I worked with a girl once who was on a strict exercise and diet regime to lose weight. She had completely cut out many fats, only using the lightest olive oil spray when cooking, and cut out sugar completely, and been on it for weeks and was doing brilliantly - her discipline and motivation was truly inspiring. She sat behind me, and we always joked around all day long because we shared a similar sense of humour. A mother of two, she had zero cooking ability, and very little interest in expanding her culinary repertoire - she wasn't the sort of person who was interested in eating new things, and she absolutely hated spending time in the kitchen.
Why am I telling you about this girl, and what does she have to do with a recipe for banana bread I hear you ask?
Because I will forever remember her as the girl who didn't know how unhealthy banana bread is. Or was - because this recipe changes that perception forever. This girl, who was on this strict diet, innocently told me how she had two slices of banana bread - and when I was incredulous that she had deviated from the diet to which she had so faithfully adhered to, she was truly in the dark about the nutritional content of banana bread. I'm afraid I had to be the one to tell her that it was pretty much cake... with lots of butter / oil and a lot of sugar. She was riddled with guilt for weeks thereafter but I am happy to say that she continued on diligently with her resolve and ended up losing almost 20kg!
If I was still working, I'd make this banana bread as a tongue in cheek congratulatory treat for her. Why? Because this recipe has ZERO fat. Yup, zero. Not a dab of butter or a drop of oil. Absolutely none. Believe me? Of course not, but it is true. Your next question is - how does it taste? Well, let's just say that I ate half the loaf whilst it was still warm. And didn't feel a skerrick of guilt about it considering it wasn't low fat, it was NO FAT!
I was trialling this recipe for the arrival of my mother in law - she who has a sweet tooth and loves baked goods but doesn't want the calories associated. As soon as I tasted this bread, I was back in the kitchen making another one. I love that recipe, whilst healthy, does not compromise on flavour.
2 large ripe bananas
2 tablespoons golden syrup
1/4 cup caster sugar
1 cup self raising flour
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius and line a loaf tin.
2. In a bowl, mash the bananas and add the golden syrup and sugar. Mix with a fork until well combined.
3. Add the egg, self raising flour, vanilla essence and salt, stir until well combined with a wooden spoon.
4. Pour batter into the loaf tin, smooth the top and then sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the top.
5. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. For my oven, that was 30 minutes on the dot.
This was just gorgeous. The recipe only makes a small loaf, so if you want height to your banana bread like the cafe style ones, then double the recipe and bake for 45-50 minutes. It is a one bowl, simple recipe that is delicious and healthy - what more could you want? :-)