Susie Burrell

‘your food, your body, your life’

This is a sponsored post, brought to you by Australian Bananas.

Announcing Australian Bananas’ ‘Banana Bread Bake-Off’ – In search of the ultimate banana bread

Banana bread is the current ISO baking craze and as we move towards celebrating National Banana Day (May 1), Australian Bananas is encouraging Aussies to come together over the nation’s favourite baked good by entering their competition to find the ‘Ultimate Banana Bread’.

National Banana Day is an annual event held to celebrate one of Australia’s most popular fruits and to support Aussie growers. Not only are bananas loved across the nation due to their delicious taste, but they are packed full of Vitamin B, dietary fibre, potassium, magnesium and offer the body a rich source of slowly digested energy. They also come in their own carry case, making them the perfect go-to snack on the run.

The versatility of bananas does not stop there, as baking with bananas not only gives you a naturally sweet hit for your favourite biscuits, cakes and muffins, but also offers a soft, creamy texture which makes them the perfect baking ingredient. Even very ripe bananas are perfect for baking as they can add even more sweetness.

Naturally, home baking is a much better option nutritionally than picking up processed sweet biscuits, cakes and snacks. It’s even better when you make your home baking enormously healthier by knowing a few nutrition secrets.

Firstly, where you can, try to seek out a wholegrain base for your baking for example oats, wholemeal flour and wheat bran. These can often be incorporated into the flour-base mix of most sweet bread, cake and muffin recipes, and will add to the nutrient and fibre content of the baking.

Next, maximise the sweetness using natural ingredients as opposed to added sugars. Using overly ripe bananas in a recipe will significantly increase the sweetness of the mix, as will fruit purees or soft dried fruits, such as dates. Contrary to popular opinion, sugars such as honey or rice malt syrup are not necessarily ‘healthier’ than sugar itself. In my own cooking, I try and limit added sugars to ½ cup per recipe (at most) and instead utilise my ripe frozen bananas along with vanilla essence or cinnamon.

When it comes to the type of fat to use in your baking, again you have lots of options. You can indeed use olive oil or a vegetable oil to lower the saturated fat content of your baking. 100% nut spreads too will help to bind ingredients, although they can be a little dry when used on their own. My personal preference is to use butter in baking, but I keep the total amount low, with 50-70g being the maximum I would use for an entire cake or banana bread. My other key trick is to utilise dairy – natural yoghurt or milk both work exceptionally well in keeping a mixture moist, adding key nutrients such as protein and calcium, with minimal extra fat.

Finally, I always look for ways to boost the nutritional profile of my baking by adding nutrient-rich extras such as berries, nuts and seeds. Not only does this help to create a range of taste sensations but adds extra good fat and fibre to your healthy baking.

In order to help celebrate National Banana Day while we are all baking at home in ISO, we want to see your banana bread creations to find one lucky winner who will be crowned with producing the ‘Ultimate Banana Bread’. The competition is open to all different varieties of banana bread so there’s no excuse not to take part!

To enter, head to the Australian Bananas Facebook or Instagram page and upload an image of your banana bread creation, along with a 25-word description. All posts should tag #NationalBananaDay2020 to be entered into the running to win the title and an Australian Bananas prize pack, with the winner announced on May 8.

My favourite Banana Bread

vegetarian | dairy-free | nut-free | egg-free
Serves 12 – per serve: 120 cals | 2g fat | 2g protein | 22g carbs | 2g fibre

Ingredients
1/2 cup dates, chopped

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 small ripe bananas, mashed

1 tbsp. butter

1 tsp. bicarbonate soda

1 cup water, boiling1 cup self raising flour

Preparation Method:
1. Heat oven to 170°C.

2. Combine dates, sugar, banana, butter, bicarb and water. The mixture will be quite runny.

3. Add flour and cook for 35-45 mins until cooked through, allowing that it is quite a dense recipe.

4. Allow bread to cool then serve.