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Best Ever Banana Bread { 100% WHOLE GRAIN, LOW FAT & REFINED SUGAR FREE }








بِسْــــــــــــــــــــــمِ اﷲِارَّحْمَنِ ارَّحِيم
السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته
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Bananas aren’t a fruit that typically excites the senses or moves people in a profound way, if in any way at all. But I guess for many fruit in general nowadays don't excite people anymore! 

I love fruit and love that I live in a place where each season brings in local organic fruit. There is one fruit loved above all,  and are marketed as, Quite Possibly the World’s Perfect Food,so much so that during the Black Era there was even a "Banana Maffia" that regulated the importation, pricing and distribution of banana. 

Orginially brought in by French during the colonial times, the cultivation of bananas was first started in the turn of the 20th century on very small farms by some Pied Noir families of the west and especially by a few wealthy owners of the fertile plain of Mitidja in the back country of Algiers. The farms virtually disappeared as the Pied Niors exited Algeria during the Algerian War of Independence during the 50s and 60s.

It is only in the 1980s when the banana re-emerged in the Algerian markets as a part of agricultural development program . Farmers around Tipaza and Chiffa, a fifty kilometers west of Algiers imported Jamaican banana plants, building greenhouses  and irrigation system installation.  Sadly, their effors were shortlived and replaced by other plasticulture programs for tomatoes and peppers. And the local Algerian  banana is again near exsistence.

When it comes to this high-energy portable fruit, I tend to be so picky. I'm a not a person that likes taste and texture of the overripe, soft, stringyand often slimy soft, that leaves a strange, powdery-yet-wet residue on the tongue and teeth. I'll only eat them if they're golden yellow prefectly sweet and still firm, prehaps with the tips still green. 


source: Westwood Banana


Can you tell how finicky I am about bananas?

Although I know several people who actually love the brown bananas ... most of my family actually so as a "good mom" I have this conditioned subconscious response as I do my shopping,“I should get bananas”.   Walking through the stalls of the outside markets you'll either find the green starchy ones or the overly ripe ones. I try to buy the prefectly bright yellow bananas but that most of the time doesn't happen. I end up with a bunch of really green and a bunch that is slightly freckled. The overripe ones usually go for much lower price so when my husband does the shopping he isn't picky as I am and comes home with the brown ones. hm! 

But as I take them home ... place them in the fruit bowl ... the greedy little fingers of my children automatic run to tear off a banana from the bunch. Sometimes, these bananas get to be topping for our morning porridge or mixed in yogurt. But there are rare times when the children don't devor the whole lot. The bananas start to have brownish freckles, sometimes even blackened that they seem almost decomposed, beyond the point of use. First instinct was to throw them out right? Wrrrong! I don’t work that way. Whether by culture or necessity, it hurts my heart to waste. I can’t just throw things away, especially things that seem perfectly good. Only by some act of the Allah, they could be salvaged. I stripped them open, scraped from its skin, pound and mashed into a slimy, pulpy mess, hurled into a floury fray, but finally, emerged from the heat, beautifully transformed.



So how to transform them? Did you guess? By what else way then to whip them into a banana bread?  I make banana bread so many times we never seem to grew tire of it. I have to admit, I don't get tired of  I banana bread either! I don't now but to me their taste has changed really enchanced when baked ... rich and moist ...Quick to make and the best part: it keeps for a long time. And with a few tweaks actually good for you!

Prehaps I like banana bread so much since those leftover brown bananas that sit on the counter for days collecting more and more freckles do not go waste ... or that only the ripe or overly ripe bananas which have essencially the most flavour go into a banana bread. Really not sure what the secret is about it ...

Most banana bread recipes are saturated with butter and refined sugar. I've tried over the years to healthify our favorites foods. So after playing with my orginal banana bread recipe I came up with this. My banana bread is made with date sugar and contains no butter. It gets its sweetness mainly from the bananas and of course the date sugar. It won’t be the sweetest banana bread you will ever try, but that is what I was after. The bananas and cinnamon mellow the whole grain taste that many dislike.This is the healthiest version I could come up with and I am super excited about the results! So, give it a try and let me know what you think! Please stay tuned-in in the near future for an even healthier Multi-Grain and Vegan version ...

You can easily mix it up a bit by adding various 'other' add-ins like raisins and coconut, apples, chocolate, dried fruits like apricot or even top with Müesli. But anyway that was the story of banana bread in my house!



