Flour free and refined sugar free banana bread

This gorgeous Banana Bread recipe is refined sugar free and flour free!  Now you probably know I'm not big on the 'free from' stuff, I just think if it taste good and is full of wholesome ingredients then that's good enough for me! But being eight months pregnant I am trying to incorporate as much goodness into my diet as possible.

Also I had a bunch of banana's which were truly ready for dumping...

So this is my version of banana bread that is jam packed with goodness and isn't just a treat. It's a nutritious breakfast staple and perfect if you're on the go and want something substantial that won't leave you with a sugar crash. Children love it and I always add a bit of butter and maybe some honey when having a slice. Try it and let me know what you think.

I've replaced flour with some ground almonds which you can easily buy in any supermarket and ground flaxseeds which I ground up in my nutraninja, but you could easily do this with a coffee grinder or a powerful blender. Or indeed you can buy ground flaxseed from most health food stores. I add ground flaxseed to everything, my yogurt in the morning, my brown bread, scones, brownies, anything really as flaxseeds are so good for you.

This bread is made mainly with flaxseed which is considered to be a high-fiber super food, which is filled with Omega-3 essential fatty acids, "good" fats that have been shown to have heart-healthy effects. Each tablespoon of ground flaxseed contains about 1.8 grams of plant omega-3s. It also contains lignans, which have both plant estrogen and antioxidant qualities and of course fiber which is so important to incorporate daily into your diet.

It was my father who originally introduced me to Flaxseed after he had been very ill with serious stomach issues which resulted in him having over half of his stomach removed. It was then that I first became aware of what food can do for us in both a good and bad way and it was then that he introduced me to this fabulous book which my whole family swear by ( as you can see it's more than a bit battered!).

 

So this recipe isn't just delicious, its also nutritious so do try making it. 

You want to make sure that you are using really ripe bananas for this one as they taste sweeter. You'll know they're ripe when the skin turns a deep shade of yellow and the banana's covered with brown speckles.

Ingredients:

Makes 1 bread in a 9in x 5in pan

300g of ripe bananas ( this is roughly 3 bananas)

30g of butter or coconut oil

1 tbsp of maple syrup

1 tbsp of honey

1 tbsp lemon juice1 tsp of vanilla extract

1 tsp of ground cinnamon

4 small eggs or 3 large ones

1/2 tsp of bicarbonate soda

125g ground almonds

125g ground flaxseed ( also known as linseed)

sea salt

optional extras to add to the mix...

chopped pecans

goji berries

Method:

In a mixing bowl mash the bananas to a pulp. Add the maple syrup, butter, cinnamon, vanilla, eggs, bicarbonate of soda and lemon juice.

Mix well with a whisk.

Add the ground almonds, ground flaxseed and the chopped pecans or goji berries if you're using them.

Line the tin with unbleached, metal-free parchment paper  and this paper then doubles as a wrap to store our banana bread.

Pour batter into the tin and bake for 60 -75 minutes at 170C.

You'll know its ready when a skewer inserted into the centre comes out dry. If your bread starts to look quite brown after the first 30 minutes, then cover the top with foil or more parchment paper until your bread has finished baking.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool a little. Serve warm or at room temperature with some lightly salted butter

Store your bread covered in the fridge (remember there is no sugar or preservatives!) for up to a week, or as I like to do, slice and freeze it,  that way you can have a slice at a time heated under the grill- delicious.

Do let me know how you get on with this, I love hearing from you and I read and respond to every email I receive.

The Artful Eating seven week online program is available now, so if it's something you think you might be interested in, then check out all the details here.

Nutty Natural Yogurt Breakfast

Breakfast is THE MOST important meal of the day, but too often we rush or skip it. I like to start my day with a cup of hot water with the juice of half a lemon. This is followed by a glass of my gorgeous green smoothie. But then I like to sit down, take my time and enjoy a yummy breakfast. I like to mix it up and so don't always have the same thing. I also like to have it in courses. So I might start with half of a grapefruit, or 1/2 banana or 1/2 an apple, and follow this with a bowl of 'nutty natural yogurt', or a slice of brown bread and a boiled egg.

This is one of my favourite breakfasts. Play around with this recipe to get the consistency you like. The natural yogurt MUST be of good quality, I recommend you try getting one locally made and not mass produced as it will have all the good bacteria your gut needs!

Try making natural yogurt part of your everyday diet- it's so incredibly good for you! The key is to taste as you add the lemon juice- it's got to be just the right amount for your taste buds and that's a very personal thing.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup of natural yogurt
  • 1 table spoon of porridge oats
  • A handful of chopped pecan nuts
  • A teaspoon of honey
  • Optional- A squeeze of lemon juice to taste

Method

  • Mix all the ingredients together and enjoy- find the balance of flavours and consistency that you like.

kitchen sink bread

This is a yummy and versatile staple. I make it about twice a week and eat it most days. It works for any meal!

I don't really measure, I just throw everything in, the key is to get a sticky consistency that holds together on your baking tray. The following will make one big loaf.

Ingredients:

  • 450ml buttermilk
  • 340g of whole wheat flour (if you prefer you can use a mix of plain and whole wheat)
  • 80g of oats 
  • 80g of Seeds of your choosing (I use a combination of sunflower / chia seeds / pine nuts / linseeds)
  • 1 tbl spoon of baking soda or powder
  • A sprinkling of salt (I use Maldon sea salt flakes)
  • 1 tbl spoon of honey or maple syrup

 

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 180 C or 355 F.

  • Take a large mixing bowl and mix the whole wheat flour, oats, seeds, baking powder and salt.

  • Then mix together the dry ingredients with a spoon.

  • Slowly add the buttermilk, mixing as you go.

  • Depending on the types of seeds you use you will need less or more milk. The key is to bind the ingredients so that they hold together in a sticky wet-ish lump.

  • Dust flour on a baking tray and put the mixture in the middle of the tray. It should look like a big lump!

  •  Alternatively you can place it in a bread tin.

  • Let it cook for approx 35-40 min depending on your oven. You'll now it's ready when you stick a knife in it and the knife comes out clean and when you knock on the base it sounds hollow.

  • Leave to cool on a wire rack for 10-15 minutes.

  • This bread is super yummy and healthy- enjoy!

Serving Suggestion

  • Real butter & Raw honey.
  • A spread of Hummus and/or half an avocado, some chopped tomatoes, a little bit of chopped chilli, a little squeeze of lime juice and some coriander or bail or rocket. Season with a bit of sea salt and pepper – YUM!
  • Butter and a poached, boiled or scrambled egg with salt and pepper.
  • Wild smoked salmon, butter, squeeze of lemon juice.
  • Avocado/tomato/onion (or spring onion) and cheese ( good quality cheese) on toasted brown bread bring the ingredients and assemble at work.

You get the idea – this bread is so healthy and filling, one slice should be plenty!