Our Banana Bread is made without refined sugar and is sweetened by mineral rich honey, maple syrup and natural banana sweetness. Spelt, an ancient cousin of wheat, has a lower gluten content and as a result is more easily digested than other white flours. You can of course use gluten-free flour if required. The dark chocolate chips add an indulgent feel and are packed with wonderful antioxidants. This freezes brilliantly, and a good trick is to slice it before freezing so you can just take what you need.
Makes 1 loaf (or 12 muffins)
190g white spelt flour
1 tsp vanilla essence
50ml maple syrup
1 tsp baking powder
90ml buttermilk or natural yoghurt
2 ripe bananas, mashed
50g butter, melted
1 banana, sliced, to garnish
50g dark chocolate chips (optional)
Preheat the oven to 180°C. In a bowl, combine the honey, maple syrup, eggs, yoghurt, mashed bananas and melted butter and combine well. Sieve in the flour and add the baking powder, gently folding. Do this quickly and lightly to retain air.
Pour the mix into a greased and lined loaf tin (24cm by 10cm), garnish with banana and bake in the middle of the oven for about an hour (up to 1 hour 10 minutes). Insert a skewer to test it’s ready and cool on a rack.
DID YOU KNOW…
If sugar is listed in the top three ingredients in something then we would advise reconsidering purchasing it. Sometimes sugar is disguised in ingredients under a different name, such as sucrose, glucose syrup, maltose, dextrose and fructose.
This recipe is a firm favourite of ours, and contains no refined sugar.
Most commercial granola mixtures tend to be very sweet. In our recipe we use dates and bananas for natural sweetness. And the nuts and seeds are packed with protein and minerals.
Makes 1 large Kilner jar
300g rolled oats
200g pitted dates
100g dried apricots, chopped
2 ripe bananas
60g dried berries
60g cashew nuts
60g pumpkin seeds
60g sunflower seeds
90ml boiling water
150ml apple juice
Preheat the oven to 160°C and line a large lipped baking sheet or roasting tin with silicone or non-stick baking parchment.
Place the dates in a bowl and cover with 90ml boiling water to soften. Place cling film over the top and leave for 5 minutes, or place in the microwave for 1 minute.
Next, place the softened fruit into a mixer or use a hand blender to purée to a pulp. Add the bananas so you have a thick smoothie-type mixture.
Put all the dry ingredients (but not the dried fruits) into a bowl and mix in the date and banana smoothie. Using a large metal spoon, or your hands, break up the mixture and separate any large chunks.
Add the apple juice which will help to loosen the mix slightly. If it still seems too clumpy you can always add a dash more apple juice but you do want some lumps.
Spread the mixture out onto the baking sheet and place in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes until it starts to turn slightly golden. At this point, stir and break up any big bits. Pop back in the oven and after 10 minutes stir again. Do this for 30 to 40 minutes until the mix is nice and dry.
Leave the granola to cool and then add the dried fruits such as apricots and raisins.
Store in a large Kilner jar.
Combine your granola with a dollop of yoghurt. Children’s yoghurts are often highly sweetened so try a plain one with a drizzle of honey or our apple and pear compote (recipe below).
DID YOU KNOW…
Offer some protein with a piece of fruit, like a small handful of nuts or pieces of cheese, to help temper the sugar spike.
Sweet Apple & Pear Spiced Compote
Not only is this wonderfully naturally sweet but it’s the ideal recipe for any little person who has suffered a tummy upset. Pears are one of the least allergenic fruits so are well suited to sensitive tummies.
For breakfast this compote is perfect added to porridge, natural or Greek yogurt, or it can be a healthy snack or delicious pudding.
1 Bramley or cooking apple, peeled
and finely chopped
2 pears (Conference or Comice work well), peeled and finely chopped
2 tbsp honey
1/4 tsp cinnamon
30g raisins (optional)
A glug (approximately 100ml) of apple juice or water
Simply place the apple and pear, with the apple juice or water, into a small saucepan and allow to simmer gently on a low heat with the lid on for 5 to 10 minutes until the fruit has softened. Remove the lid and cook for another 5 minutes until all the fruit is cooked through, translucent and soft.
Next add the honey, raisins and cinnamon and stir through.
You can enjoy this compote hot or cold – why not try it with your granola? This keeps well in an airtight container for up to a week. You can also freeze it into individual portions and defrost when needed.
DID YOU KNOW…
Low fat foods tend to contain higher sugar levels (or sweeteners) to improve flavour.