Banana, Coconut and Chia Seed Bread

Makes 1 loaf | 60 mins wo-to-go (Prep 10 mins. Baking 50 mins)

It's time to 'revamp' the banana cake to make it more nutritious and delicious. This recipe is a hand mixed 'one bowl wonder' and you don’t need to get your scales out - just a measuring cup and teaspoon. It does not get much simpler than that! It’s even more fabulous because you can substitute the core ingredients based on what you have on hand, what taste’s you like and the sort of nutrition you are after. You can make a loaf, slice or muffin style. Leave it plain or top it pre or post baking.

Why will your body love it.....

Banana is the best fruit source of vitamin B6 (one small banana provides around a quarter of your daily needs) B6 helps with the production of neurotransmitters - think brain food for kids. It also contains other B group vitamins folate, niacin, riboflavin and pantothenic acid. More info. By using spelt and buckwheat I have kept the gluten levels down & enriched the base without making it taste too bitter. Spelt (more info) is an ancient wheat grain but it does not seem to cause sensitivities in most people who are intolerant of wheat (get professional advice tho) & buckwheat is not wheat but comes from the rhubarb family - I am a big believer in nourishing your body with lots of nutrient dense foods and always presenting new foods & tastes to kids. I used the unrefined Panela sugar, wholemeal flours + cinnamon to help regulate blood sugar levels.

You will need:

  • 3 ripe Bananas
  • ½ cup melted butter, coconut or a light healthy oil
  • 2 eggs ½ cup milk (cow or other)
  • ½ tspn baking soda
  • 1 cup W/M buckwheat flour
  • 1 cup W/M spelt flour
  • ½ cup coconut
  • ¾ cup sugar (Panela) **
  • 1 tspn cinnamon
  • 2 tspn baking powder
  • 1 tspn of vanilla (optional) Topping (optional – some or all of these ingredients)
  • Oats
  • Extra sliced banana
  • Cinnamon & sugar sprinkle
  • Chia seeds

To make

  1. Turnoven to 180C.
  2. Line loaf tin*** with baking paper.
  3. Into a large bowl, add the bananas, mash (leaves some chunks).
  4. Warm the milk, add the soda and mix til combine (beware it bubbles up).
  5. Add to bowl.
  6. Add eggs, & melted butter or oil. Mix with a spoon til well combined
  7. Onto the top of this mix add remaining ingredients - the flours, coconut, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, vanilla. Mix well by hand with a spoon.
  8. Pour / spoon into tin.
  9. Drop tin several times on bench top to spread the mix and knock any large air bubbles out.
  10. To decorate I sprinkled on oats, placed banana slices, sprinkled a sugar and cinnamon mix then chia seeds on top. You can do one or any of these.
  11. Bake 50 minutes****. Use a skewer to test – make sure it comes out clean

Tips & Tricks

* butter creates a very different flavour to say coconut oil. I love butter but occasionally sub in half nut oil ( eg walnut or almond)

** Nutrients can be varied with the type of flour (wholemeal, spelt, or buckwheat), sugar (refined or minimally processed) or fat/oil – dairy, vegetable, nut etc you use.

*** Tin – I like a long (35cm x 8cm) straight sided rectangular one because when sliced it is not too big for my 4 & 6 year olds.

**** If you are baking in mini muffin pans – takes 15mins. Large muffins take 25mins.

If your school allows nut you can toss in or on some walnuts or pecans or substitute some of the flour with almond meal. If you don't like the taste of coconut you could also substitute with a nut meal/ground nuts.

You can bake, cool, then pre-slice and freeze for lunch boxes.

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