I had some of those icky bananas, you know the kind that are a day away from the trash can for most people. Those are my favorite kind of banana. Why? Well, of course I am going to tell you. Despite the controversy over the topic, and although there has been no “credible” research done on humans, there is a very strong possibility that those bananas covered in ugly dark spots are extra healthy! A solid yellow banana actually is not ripe yet. More black spots mean that the bananas help your body build more of a protein called Tumor Necrosis Factor. TNF… lets break that down: tumor=cancer, necrosis=death or dying, factor=something that influences or produces. Now, I’m not saying that if you eat these bananas your cancer will be cured, but I am saying that eating these ugly bananas on a regular basis contributes to overall good health and enhances your body’s immunity, a.k.a. ability to resist or fight off abnormality such as cancer and other illness.
Still, many people do not like the flavor of these ripe bananas. We also do not want to throw away food we paid for! Hence the long tradition of turning them into a sweet bread. Let me give you a healthy and delicious way to reap the benefits of your ugly bananas and stretch your paycheck. Banana bread was probably very nutritious back before we started adding chemicals and genetically modifying plants, and using additives and highly processed sugars. This recipe is a bit closer to what I imagine was eaten long ago. This is a gluten free bread, not because I have an issue with gluten. While it is a part of the whole grain it belongs in (wheat and others), and so long as the grain is eaten in moderation, it can be “healthy”. One huge issue I have with wheat, our main gluten source, is the fact that it has replaced most other grains in common goods which deprives our diet of the broad range of nutrients we need for optimal health. Gluten, when separated from the grain, often used as a stabilizer or filler in processed foods, is difficult for our bodies to process and causes many health issues. I buy multigrain and whole grain breads, and I check the ingredients to be sure there is no added gluten. If I can feasibly make my bread, I will.
I started with a simple, long-loved recipe from my pre-hippie days. First I transformed the recipe to a gluten-free version. Xanthan gum became necessary to keep them from crumbling apart. I added chia seed for texture also. When wet, chia makes a sticky gel that I have found acts like glue in gluten free breads. Chia has many added benefits such as fiber, antioxidants, omega-3, many vitamins and minerals. Chia can be used in many ways. This time I added them in dry, although sprouting them could be good and your body can more easily absorb the nutrition they offer. I used real butter, made from first cream by my local Amish community. (I tend to trust Amish foods without question, as they use natural methods due to their religion. USDA certified organic foods are allowed a certain amount of nonorganic methods during production. I trust the Amish more than the USDA.) Half butter and half coconut would work also. I did use half raw sugar and replaced half with stevia baking blend. I prefer less sweet than my family, so, if it were for just me I would use half of the amount of sugar, maybe add a touch of raw honey. I do advocate the use of honey and pure maple syrup, however, they can disturb the wet to dry balance of a perfectly textured bread or cake. Let me tell you, this recipe has a perfect texture. Have a look!
3 ripe bananas
1 apple/pear pureed (or add’l banana)
1/3 c butter, melted
1 c sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp xanthan gum
pinch of salt
1 cup gf all purpose flour mix
1/2 c coconut flour
1 tbsp chia seeds
Mix mashed bananas, apple/pear puree, butter and sugar. Add egg, chia and vanilla and stir well. In separate bowl mix dry ingredients. Now stir the dry mixture into wet mixture. For cake, lightly oil and flour dust your pan. For muffins, I recommend lightly coating paper liners with cooking spray. I prefer a coconut non-stick spray. Bake 25-30 min at 350 degrees or until a toothpick comes out clean. Now enjoy this tasty, nutritious treat with someone that you love.
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