Everyone loves a bit of banana bread, especially out here in Australia - you can't go past a cafe without seeing it on display. Unfortunately the stuff you buy in a shop or cafe is absolutely full of sugar - not only from the bananas but also from processed, refined sugar as well. In fact, traditional banana bread can contain up to 11 teaspoons of sugar per serving!!
Whilst bananas are an excellent source of potassium, the real health food in this recipe is the tigernut flour. Never heard of it? Neither had I until a few months ago! Don't be fooled by the name... tigernuts are not in fact nuts at all - they are actually small root vegetables originating from Africa. They are extremely high in resistant starch, a prebioitic fibre that resists digestion and therefore acts as fuel for our probiotic bacteria. In other words... they are extremely good for the gut (and you can read more about the importance of gut health here). They are also packed full of other vitamins and essential nutrients including potassium (more than a banana), magnesium and vitamins C & E. If you can get your hands on some tigernut flour (online) I would highly recommend doing so. if not, you could try this recipe with buckwheat flour or brown rice flour - I haven't tried them but I'm sure it would work.
In this recipe I have used xylitol which is a natural sweetener derived from plants such as birch trees. It is a sugar alcohol but it is different to others (such as sorbitol and malitol) in that it doesn't spike blood sugar levels (hooray!) and our liver eventually converts it to glucose (not fructose) which means it is one of the only 'safe' sugar alcohols. It looks and tastes like sugar and can therefore be swapped 1:1 for normal sugar in recipes which removes any confusing conversions! However, in large doses it may have a laxative effect because it is not broken down in the stomach. It can be a bit harder to find (I got mine from a local health food shop) so if you are unable to get your hands on some you can use rice malt syrup instead.
Maca is a root plant native to Peru and is a superfood bursting with nutritional benefits. It is rich in Vitamins C, B and E as well as calcium, zinc, iron and magnesium. It is often used to promote sex as it boosts libido in both men and women. For women, it is a godsend because it relieves menstrual issues and menopause by reducing symptoms such as cramps, body pain, hot flushes and mood swings. In terms of flavour, it brings a delicious earthy taste with a slight hint of maple... yum!! As with xylitol, if you can't find it it's not the end of the world but it REALLY does taste delicious so I highly recommend buying some (it can be added to smoothies as well).
I have experimented with so many healthy banana breads over the years and I can say, hands down, this is by far the best! It actually tastes exactly like the real thing - no need to deprive yourself any longer!
Recipe (10 slices)
- 2 bananas (approx 250g)
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1 cup tigernut flour
- 2 tbsp vanilla protein powder (I use bare blends as it is natural & organic)
- 2 tbsp shredded coconut
- 2 tbsp xylitol/rice malt syrup
- 1 tbsp maca powder
- 1 tsp baking powder
1) Preheat oven to 180 degrees (fan) and grease and line a loaf tin with baking paper.
2) Mash bananas with fork and whisk with eggs and coconut oil.
3) In a separate bowl, mix together all the remaining dry ingredients (flour, protein, coconut, xylitol, maca and baking powder).
4) Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix to combine.
5) Pour mixture into prepared loaf tin and bake in oven for 30 minutes or until cooked through.
Leave to cool for 10 minutes before slicingand then get stuck in!