Date studded banana bread

20 Jan

Well, well, well. It has been farrrr too long since I posted. I really don’t know where the time goes! Mind you, with all this snow everything seems to take forever in this country, so perhaps I shall blame it on that.

I don’t particularly like snow very much – I really feel the cold, so I wanted something warm and scrummy to cheer me up. Venturing out of the house again and into the blizzard (okay, slight exaggeration) therefore was NOT an option, but I really wanted something warm and indulgent, yet somewhat healthy. I knew that Pat had bought bananas and noticed that he had quite cleverly left only two perfectly banana bread sized to ripen up while he was away with work. Cunning. But I was feeling experimental and creative, and I didn’t want to just follow a bog standard recipe, so I decided to create my own!

Bananas are high in potassium (important to help everything in our body function normally, especially our heart) and fibre, essential for maintaining a healthy digestive system. Interestingly, dried dates are also incredibly high in potassium and fibre, so the two fruits marry together very well to pack a good healthy cardiovascular punch, and help your digestive system. 

Sounds good to me!

photo (4)

This recipe would also work well by substituting the dates for walnuts – chop roughly and add as you would the dates.

photo (5)

Recipe

50g caster sugar
70g soft brown sugar
100g margarine
2 eggs
300g plain flour
2 ripe bananas (the riper the better!)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
15-20 dried dates, cut in half lengthways and then chopped
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
Pinch salt
1/3 cup milk (~75 ml)

  1. Preheat the oven to 170C (fan) and grease/line a loaf tin.
  2. Mash up the banana in a bowl with a fork. Try to get it as smooth as possible! Add the milk and vanilla extract and mix well. 
  3. Beat the sugar and margarine in a bowl with an electric beater, until well combined. Add each egg, beating well after each addition.
  4. Add the banana mixture and mix well.
  5. Sift in the flour, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon and salt, and gently fold into the mixture. Add the chopped dates and fold carefully into the mixture.
  6. Place the mixture into the loaf tin and bake for around 60-65 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.
  7. Leave to cool on a cooling rack, and then enjoy as it is. Alternatively thickly slice, toast for ~1 minute each side under a medium grill and serve with a lashing of good quality spread. Yum!
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