This has got to be the tastiest, but healthiest banana bread yet. I simply had to re-create a healthy, gluten and dairy and refined sugar free version of this since living off the stuff when I lived in Australia.
It was the done thing, to hang out in a hipster coffee shop on Bondi beach, drink lattes with insanely good latte art, and eat banana bread! Not just banana bread though, toasted banana bread which was then BUTTERED! It wasn’t gluten free, dairy free, paleo, sugar free, or even slightly healthy but it tasted delicious and was the perfect indulgent weekend treat!
I often think back about my year spent living in Australia with the fondest memories and a real desire to go back one day and visit all the places that I used to hang out at. The memories often lead back to hanging out with friends and eating banana bread, hence me wanting to remake this classic recipe in to a super healthy, breakfast worthy version.
Living in Australia was actually what inspired me to go back to study nutritional therapy. I had already achieved my degree in nutrition, however I felt unsatisfied with my knowledge on completion of this degree. As it was not holistic and did not focus on treating patients as a whole, it focused on managing symptoms, rather than getting to the root cause of the problem and bringing the body back in to balance. Whilst in Australia I lived with an amazing lady who was a homeopath, we would spend time chatting away in the evenings whilst we cooked and she opened my eyes to the world of natural therapies. She fuelled my desire to continue my studies and after a few conversations with her I wanted to know more and more, so I went out and bought books on nutritional therapy and began researching where I could study further once I got back to England. I was so excited to discover this different approach to healing. One that didn’t involve the medical world, and toxic prescription drugs which mask symptoms and cause awful side effects that require more medication. Instead an approach that focused on seeking the cause of the problem, be it a nutritional deficiency, an exposure to toxins, a hormonal imbalance, gastrointestinal damage, immune dysfunction, gene mutations, all of which can be put right with dietary changes, supplements, lifestyle modifications. The nutrients that we get (or don’t get) from food have the ability to directly affect our genes, therefore directly impact whether we do or do not develop a certain disease. This is know as ‘Nutrigenomics’ – ‘the scientific study of the interaction of nutrition and genes, especially with regard to the prevention or treatment of disease’.
So I thank Australia, Sam the wonderful homeopath and banana bread for leading to me where I am today, following my passions, learning more every day and doing what I love.
Anyhow, I suppose you would like a bit more about todays recipe. It is, of course (as always) gluten free, dairy free & refined sugar free, but would you be able to tell?!
It tastes like cakey heaven and you can enjoy it without feeling guilty. Here are some of the benefits of some of the nutrients in this cake:
Bananas – an excellent source of potassium and tryptophan (the precursor to serotonin – our mood boosting hormone).
Coconut oil – read all about the benefits in my blog post here
Cinnamon – excellent at stabilising blood sugar levels
Walnuts – source of protein and anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids
Oats – a source of beta-glucans which are amazing at boosting the immune system. Also for providing fibre, reducing bad cholesterol and and protecting the heart.
Almond and flax meal – excellent sources of protein, essential fats and vitamin E
3 ripe bananas
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg ( or sub 1 chia or flax egg to make this cake vegan)
3 tbsp/ 45ml melted coconut oil
100g coconut sugar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
3.5 tsp baking powder
1tsp Himalayan pink salt
1-2 tsp cinnamon
180ml almond or dairy free milk
1 tablespoon peanut butter (optional)
100g ground almonds
40g ground flaxseed
200g gluten free flour blend
110g gluten free oats
50g chopped walnuts
Preheat the oven to 175 degrees (fan assisted) and line a 9×5 inch loaf tin with parchment paper.
Mash the bananas in a large bowl. Add all of the ingredients on the list through to almond milk and whisk to combine. Lastly add in the ground almonds, gluten free flour blend and oats and stir. Pour in to the tin and top with crushed walnuts.
Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes. It should feel firm and be crackly and brown on top. Let it cool completely before cutting or it will be too delicate to hold form. If you would like to be really indulgent then I suggest taking advice from the Aussie pros and toasting it and spreading with nut butter!
‘Always take each time you eat as an opportunity to nourish your body, fill it full of the essential nutrients that it needs to thrive and feel optimal’.