Squidgy Banana Bake
I have been thinking about how to make my cakes more flexible. I think we all need a bit more flexibility at the moment, the need to not have so many rules. This is a really forgiving cake, if you are new to baking it is ideal to play around with. As it stands it is sugar free, gluten free and vegan. BUT you can change this by ………
- to make this sweeter – add 2 tablespoons of honey and reduce the apple sauce by 20g
- to make this with traditional flour – swap the oat flour for plain (wholemeal is preferable)
- to make this with egg – omit the apple sauce and chia seeds (free range or organic is preferable)
- to make this with butter – swap the coconut oil for an equal amount of melted butter
- don’t like cacao nibs? – swap for dark chocolate chips, or raisins
- for each swap keep an eye on the cooking time, set your timer, watch it doesn’t brown too much on top and if it does cover with foil or baking paper. My times are a guide only.
- to make this last longer – portion up and freeze, don’t feel pressure to eat it all in a few days
And if it goes a bit wrong, don’t bin it. It doesn’t matter. Find another way to use it, if you can’t think of any now portion it up and freeze. Perhaps serve covered with yoghurt? Break up into crumbs and sprinkle over fresh fruit and granola? Roll into energy balls and bake again? It can’t be that bad that it cannot find another use somehow.
- 100g apple puree / sauce
- 120g dates or prunes—SOAKED FOR 30 MINS IN WATER, in advance
- 50g oil / butter, I used coconut oil, melted
- 2 tsp good quality vanilla
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 4 ripe medium bananas (mine weighed 480g in their skins) – peeled and mashed
- 1 tbsp nut butter or tahini, I used cashew butter
- 1 tsp each baking powder and bicarb
- 50g ground almonds
- 120g oat flour
- 5og cacao nibs (or dark chocolate chips, or dried fruit of your choice)
- Drain the dates or prunes that were soaked beforehand
- Heat the oven to 170 / 150 fan. Line or grease a 20cm square tin.
- In a large bowl, tip in the dates, apple sauce and melted oil / butter. Whizz up with a handblender
- Add all the other ingredients except the cacao nibs.
- Mix really well with a spoon.
- Finally add the cacao nibs or alternatives. Stir briefly again and pour into the tin
- Bake for approx. 35-40 mins BUT keep check after 20 mins. You may need to cover with foil to stop it browning further, and exact cooking time will depend on how ripe the bananas were.
- It is cooked when firm (ish) in the middle. I like mine a bit gooey!
50 mins + 30 mins soaking
Bananas are renowned for their potassium content, and also being low in sodium which makes them great for hypertension and detoxification. A calming and good mood carbohydrate, promoting the creation of serotonin in the body. Also high in fibre and great for digestion.
Apples are wonderful for the gut as a prebiotic. They contain calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorous, Vit A, B1 & C, beta-carotene and pectin fibre. Apples are said to help cleanse the lungs of phlegm, they boost immunity & are cleansing for the liver & gall bladder.
Chia seeds are 1 of the few complete sources of essential amino acids from plants. Packed full of protein & fibre, as well as manganese, magnesium, calcium & phosphorous. When soaked these tiny seeds swell up and form a gel that can be useful in binding vegan baking, (replacing the need for an egg).