I never thought I would write those words in relation to something I’d cooked, but here we are, five days into my giving up added sugar. I’ve been thinking about this for a while. I never really think I have a sweet tooth – I’d always choose a starter over a pudding – but I would quite often eat a bit of chocolate or have a twix without really thinking about it. Not to mention that there is added sugar in EVERYTHING.
I’m also not the kind of person that believes that replacing sugar with maple syrup, honey or agave in your baking is any better for you. It’s still just sugar, sucrose, your body processes it in the same way it would refined sugar, and if you’re relying on maple syrup for it’s nutrient density…I don’t know how to help you.
ANYWAY. Anyway. I had a couple of bananas mouldering away on the side (I can only eat a banana raw when it’s still on the green side – ripe bananas make me queasy) so I thought: yes. Banana bread. Overripe bananas are incredibly sweet, so making some banana bread relying on the sweetness of the bananas, with a couple of dates and a handful of sultanas chucked in, didn’t seem like too much of a stretch.
And it was GREAT. I used a couple of eggs in this, but you could easily swap these out for chia/flax eggs for a vegan version. I used spelt flour as it gives a nice nutty taste and is probably a little better for you than ordinary refined white flour. This is still a cake though – so it’s not exactly ‘health food’. But you can probably eat it for breakfast #justsaying.
SUGAR FREE BANANA BREAD
- 4 VERY ripe bananas
- 2 (organic) eggs/2 chia eggs
- 8 dates
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 60 ml vegetable oil
- Large pinch of sea salt
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp bicarb soda
- 150 g spelt flour. You could use wholemeal here, or plain. I wouldn’t use rye though.
- 50g sultanas
- 50g walnuts (or almonds, pecans or brazil nuts would be nice) roughly chopped
- Preheat the oven to 180C and grease and line a small loaf tin with a bit of baking parchment – I have one of those silicon sheets that I’ve cut to the size of my loaf tin so I can just wash and reuse it without having to cut one out every time.
- For cakes like this I tend to take the path of least resistance and just throw everything in a food processor, and it’s always worked fine for me. Leave the nuts, and just stir through at the end so they aren’t chopped too small, though, and save one banana for decorating the top.
- If you don’t have a food processor, it’s still a laughably simple process. Just chop up your dates as small as you can, and then combine everything (sift the flour and raising agents) in a bowl with some beaters. You can put the nuts in at the same time here, as they won’t be mashed up by the beaters, but the bananas will. Again, save one banana for the top.
- Pour the batter into the loaf tin, then carefully slice the remaining banana in half lengthways. Arrange the two long halves of the banana artfully on top, seed side up.
- Bake in the hot oven for about 45 minutes, until risen and golden brown, and a skewer comes out clean.