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Sunday, December 04, 2011

The Best Banana Bread in the World

A basic convention in formal and technical writing states that we should never use opinion and non-definable adjectives & expressions, such as: big, too much, the best. How big is "big" and how great is "the best"?
Well, I will willingly break this meaningful rule by claiming that yes, this is the best banana bread I have ever had! That yes, it is possible to bake an amazing banana bread without using eggs and drowning it in oil. 
Baking is a challenge for me as I will never come to terms with the amount of butter, eggs and oil used in most cakes.   
Without being a butter control freak, I am always on the look for the perfect recipe which substitutes or at least reduces the amount of fat, sugar and cholesterol. Though many times I cheat white sugar by replacing it with honey, agave syrup or brown sugar, switching butter with olive oil, I have found it hard to do without eggs...until yesterday. 

I came back from Ireland with a string of some great little treasures aka cookbooks: Harry Eastwood's Skinny Kitchen, Ross Dobson's Wholefood Kitchen, My Kitchen - Vegetarian and Less Meat More Veg by Rachel de Thample, among others. I am not entirely vegetarian, so I don't master well terms such as "vegan" and "raw cuisine", but incorporating a variety of seasonal fruit & vegetables in our diet is something I always do. I have an iron deficiency and I need proteins and meat on a daily basis, otherwise I get dizzy and sick :/
"Vegetarian is not all beans and tofu" and I couldn't agree more. Cooking & eating healthy and balanced dishes is a priority for me, something that you've probably noticed going though my blog. I am not saying that eggs, oil and butter are bad by any means. I am advocating for balance and moderation and if and when we can replace them, why not just do so? 

The Best (Chocolate) Banana Bread Ever


3 ripe bananas

250 ml coconut milk

a sachet of baking powder

1/2 tsp of bicarbonate of soda

a cup of flour  (approx 250 gr)

mixed with

spices: cinnamon, cardamom pods, grated ginger


golden raisins, crushed walnuts & preserved orange rind 



Preheat the oven at 180 degrees C.

1. Puree the bananas and mix them with 2 tsp of honey, orange rind and coconut milk

2. In a deep bowl mix the flour with the baking soda and the baking powder, a handful of walnuts, golden raisins & spices: 2 freshly ground cinnamon sticks, 4 cloves of cardamom, and a small square of freshly grated ginger

Pour the puree of banana & coconut milk over the flour mix, keeping aside a small quantity of batter that you will mix with the coco powder

Grease & flour a tin and pour the batter into it. Decorate with the chocolate batter and extra preserved orange rind

Bake for 45-50 minutes @ 160 degrees C.

My conclusion

Finding out this amazing recipe proves that it is possible to indulge in an absolutely delicious treat in a great guilt-free style! Yes, without compromising on the taste and texture, this cake is egg-less and oil-free (apart from the tiny drip you use to grease the tin).  The coconut milk replaces here regular oil wonderfully. It makes the bread incredibly moist.  It is an explosion of flavours; the cardamom and the ginger bring Arabian and Indian influences to it, just the way I like it. A bit of fusion is always welcome :)

Because I used a shallow tin (my mistake, next time I'll know better), the cake almost overspilled in the oven and I also had enough batter to bake two extra muffins. 

It pairs well with Indian tea with spices. 

a bite of yummyness

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