It’s weekend baking time again. When I started this blog a few weeks back, I wanted to try to bake something new each weekend, as well as trying at least one new savoury dish a week. And so far I’m on track. But after my mid-week decadent brownies, I thought I’d better try something a bit lighter this weekend. It’s all about moderation and balance right?

I often have an overripe banana or two leftover in my fruit bowl. And whenever I do, I pop them in the freezer. The skin goes quite black but the fruit inside is fine and is great for cooking.  This weekend I had a collection of about nine bananas built up in the freezer, so it was time to use some of them up and what better way to use them up than by making some banana bread?  I usually bake banana bread using Nigella’s recipe from her book How to be a Domestic Goddess. However, that recipe is definitely not guilt free. A few weeks back though, one of the food blogs I follow Not Quite Nigella posted a fat free banana bread recipe using apple sauce instead of butter or oil that I wanted to try.

So recipe chosen, it was time to cook. After a few setbacks (we had a short thunderstorm and the power was off for an hour or two), I finally got to baking. I made a few tweaks to the original recipe, such as adding some cinnamon and ginger (a half and quarter teaspoon of each – I think I might add a bit more next time). I might try it with brown sugar as well too next time. I couldn’t find any apple sauce at my local grocery store, so I used some tinned pie apples which I blended up. The smells that filled the house while it was cooking were wonderful and it was difficult to wait until it was finished to try it. The end result was a lovely moist and dense bread, but without feeling heavy, with a hint of spice. Definitely one I will be trying again.  I’m looking forward to having a slice for breakfast tomorrow.

Guilt free banana bread

Ingredients:

  • 5 ripe bananas – peeled and mashed (mine weighted 400g when peeled and mashed)
  • 1 ½ cups plain flour
  • ½ cup caster sugar (add more if you prefer a sweeter bread)
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 egg – lightly beaten
  • ½ cup apple sauce (pureed cooked apples)
  • ½ cup non/low fat milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ – 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
  • ¼ – ½ teaspoon ground ginger (optional)
  • You could also add some chopped walnuts or some sultanas/raisins soaked in some liquid to plump them up

Equipment – I used a 21.5cm x 11.5cm x 5.5cm loaf pan lined with a non-stick loaf liner (I found a pack at my local kitchenware store). I also had some leftover mix which I put into a lined mini loaf pan. Cooking time will vary depending on the size of pan you use. Next time I am going to make them all in the mini loaf tins as the smaller amount seems to rise better and give a slightly lighter (for a dense mix) cake.

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 160C fan forced (180C), and line the loaf tin(s).
  2. Sift the flour, bicarb, baking powder and spices (if using) into a bowl. Add sugar and mix to combine.
  3. Combine wet ingredients (bananas, apple sauce, milk, egg and vanilla) in another bowl or jug and then add to the dry ingredients. Mix to combine.
  4. Pour into the loaf tin(s) and bake in the oven (middle shelf). The mini loaf took 30 minutes. The larger one took around 70 minutes (I put a small cut in the middle of the loaf after about 30 minutes to help the centre cook through). The bread is cooked after a skewer comes out of the centre mostly clean (with the banana and apple, there is always going to be some moisture).
  5. Allow to cool and enjoy.

Adapted from Luscious Fat Free banana Bread @ www.NotQuiteNigella.com