Raisin and Cinnamon Banana Bread
When the ‘Beast from the East’ hit us a couple of months back and there were widespread shortages across the supermarkets, particularly among the basics such as bread, I remember thinking to myself how much times had changed and how there are so many households without someone who knows how to make bread from scratch.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m definitely not in the kitchen kneading dough every week either, but I do know how to throw a few basic ingredients together to make a really simple, nourishing, tasty banana bread. So, this week I thought I would share the recipe with you!
Why Use These Ingredients?
One of the main ingredients in the bread is oats. Bread is such a staple in most homes, so we eat a lot of it. Most breads are made with wheat, so I like to get a bit of variety by using oats in my home-made bread. This also makes the bread suitable for people who have problems digesting wheat or gluten, if you use gluten-free oats.
Oats are also incredibly nutritious, satisfying, versatile and cost effective too!
They’re a great source of fibre, something we are generally not eating enough of, but something that is so essential for a properly functioning digestive system and overall happy gut! Fibre also helps to keep us fuller for longer and keep our blood sugar levels more stable.
The other main ingredient I use in the bread is bananas. These are what bind the bread together and give it a lovely sweetness, especially since we are using ripe bananas – the riper the better!
There are so many reasons for going bananas for this beautiful fruit!
They also happen to be loaded with fibre, as well as many essential vitamins and minerals, especially potassium which we need for a healthy heart and blood. They also contain something called tryptophan which helps our bodies make happy hormones, so they can be a real mood booster!
I also use cinnamon in this recipe. This sweet, warm, fragrant spice can make it feel like Christmas all year round!
As well as that, cinnamon can help lower blood pressure and help keep your blood sugar levels more stable.
Cinnamon’s antibacterial properties also mean it has been used for centuries as a natural remedy for all sorts of ailments!
What You’ll Need
3 cups/250g of oats
3 ripe bananas
4 tablespoons of olive oil
4 tablespoons of water or milk
A handful of raisins
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of baking powder
How It’s Done
Step 1: Preheat your oven to 180° celsius
Step 2: Add the oats, raisins, cinnamon and baking powder to a large bowl and mix well (If you have a food processor, you could blitz the oats first to make them finer, more like a flour, but this is not essential - regular porridge oats work absolutely fine as they are)
Step 3: In a separate bowl, mash the 3 bananas and add the olive oil and water/milk. Mix well. (Again, if you have one, you could use a food processor for this step, just to save your arm muscles!)
Step 4: Pour the wet banana mixture into the bowl of oats and other dry ingredients and mix well.
Step 5: Spoon the mixture into a loaf tin lined with baking paper
Step 6: Place in the oven for 35-40 minutes, depending on your own oven. The bread is ready once the outside goes brown
Step 7: Remove from the loaf tin and allow to cool fully before attempting to cut it as it will be very delicate on the inside
Step 8: Store in an airtight container, preferably in the fridge
I keep the bread in an airtight tupperware box in the fridge so I can get longer out of it! It’s good for about 4 or 5 days.
Since I keep it in the fridge I usually pop my slices in the toaster when I want them, just to soften them and let the cinnamon aroma come to life again!
The bread is lovely eaten on its own, or I will often top it with some peanut or almond butter, or some home-made jam.
This article appears in last week's Dundalk Democrat