In the last 2 weeks I haven’t been as vigilant as I had been in not eating wheat products. I have said before that I find it much easier to go without dairy but I love nothing more than warm fluffy white toast when I am having a bad day. And lets just say there have been a few of them in the last week or so!
I have noticed that I do feel so much better when I don’t eat wheat and I have really only noticed that since I have reintroduced it. I will definately be making more of an effort in the future to have things prepared and ready to go to should I have a mood induced snack attack.
I have also been suffering with more headaches in the recent past too (which have in a way caused the moodiness that has me reaching for the sliced pan!) and I can only put that down to having too much refined sugar. When I bake and a recipe calls for sugar, I would always try and reduce the amount and replace it with something like Agave syrup to limit the damage. So I have been trying to be super careful about the amount of sugar I have been eating too.
I noticed that we had a glut of ripe and fast becoming over-ripe bananas in the basket yesterday evening & I decided that I would attempt a wheat and refined sugar free banana bread. Bananas are incredibly sweet anyway and as they ripen and are mashed and cooked they have a sweetness that I think can carry a recipe without any additional sugar. Added dates and walnuts add flavour and texture and make it really very moreish!
This recipe *may* have had a few different attempts that didn’t work out but this incarnation, in my opinion is just right. It is a dense bread and the mixture of rye and spelt flour give it a nuttiness and texture that reminds me of a light brown bread. It would be perfect toasted and smeared with almond butter as an afternoon snack accompanied with a cup of hot tea. It also wouldn’t be out of place on the breakfast table with some nice jam or marmalade.
You will need a 2lb loaf tin lined with baking paper. Preheat your oven to 150Celcius.
To make you need –
150g wholegrain spelt flour
150g rye flour
1tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon (or more if you wish)
1tbsp cocoa powder
50g walnuts, roughly chopped
60g dates, pitted and chopped finely
3 regular (or 2.5 large), very ripe bananas
In a large bowl, place your flours, baking powder,baking soda, cinnamon, salt and cocoa powder. Mix well and add the chopped walnuts and dates. Mix again ensuring they are well distributed.
In a separate bowl mash your bananas until as smooth as possible – I use a potato masher to start and finish with a whisk. Add your egg and vanilla and whisk until completely combined.
Add your banana mix to your flours and using a spatula mix until combined. The dough will seem out of proportion wet:dry ingredients, but just stick with it and it will come together. THe dough will seem heavy but that is the way it should be. Don’t over mix. Transfer to your baking tin and flatten down the top.
Place in the centre of a preheated oven and bake for one hour – check the bread after about 50 minutes by inserting a knife or skewer in the centre of the loaf. If it comes out clean the bread is ready, if not leave it for another 5 mins and check again.
Once cooked, remove from the oven and allow to cool before removing from the tin – Leave a little lip of baking paper around the edges so you can just lift it out.
Slice, serve and enjoy.
This bread will keep in an airtight tin for up to 3 days – to refresh slightly, place in a warmed oven for 5 minutes or toast.