Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Go Bananas

People often ask me “Don’t you ever just get sick of cooking”
My answer is always the same "nope!" If I’m particularly busy with work I can end up cooking around 10-12 different recipes in one day, when you take into account my own meals as well, but I never get tired or stressed with the cooking itself, maybe just with the cleaning up! In fact, I really miss it when I have less on my to do list, like today for example. Today is one of those rare days where I have small a break between the end of one project and the start of another. Instead of relishing the thought of a lazy day I found myself desperate for a project this morning. So on inspection of the fruit bowl and a quick glance in the fridge I decided to tackle a recipe for 'no refined sugar' banana bread.

I got introduced to Sukrin gold when my other half started doing the Body Coach 90 days shift, shape and sustain plan. The brown sugar alternative was used in a granola recipe included in the pack and I was really impressed with the results. It got me thinking about what else it could be used in, and I was keen to try it out in some baking recipes. I thought it would be ideal for a version of the highly popular banana bread. The over ripe bananas are deliciously sweet anyway so I thought it would be a perfect base to begin my exploration with. I’m using coconut oil instead of butter, adding some whey protein and flax seed in place of some of the flour and switching to wholemeal flour. All in all a pretty healthy bake!

I’ve been sticking to my healthy diet quite religiously of late and in the last couple of days I’ve been craving something sweet. I’m not someone who usually has a sweet tooth but who am I to argue with what my body clearly wants. Although I have to draw the line somewhere as if I listened to it too much I’d end up eating pizza for breakfast, lunch and dinner some days. I thought this recipe could kill two birds with one stone; satisfy my stomach and my cooking itch.

The best thing about this banana bread? Other than the taste of course, it actually gets better as it gets older, so makes a great breakfast or afternoon tea for a good few days after you’ve baked it. However this removes any excuses you might make just to eat it all in one go…bugger!! 

I’ve even worked out the macros for you too, so you can easily incorporate a slice or three into your daily food intake….I know - there’s no end to my kindness is there.

If you cut the loaf into 10 slices then each one (un-iced) contains:

19.4g Carbs 10.7g Fat 9.1g Protein 207 Calories

Protein Banana Bread with Lime & Yogurt Icing
Cuts into 10 slices

150g plain wholemeal flour
2 scoops banana whey protein
1 tbsp chai and flax seed mix
1 tsp each bicarbonate or soda and baking powder
½ tsp salt
90g coconut oil, melted
140g Sukrin gold brown sugar substitute (get it from Amazon, Tesco or Holland & Barrat)
3 large or 4 small really ripe (black) bananas – the riper the better here. I tend to store them in the freezer until I have enough black ones, and then defrost them for an hour before using them
80g full fat Fage Greek yogurt
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 medium eggs
90g full fat Fage Greek yogurt
Zest and juice from ½ lime
1 tbsp Sukrin gold brown sugar substitute
about 10 dried banana chips

1 Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Line a 2lb loaf tin with a loaf tin liner or long strip of baking parchment. Put the flour, flax seed, salt, whey protein, baking powder, bicarb and sugar into a medium bowl.

2 Using a stick blender blitz half of the bananas, the eggs, vanilla and yogurt until smooth. Mash the other half of the bananas and add to the mix with the melted coconut oil. Whisk to combine. Tip into the dry ingredients and quickly fold together using a large metal spoon. Don’t over work the mixture, work quickly using as few folds as you can or the bread will become tough.

3 Pour into your lined tin and bake for 45-55 minutes, until golden brown and a skewer inserted comes out clean, cook for a further 5 mins if the skewer comes out sticky. Cool on a wire rack. Meanwhile beat the yogurt, lime juice, zest and sugar until combined. Once the cake is fully cooled spread over the topping then cut into slices to serve with extra yogurt and blueberries, if you like.

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