Saturday, 23 August 2014

Foodie Friday On A Saturday - Gluten Free Banana Nut Bread

I think I've said it before but I hate throwing food away.Did you know that around 20% of the waste that goes into our bins is food waste? It's a pretty high percentage but I am actually surprised that it's not more. Like a lot of families we try to buy just the fresh food that we need and we know that we'll use. I know it's not always practical but it does make a huge difference with the amount of food that ends up in the bin. Even with the best will in the world though I still end up with some withered apples or some yellowing broccoli in the fruit bowl or in the bottom fridge but I always try to use it up. Juicing is a brilliant way of using fruit and veg that are past their best and most of the soups that I make are inspired by leftovers, the reduced section of the supermarket or the dregs of the vegetable drawer. 


Last week the contents of our fruit bowl looked a little bit sad. Well I say fruit bowl but I mean banana stand, try and you might bananas are one of those fruits that just seem to ripen at a ridiculous rate if they don't get eaten. I know the brown, blotchy skins aren't that appealing to look at, get past that, and look inside, usually the bananas inside are fine if a little squishy and even if their a bit brown you can still use them. Overripe bananas are sweeter making them ideal for little people. Just pop them in the freezer in their skins and they make great banana ice lollies. You can also use them in smoothies, milkshakes and in baking.


Inspired by a recent Yankee Candle that my mum picked up, last weekends sad, and overripe bananas were transformed into a loaf of Gluten Free Banana Nut Bread. The name is a bit misleading it's not a bread at all it more of a sweet, moist fruit loaf / cake.

Gluten Free Banana Nut Bread

2 x Ripe Bananas
8oz Gluten Free Self Raising Flour
1 Level Teaspoon Baking Powder
3oz Soft Butter Or Margarine 
3oz Caster Sugar
1 Egg
2oz Chopped Nuts 
1 dsp Apricot Jam or Marmalade

1.Preheat your oven to 180° C or the equivalent, and then using a pop your bananas into a small bowl and mash them with a fork


2. Put your butter or margarine and sugar into a large mixing bowl


and cream together either by hand or with an electric mixer


3. Sieve your flour and baking powder together into another bowl and add your chopped nuts. I'm using roughly chopped pecans here but you can use chopped walnuts, or mixed nuts what ever you have.


4. Beat your egg in a small bowl


Slowly beat the egg into the fat and sugar mix


5. Then add about 1/3 of the flour, baking powder and nuts, and mix together


6. Then add the bananas and half of the remaining flour and mix together 


7. Then add the apricot jam or marmalade, I'm using marmalade here but don't worry if you don't like it, I don't, as you can't taste it. It's not essential but it just adds a bit more moisture and touch of stickiness to the loaf. Add the rest of the flour and give it a final mix till all the ingredients are combined. 


You can add a touch of milk if it's too dry but your mixture should ultimately be of a soft dropping consistency.


8. Spoon your mix into a well greased loaf tin, I'm using my trusty silicone here but any well greased tin would do. 


Put it in the oven and bake for around 30 - 35 minutes or until it's golden and a skewer comes out clean.



Voila - Leave it to cool and then slice x You can eat it warm or cold, plain or spread with butter or margarine, or even topped with a butter cream or icing.


The bananas make this a really moist cake that lasts really well for a few days, just make sure you wrap it in foil or clingfilm.


The recipe could be adapted quite easily to make a bigger cake or even to make muffins. You could also add some dried for example sultanas or raisins or even chopped dried apricots to make a bit more substantial. It would also work equally well using defrosted frozen bananas and of course by using "normal flour". This is just one example of how you can use fruit or vegetables that are past their best so think before you bin x Thanks for reading and let me know if you make this, I'd love to know how you get on x 

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