as it will make the bread tough.
Transfer the mixture to the loaf tin and bake for 50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Top tip: if the top is browning too quickly, cover it with foil.
Remove and leave it to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
The banana bread is best eaten on the day it’s made (so dig in!), but it will keep up to 3 days in an airtight container, or it can be frozen for up to 2 months.
So there you have it! A super quick and easy banana bread recipe which doesn’t require any expensive tools to make – and it tastes delicious!