Moist, darkly sweet banana bread studded with chewy, sweet dates and toasted almonds. This is a classic banana bread recipe with a healthy twist.Most Sunday mornings I am up and about just after sunrise. I start the day with a run, usually a smoothie or a yoghurt and fruit bowl, and some time alone with a book as the day begins. But some Sundays, my body just craves a later, slower start. This past Sunday I ignored my alarm clock, rose at about 9 and pottered around in my pyjamas eating banana bread and lazing around reading until lunchtime. Slower Sunday mornings are important for nourishing the soul.I cut this banana bread into thick, decadent slices, and gobbled two of them down with cups of sweet green tea. I have made quite a few loaves of banana bread in my time, but I think this might be one of my best – and it’s mostly healthy too! There is no added fat in this loaf, instead it is kept moist by Greek yoghurt, eggs, and almond milk. Most of the sweetness in this loaf comes from the natural sugars in the banana, and rich, dark, local honey. I love the way honey and banana are natural partners in baked goods, and in this bread they mingle to create a sweetness similar to the dates that stud each slice. Honey and banana are joined by their good friend brown sugar, which increases the moistness of the banana bread. No fat? No problem in this flavoursome bread!I used a combination of my favourite wholemeal gluten free flours to create this loaf: buckwheat, brown rice, white rice, and sorghum flour. These flours are high in fibre, iron, and rich in antioxidants and in combination they create the perfect moist crumb. Each bite of this banana bread is moist and decadent, and between mouthfuls of sweet cinnamon and banana flavoured dough, there are bits of crunchy toasted almonds and chewy dried dates. This is a classic banana bread with a healthy twist, and lots of add-ins to keep things interesting.
I loved each bite of this banana bread, and it was hard not to eat the whole loaf in one sitting! Luckily I’ve stashed most of it in the freezer for my next lazy Sunday morning, or my next farmer’s market breakfast.
Banana, Date, and Almond Bread
Gluten Free | Serves 8 | Leftovers can be frozen, well-wrapped, for up to two months
- 2 large ripe bananas (~1 1/4 cups mashed)
- 6 tablespoons (75mL) Greek yoghurt
- 1/4 cup honey (local is best)
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla essence
- 1/4 cup almond milk (or your choice of milk)
- 2 large eggs
- 55 grams brown rice flour
- 55 grams white rice flour + 1 teaspoon extra
- 55 grams buckwheat flour
- 55 grams sorghum flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 2/3 cup toasted almonds, chopped
- 1/2 cup chopped dates
- Preheat your oven to 180C (350F) and line a 9 x 5 inch loaf tin with baking paper.
- Mash your bananas in a large mixing bowl. Add the Greek yoghurt, honey, brown sugar, vanilla essence, almond milk, and eggs. Whisk until very well combined.
- In a separate medium mixing bowl whisk together brown rice flour, white rice flour, buckwheat flour, sorghum flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
- Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until just combined.
- In the empty dry ingredients bowl mix together toasted almonds, chopped dates, and extra 1 teaspoon white rice flour until dates and almonds are coated. This will stop the mix-ins from sinking to the bottom.
- Add dates and almonds to the batter and mix until distributed.
- Pour batter into prepared loaf tin and bake for 45-50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out with only a few moist crumbs clinging to it.
- Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes and then turn out and cool completely before slicing thickly and serving.