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  • Catherine Myburgh

Carrot & Pecan Banana Bread



Okay so it’s taken me nearly four months of social distancing/lockdown to master banana bread and I think I’ve finally done it. This Carrot & Pecan Nut Banana Bread is light, nourishing, naturally sweet, moist, delicious and so incredibly easy to make!


In this recipe I have used a mix of all-purpose and buckwheat flour. Buckwheat flour is higher in both fibre and protein than regular all-purpose flour, however, I personally prefer the texture and taste of all-purpose flour. That is why I have used a mix, but feel free to just use regular flour or alternatively, oat flour (which can be made at home by simply blitzing up dry porridge oats in a food processor or high-speed blender).


To make this recipe gluten-free: swap out the all-purpose for more buckwheat flour or gluten-free flour.


To make this recipe vegan: simply replace the hens egg with a flax egg (however, this will result in a slightly different texture).


*flax egg: mix together 1 tbsp. of milled flaxseeds and 3 tbsp. of water (allow to sit and thicken for 5-10 minutes).


Top tip: I love to pre-slice my leftover banana bread and pop it in the freezer, that way I always have extras on hand for a quick and easy breakfast/snack and reduce potential food waste.


RECIPE | Yields: minimum 12 slices | Cook time: 50 minutes at 175° C.

Dry Ingredients:

  • 1 cup buckwheat flour

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1 tsp. bicarbonate of soda

  • 2 tsp. baking powder

  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon

  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar

  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Wet Ingredients:

  • 3 medium sized spotty bananas (mashed)

  • 1 large egg

  • 1/4 cup. coconut oil (melted)

  • 1/4 cup plant-based milk (in this recipe I have used almond)

  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract/essence

  • 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar


  • 1/4 cup chopped pecan nuts

  • 1/4 cup dried unsweetened cranberries

  • 1 medium sized carrot (grated)


Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 175° C.

  2. Start by adding all your fine powder dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl, do this by sifting together the flours, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and cinnamon.

  3. Now add the salt and coconut sugar, mix to combine.

  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together all your wet ingredients.

  5. Gently fold together the wet and dry ingredients, ensuring that the mixture is well combined (however, be careful not to overmix the batter as this can deflate the air bubbles causing the banana loaf to become dense and heavy).

  6. Finally add in your dried cranberries, grated carrot and chopped pecan nuts. Gently fold together.

  7. Line a loaf tin with baking paper or lightly grease with some coconut oil (this will prevent the banana loaf from sticking).

  8. Pour the batter into the loaf tin. *Optional: top with additional sliced banana, chopped pecans and cinnamon.

  9. Bake the banana loaf for approximately 50 minutes at 175° C. (Try not to open the oven whilst the bread is baking, this will disrupt the rising process, causing it to sink).

  10. Allow to the carrot & pecan nut banana bread to cool, before slicing and serving as is, or with additional butter, jam, coconut yoghurt, nut butter, fresh fruit etc.


Nutritional content per serving/slice

Total Energy 198 kcal

Protein 4g

Fat 7g

Net Carbohydrates 28g

Dietary Fibre 3.5g

Total Sugar 12.6g


*Although this may seem like a lot of sugar, this is TOTAL sugar. Therefore, a large proportion is coming from the intrinsic sugars naturally present in the banana. The only added sugar in this recipe is coming from the coconut sugar and this is still low in comparison to most other banana breads. In addition, coconut sugar is naturally unrefined, tastes like caramel, minimally processed, lower in sucrose and higher in antioxidants, vitamin C, B1 & B3 than regular processed white sugar and can therefore be considered as a ‘healthier’ option.


Although it is important to consider the quality of sugars, remember that our body still has no way of differentiating these sugars i.e. the sugar naturally present in 100% orange juice will be metabolised in the exact same way as the processed sugar found in jellybeans. So, don’t get too hung up on the types of sugar (coconut sugar is yum, but can be quite pricey and standard unrefined brown sugar works equally as well well), just aim to consume < 30g added/free sugars per day.


Reference

Asghar, M.T. Yusof, Y.A. Mohktar, M.N. Ya’acob, E. Ghazali, H.M. Chang, L.S. Manaf, Y.N. (2020) ‘Coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) Sap as a Potential Source of Sugar: Antioxidant and Nutritional Properties’, Food Science & Nutrition, 8(4), pp. 1777-1787. Doi: 10.1002/fsn3.1191.

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