Monthly Archives

February 2017

Baking

Blueberry Banana Bread

February 19, 2017

Banana bread has become a staple bake in my house, a few slices smothered in peanut butter or simply munched with a creamy coffee is my idea of heaven. I’ve tried lots of ‘healthy’ versions and many of them still ask for large amounts of sugar – and personally I think ripe bananas (spottier the better) make the bread sweet enough without adding extra sugar. Having said that, I have thrown in some dates to this recipe as I’m using two bananas rather than three (as I would have used in previous breads) but you can easily leave the dates out if you prefer.

I’ve also used plain flour for this bread recipe however if you are gluten free, you can substitute with rice flour. I usually make banana bread with rice flour and it turns out lovely. I find it to be quite light and one of the better types of gluten free flours to bake with.

Although it’s called bread, I would probably say it’s more of a cake like texture. But you will find most of the banana bread recipes out there to be similar, and I can’t get enough of it!

You will need:

  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 50g of dates (soaked in hot water)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 175g of plain flour
  • 50g of oats
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp of bicarbonate of soda
  • 80g of blueberries
  • 2 tbsp of desiccated coconut
  • 2 tbsp of sunflower seeds (or seeds of your choice)
  • 1 tbsp of ground linseed (optional)

How to make:

Preheat the oven to 160°c (fan) and line a loaf tin with parchment paper or grease with a little coconut oil. After pitting the dates, cover in hot boiled water and leave to soften for a few minutes.

Using a food processor, add the bananas, eggs, flour, oats and soaked dates (drain the liquid away) and blend until a thick batter like consistency. You may need to add a tbsp of milk to make the mixture smooth. Spoon into a mixing bowl and add the rest of the ingredients. Before adding the blueberries, coat them in a little bit of flour to prevent them from sinking in the loaf.

When all combined, spoon into a loaf tin and smooth the top. Pop into the oven and bake for 50 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool for half an hour or so before slicing. Enjoy!

 

Baking

Chocolate Orange Bean Brownies

February 8, 2017

These brownies are a revelation. Butter beans are the secret ingredient, yes you heard right, I did say BUTTER BEANS! Not only are they made out of beans, you can whizz up the whole mixture in a blender… now that’s magic.

As crazy as it sounds, there is zero flour in these brownies (I still don’t quite understand how that works?!) and they’re crammed full of beans, raw cacao and a hint of orange extract. The orange extract works amazingly in baking, it appears to grab hold of the chocolate and a little really does go a long way.

I’ve tried them with chickpeas too, and they’re pretty similar in taste and texture, so if that’s what you’ve got in the cupboard feel free to swap out the butter beans for chickpeas instead.

These sweet brownies are naturally gluten free (ideal for coeliacs) and I’m working on a vegan option too, so I’ll be sure to let you know how my experiments go!

You will need:

  • 1 tin of cooked butter beans
  • 40g of raw cacao
  • 75g dark brown sugar
  • 2 eggs (I used large eggs)
  • 30ml of milk
  • 2 tsp of baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp of orange extract
  • 75g dark chocolate chips

How to make:

Preheat the oven to 180°c (fan) and line a square baking tray with parchment paper. Drain and rinse the butter beans then add to a blender. Weigh out the rest of the ingredients and pop into the blender too, except for the chocolate chips.

Blend for a few minutes until smooth (I have a NutriBullet and use the larger cup to mix it in) and then transfer to a bowl. Stir through the chocolate chips and spoon out the mixture into the tray. Smooth out into all corners and pop into the oven on the middle shelf. Bake for 25 minutes and leave to cool before slicing into squares.