Healthy recipe: Roast banana and date loaf
This recipe contains no butter, oil or eggs, which dramatically reduces the fat content and makes it a great alternative to a mid-afternoon muffin, cookie or slice of cake. It can also be eaten as a relatively healthy breakfast-on-the-run. The addition of whole grains, in the form of oats, increases the fibre content and, thanks to their being complex carbohydrates, should keep you feeling fuller for that bit longer.
Bananas are a fantastic source of potassium, which is essential for maintaining normal blood pressure and heart function. Studies have found that eating bananas can help lower blood pressure.
Thanks to their sugar and fibre, they are capable of providing an instant natural energy boost, are thought to help regulate the digestive system and can help strengthen bones. On top of that, they are rich in vitamins C and A and iron and do not contain any cholesterol.
Roasting the bananas really intensifies their sweetness, which, combined with the dates, means that the amount of refined sugar used in the recipe is minimised. The dates provide an additional dose of fibre and protein, are a very good source of antioxidants and contain minerals such as magnesium, selenium and calcium.
Roast banana and date loaf
Makes 1 loaf
3 large bananas
150g dates, pitted and chopped
100g caster sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
200g self-raising flour
tsp baking powder
50 ml milk
butter, for greasing
Preheat the oven to 190°C/fan 170°C/ gas mark 5. Grease and line a loaf tin. Lay the bananas out on a baking tray and place in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the skins are blackened and the centre feels really soft. Remove, leave to cool and scrape out the insides.
Tip the dates, sugar, water and cinnamon into a saucepan and place over a medium heat. Stir continuously until the sugar dissolves (between one and two minutes), then bring the mixture to the boil and remove the pan from the heat. Tip into a large bowl and leave to cool.
Add the flour, oats, baking powder, milk and bananas to the bowl containing the sticky dates and stir really well to combine. Tip the mixture into the prepared loaf tin, transfer to the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
Leave to rest for a few minutes, before turning the loaf out on to a wire tray.
Nutritional information for reduced-fat banana bread per slice
Calories from fat: 38.7
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Published: February 6, 2012 04:00 AM