Bananas seem to ripen at a ridiculous rate in my home and I have no idea why. Mind you I’m not complaining because overly ripe bananas mean one thing…banana bread!
A wonderfully comforting treat, banana bread is one of the easiest things to bake. In fact it was one of the very first things I learned to bake when I was about 13-years old and I haven’t stopped baking it since. Trust me that’s a lot of banana bread!
I adapt the recipe according to my mood and to what’s in my cupboard. I love adding walnuts or cranberries or halving the amount of bananas used and substituting the rest for grated courgette (zucchini), which makes for a lovely moist loaf.
This recipe for banana and raisin loaf by Farmersgirl is one of my favourites. I adapted it slightly as I wanted to add some walnuts, which I feel not only give the loaf a lovely nutty taste but a pleasing texture as well. I also found myself wondering what the end result would be if I added some toasted sunflower seeds on top. After having my first slice I vowed to add toasted sunflower seeds to the tops of all my cakes and loaves for the rest of my baking life. Yum!
110g / 4oz butter
110g / 4oz caster sugar
225g / 8oz self-raising flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
.5 teaspoon nutmeg
.5 teaspoon ground cloves
140g / 5oz raisins
3 Tablespoons broken and lightly toasted walnuts
2 Tablespoons lightly toasted sunflower seeds
Cream the butter and sugar together.
Beat eggs and add them to the creamed butter.
Mash the bananas and add to butter and eggs and stir well.
Sift in the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, raisins and toasted walnuts.
Pour batter into a lined or greased loaf tin and sprinkle on toasted sunflower seeds.
Bake for approx. 45 minutes at 180°C / 160° C fan assisted / 350°F / gas mark 4.
If I don’t have time to bake I simply chuck the bananas in the freezer. When I want to use them I take them out about 30 minutes to an hour beforehand. Once they have defrosted they are really easy to mash. In fact you don’t really have to mash them at all!
Cream the butter and sugar
Don’t forget to toast the nuts and seeds!
Mix everything together but reserve the toasted seeds to sprinkle on the top
Ready for the oven
One slice won’t be enough – trust me!