If you're wondering about the difference between banana bread and banana cake, you can head on over to David Lebovitz for detailed explaination. And for more on the different colors and types of bananas check out this informative site.

And finally on a blog-related note, you may noticed a few changes around here, like a banner and the new format of the recipes. I've also added, enchallah helpful to you all printable recipe, "equipment" needed above the ingredients so gathering and preparing the recipes are much easier for you all! Please leave me a comment if you find the changes helpful or if you have any other changes you'd like to see around here ... Thanks!!!

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YIELD: 1 loaf pan - about 12 servings
PREP TIME: 5 mins
COOK TIME: 30-40 mins
Turn over-rippen bananas into this delicious low fat and refined sugar quick bread load that's great for breakfast-on-the-run, school lunchboxes or snack with afternoon tea. 
equipment

  • fork, rubber spatula, flour sifter, 1 large mixing bowl, one 9x5 (imperial) - 23x13 (metric) loaf pan OR six mini loaf pans OR 12 count muffin tin

inGREDIENTS





  • 3 ripe bananas, smashed (about 1 cup)
  • ½ cups - 210g whole spelt or whole wheat pastry flour (All Purpose flour works nice too)
  • 2/3 cup - 85g toasted nuts (like walnuts or almonds)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 generous handful (about ½ cup) toasted and chopped walnuts
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup - 125ml buttermilk (called l'ben in Algeria)
  • 1 TBS ground cinnamon
  • ¼ cup - 32g flaxmeal  
  • 1 TBS halal vanilla essence or 1 vanilla bean scrapped
  • 1 cup - 175g date sugar  ۞ 
  • ½ tsp salt


  • TOPPING:
    • steel cut oats (optional)
    • toasted and coarsely chopped walnuts

    PREHEAT your oven to 175°C - 350°F degrees. Grease or line the loaf pan with parchment paper. 

    TOAST the walnuts in the oven until lightly toasted. You'll know it's ready when you smell them. Allow to cool. Once, cooled light dust the walnuts with flour. This helps them from sinking to the bottom of your bread.

    MASH the bananas in a large bowl. Add in the eggs, date sugar, vanilla and buttermilk. 

    SIFT the flour, baking soda, and cinnamon right into the bowl with the wet ingredients. Please remember to sift the dry ingredients as I've made this recipe several times and found sifting makes for a fluffier bread. 

    STIR until combined. Don’t over mix the batter or you'll have a concrete block-like loaf.

    SPREAD the mixture evenly into your prepared loaf pan. Generously sprinkle with the oats and walnuts

    BAKE for about 45-50 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. If you're using mini loaf pans, the bake time will be around 25 minutes. If you're using a muffin tin, bake will be around 20-25 minutes. Remember to adjust the baking time accordingly depending on the pan size. 

    Allow to cool for 30 minutes before slicing with a serrated knife and serving. Nice enough eaten alone but also spread with rich butter or jam.


    Storage
    After cooling and cutting, wrap the loaf tightly and store in the fridge for up to one week or in the freezer for up to 3 months. To serve, simply thaw out on the countertop and serve. 

    Sweetener Alternative
    If you don't have date sugar around, you can easily sub equal amount of rapadura, sugar or ½ cup of raw honey + add ¼ tsp of baking soda to neutralize the acid in the honey. Also you'll need to reduce the oven temp to 160°C - 325°F to prevent burning. 

    Fat Alternative
    If you don't have buttermilk on hand you can sub it with one of the following:

    1. Equal amount of kefir or sour milk.
    2. Add 1 TBS of white vinegar or apple cider vinegar to 1 cup of milk. Allow to sit at room temp until thick.
    3. Add 1 TBS of lemon juice to 1 cup of milk. Again allow to sit until thick.
    4. Combine 3/4 cup cup yogurt with 1/4 cup milk.
    5. Combine 1/2 cup Greek yogurt to 1/2 cup milk.

    You could further lower the fat content and also make this dairy and vegan by  in this recipe by replacing the coconut oil or olive oil here by replacing the eggs and yogurt for 1/3 cup applesauce and  ½ cup warmed almond milk + 3TBS flaxmeal. 

    CATEGORIES: QUICK AND EASY, Bread, Breakfast, kid's favn budget recipes

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    3 comments:

    Ivy said...

    Your banana bread sounds delicious and I'd love some with a cup of coffee in the morning.

    Biba said...

    Miam, il a l'air très délicieuse , j'adore!
    Bravo

    Rachida said...

    ça à l'air bien bon, merci pour le parage, bsahetkoum