Monday, 1 April 2013

Baking: Skinny Banana Bread

I am not much of a domestic goddess. My flat doesn't even possess an oven (or a dishwasher) so I can only channel my inner Mary Berry when I'm at my parents' house. My parents serve the additional purpose of being around to eat the results of my baking (although this provides the additional pressure of having to make sure its actually edible).

I wanted to bake something on Easter Sunday and decided on banana bread as I'd heard that it was easy to make and doesn't require any dreaded "folding in" of ingredients which I have never quite mastered.

After searching for some recipe inspiration and running out to purchase the required loaf tin, my Skinny Banana Bread was born. It's "skinny" because it doesn't contain any refined sugar and is low in fat so can be enjoyed relatively guilt-free. I did not tell my dad this and he still really enjoyed it - proof that it tastes just as good as a regular cake!

You will need: 

low-fat spread for greasing the tin
140g wholemeal flour
100g self-raising flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
3 large, ripe bananas (around 300g worth)
pinch of cinnamon
4 tbsp agave syrup (find it in the home baking or "free from" section in the supermarket)
3 large eggs
150ml of low fat natural yogurt
a few chopped walnuts (optional)

First of all, pre-heat your oven to 160C/140C fan/gas mark 3.

Shell your walnuts first if they are not pre-chopped.

Step 1.
Line your loaf tin with baking parchment. It doesn't have to be perfect - just make sure to leave 2cm of parchment above the sides of the tin. I greased the tin with a little low fat spread first.

Step 2.
Combine all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. I didn't bother sieving anything - we're not making a super fine Victoria sponge here.

Step 3.
Chop up two of your bananas into coins. If they are not soft enough to be easily mashed with a fork, pop them into the microwave for a minute to soften them up a bit. Mash with a fork and add a pinch of cinnamon.  Wait for the mixture to cool a little and stir in the yogurt. In a separate jug, beat the three eggs with a fork.

Step 4.
Add the banana-y mix and the beaten egg to your dry ingredients. Mix in quickly until all the flour has disappeared. Pour into your loaf tin and give the tin a gentle shake so that the mix flows into the corners of the tin.

Step 5.
Take your remaining banana and slice it lengthways. Sink the banana into the mixture. Add a sprinkle of walnuts on top. Bowl-licking optional.

The idea of sinking a whole banana into the loaf came from a Leon email I received a while ago. Halfing the banana means you get more banana-y bites per slice!

Ready to go in the oven!

Step 6.
Bake for 1 hour - 1 hour 15 minutes in your pre-heated oven. If the top starts to brown too quickly, put tin foil over the top. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. Cut into generous slices and serve with tea or coffee.

Cross-section. And because I wanted a slice with a piece of the whole banana in.

Caramalised banana-y goodness.

Optimum slice thickness.

We ate our slices for lunch - the banana bread is very dense and satisfying and the whole bananas caramelise and make it taste super sweet without the need for adding any sugar. Leave any remaining slices to cool fully before wrapping and popping in the freezer for breakfast or an afternoon treat.

The original recipe says that it contains 130 calories per slice when cut into 10 slices. I got 6 large slices and two small end pieces out of my loaf so it's probably around 200 calories per slice - definitely one where you can have your cake and eat it!

What is your favourite thing to bake?

Ps. My Zinio magazine subscription giveaway has now closed. Click here to see if you're a winner.



  1. Ooh, that looks so yummy! I definitely want to start baking more and this banana bread looks like a good place to start :) Hope you had a lovely Easter x

  2. mmm :)

    I have got to try this.

  3. Oh lily this is calling my name!

  4. I'm not usually a fan of banana bread but this sounds awesome, I may have to try it!

    Maria xxx

  5. Looks awesome Lily; love the artistically sliced banana on top! Will def try this out xxx

  6. Who cares about the calories, this looks magnificent!!!!

  7. That looks yummy, would like a big slice with my coffee now!! xx


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