I want to start of with an apologogy. This apology is going out to my poor tummy that has endured 11 days of stress from holiday, the 5 plates of food I was shoving into it, the alcohol it’s not used to, the sweet treats that made it cry out for me to stop, all the days out and the birthdays and for that giant Millie’s cookie I ate yesterday. I am sorry, you’re not used to it, I know. For the next month, despite all the celebrations I have planned to go to, I will treat you with a bit more respect.
It’s not unnormal for us to go full-out ocassionally, be it with food or drink, and I’m not going to lie and tell you I didn’t enjoy it. I did, wholeheartadley. However my insides are starting to feel like what I imagine my rubbish bin does, so I’m using this as a sign to resume my healthy eating. Ah ‘healthy eating’ I hear you all groan, and I know that you’re all picturing the soggy flaps of pale lettuce and salad tomatoes here but you can push it all aside because it doesn’t have to be that way. I’ll always say it, but life is way too short for bad food and bad is exactly what i’d call soggy flaps of pale lettuce and salad tomatoes.
If you do your research you can find some amazing healthy recipes online, that are quick and easy and don’t cost an arm and leg. Being ‘healthy’ doesn’t mean being boring, and I am definitely going to dedicate the month of June to good, hearty meals and bakes that I’ve tried and tested time after time. That doesn’t mean you have to go and throw out all your biscuits, hide the cake tin and stock pile your fridges with carrot sticks, because you can still enjoy all these things without all the nasties that are sewing the waist band of your jeans tighter every night. It also doesn’t mean saying ‘no’ to nights out, or lunch dates, or that glass of red you have with your meal. It’s all about balance and making the right choice, and I’ve learnt my lesson where depriving myself of all of the above are concerned. Never, ever, deprive yourself.
Look, it’s a cake! A loaf to be exact, a banana loaf. This is one of my favourite recipes, and I make it time and time again. It’s also my mother’s favourite too, which is why I think she keeps buying me bananas by the truck load. It may look like a typical loaf (minus the seeds), but it’s one I can enjoy without the guilt as I subsitute the sugar and the butter for more healthier alternatives. I swap the butter for some mashed avocado, and the sugar for some natural honey (or you could use agave), and it tastes the same. In fact, it tastes better because it’s not all that bad for you.
I always pile on some sort of ‘crust’ when I make one of these, and it’s usually seeds of some sort. Today I used sunflower, pumpkin, and chia seeds and then shook over some milled flaxseed with goji berries too. For those of you that aren’t familiar with these ingredients, then I’m not talking rubbish here, I promise.
What It All Means
Avocado for butter/ Swapping butter for the green stuff cuts the fat by a whopping 40%. Need I say more? Just a small note here, avocado is less creamy than butter, so make sure you increase a little bit of the wet ingredients. Also, if you’re wondering why your cake looks like it’s been zapped by an alien, that’s why.
Honey/ agave for sugar/ It’s sweeter for a start, so you use a lot less of it than you would sugar, using up to 1/2 a cup less.
Sunflower seeds/ Give you a boot up the backside where energy is concerned and contain wonderful sources of vitamins.
Pumpkin seeds/ Contains all the main minerals our bodies need, and they’re full of protein.
Chia seeds/ Read this (and eat it too!)
Flaxseed/ One of those ‘wonderfoods’ you’ve probably all heard about. Full of good fats (omega-3) that are heard of reduce your risk of disease. You may have seen it in Holland & Barrets at a small fortune, but I got mine from Aldi for half the price. shop around guys, you won’t regret it.
If that wasn’t enough for you to get up out of that chair you’ve been sat all in day, and hot-foot into the kitchen to bake this then there is no hope for you, sorry.
Cuts into 8/10 slices
- 100g plain wholemeal flour (or spelt!)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon bicarb of soda
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 60g mushed-up avocado
- 3 ripe bananas
- 2 eggs
- roughly 3 heaped tablespoons honey (or agave)
- 1 teaspoon chia seeds
- a small handful of seeds of your choice (I used sunflower and pumpkin)
- 1/2 teaspoon milled flaxseed (mine had goji berries in)
1) Preheat your oven to 180C and line a loaf tin with parchment paper.
2) Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarb, and cinnamon into a mixer (or bowl if making by hand), mix to combine. Add in your avocado and mix again until it is incorporated.
3) In a seperate bowl, mash together the bananas and the honey. Crack in the eggs and whisk. The mixture will be runny, but it’s meant to be so don’t spend hours trying to make it smooth. Ain’t gonna happen.
4) Add the eggy banana mix to the dry ingredients and stir to just combine. Transfer this to your loaf tin and top with all of the seeds and the flaxseed.
5) Pop this into your oven for 50 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. If you find that the top begins to brown quicker than you’d like, then loosely cover with foil.
6) Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before removing onto a wire rack to cool completely. If your loaf has sunk a little then don’t be alarmed, swapping the butter for avocado often does this.
7) Eat and bask in the enjoyment that the cake you’re munching on tastes better (is better) than that cupcake your friend is scoffing.