Over ripe Bananas!
Forever throwing them away because no one wants to touch them? We have always got bananas in the Hari Hari household. The kids love them and they make the perfect snacking food whilst helping the kids to feel fuller for longer. However we don’t always eat them fast enough (mainly in the summer months) and so their skin ends up turning a brown/black colour and they become super squishy. When this happens my kids won’t touch them. Its like they take on some alien disguise and all of a sudden the kids find them off putting, “disgusting” as one of them so eloquently put it or plain and simple “gross”!! I have been known to put them in smoothies at this stage or mash them into porridge or on top of a hopper. I’ve also been known to turn them into Banana fritters with coconut treacle or a banana sandwich but I wanted another means of using them that would appeal to everyone.
When I was a child in Sri Lanka, my mother used to make banana loaf quite frequently. As you can imagine, with the variety of bananas available there, (this article from Roar.lk offers a great insight) the scope was pretty broad. I LOVED her banana cake and this recipe was born from those childhood memories. Its so easy to make and pretty adaptable too.
Preparation Time – 15 – 20 minutes
Cooking Time – 1 hour
250g plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp cinnamon powder
1/2 tsp ginger powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
2 beaten eggs
4 medium overripe bananas
115g soft brown sugar (caster, muscovado or something similar)
Pinch of salt
Handful of Cashew nuts (plain or salted) lightly bashed in the pestle and mortar ; )
Time to bake Banana Loaf -
Pre-heat your oven to Gas Mark 4, 180 C, 350F
Grease or line your loaf tin (23 x 23) with baking paper. (I prefer to line mine with baking paper).
In a bowl, mix the flour, salt, cinnamon, ginger, bicarbonate of soda and salt.
In another bowl, cream your butter and sugar. Call me lazy but I used my electric whisk as its much quicker. Then slowly add your beaten eggs to the butter mix. Stir this into your flour mix.
Mash your bananas and add the turmeric powder ensuring its all mixed through properly and then add this to the flour/butter/sugar mix.
Once the batter is evenly mixed, pour into your tin. Sprinkle your crushed cashew nuts on top and place in the middle of your oven, to bake for 1 hour.
Using the toothpick test, stick your toothpick into the centre of the loaf and if it comes out clear, your loaf is ready! Then remove from the oven and allow it to cool down. Once cooled, turn it out and serve.
I added some whipped cream (with a small shot of Baileys added to it) for a slightly more decadent twist to the loaf.
Optional but Super tasty -
If you’ve got a carrot or two left in your fridge, wash and dry them, then finely grate them before adding into the batter mix (make sure you soak up any excess moisture with a piece of kitchen roll before you add the grated carrot to the mix). A handful will do. It adds a little extra moisture to the loaf.
You could do the same with half a courgette too!
I have made a banana loaf with chopped dates in the batter mix and chocolate flakes for a little extra sweetness. Have a look in your cupboards and see what you could add instead. I would love to hear how you made your loaf.