When bananas are so brown they basically blend with the benchtop, it’s time to make banana bread.
On the banana spectrum from sappy green to mushy brown, there’s only a very small window where I like to eat a raw banana, and it makes me feel ridiculous to buy just one at a time. But I could eat banana bread every day of the week and never get tired, so sometimes I buy bananas in bunches to deliberately let them go brown.
Walnuts are the traditional nut to add to banana loaves, and with good reason – I love the soft resistance of a walnut in a piece of bread. That being said, banana bread is very forgiving, so if you don’t have walnuts you can use a handful of other nuts, or leave them out altogether.
Wholemeal flour is grainier and heavier than white flour, but that’s also why it’s better for you. Higher in fibre, folate and vitamins, wholemeal flour has a lower glycaemic index and will keep you fuller for longer.
Feeling virtuous never tasted so good.
Wholemeal banana bread
1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) butter – I used Proactiv Light
1/2 cup brown sugar, light or dark, firmly packed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 medium to large bananas, brown as can be
1/8 cup honey
2 large eggs
2 cups wholemeal flour
1/2 cup chopped nuts
100g chopped dark chocolate (optional)
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and grease a loaf tin with butter, oil or spray.
Take a large bowl and add the butter and brown sugar.
Beat the butter and sugar together. In the tiny kitchen I would just use a spoon and some elbow grease, but with an electric mixer it goes this delicious caramel colour.
Add the vanilla, baking soda, salt and bananas and beat until combined.
Add the honey and eggs and beat until combined.
Add the flour, nuts and chocolate, stirring until combined.
Let the mix rest for 10 minutes and then spoon into the loaf tin. Bake for 50 minutes. Cover with foil to prevent excess browning, then bake for another 10 minutes. Stick a toothpick through the centre and if it comes out clean, it’s done.
Remove from the oven and stand for 10 minutes, then remove from the tin and place on a cooling rack.