Chocolate Chip Banana Loaf
Chocolate Chip Banana Loaf with Tahini Drizzle
If you haven’t already picked up on it, you soon will … I am obsessed with tahini. At just about every meal I find something that can act, as a tahini-delivery-device. The tahini-delivery-device is a concept that my parents and I came up with that made eating tahini on virtually anything and everything acceptable. Or at least in my opinion, because now there is a name for it. So it’s a real thing. It’s not just a me thing. I think. So what is this wondrous “tahini-delivery-device”? Well, all you need is one jar of tahini and an insatiable love for tahini, from there, just about anything can act as a tahini-delivery-device. The tahini-delivery-device is something (and this can be maaany a something) that acts as a platform in order for one to find more ways to eat tahini. Sounds great, right? It is.
Carrying on, with the actual recipe … this loaf is everything you want from a banana bread. It is sweet, but not too sweet. It is decadent, but not too decadent. It is crunchy on the outside, while maintaining a soft lightness on the inside. All this while being vegan and gluten free! I’ve had many a time where I’ve tried to re-create something into a gluten free version and it’s come out dense or “stodgy” as we call it at home. But not this loaf, my friends. This loaf, in all of its’ chocolate-y banana-y tahini-y glory is a total winner. And did I mention that it’s oil free? What a beautiful bonus! It’s such a triumph to me when I can create something that is healthier but maintains the integrity of the divine taste & texture, and it’s an even bigger triumph when the gluten free, vegan version is even better than the original recipe. As is the case with this loaf, in my opinion.
Another reason why this recipe is so fab, is that it is really versatile. It can be served as an afternoon tea accompaniment, it can be a decadent breakfast served with some fresh banana & berries, or it can be a scrumptious dessert served with tahini or coconut ice-cream, or simply an offering of love to a friend, loved one or neighbor.
· 1 ¾ cup of gluten free cake flour mix
· 4 tablespoons of fine sugar (you can use any sugar you like so long as you make it fine – examples of different sugars are coconut sugar, organic raw brown sugar, turbinado sugar, castor sugar etc)
· 3 teaspoon baking powder
· ¾ teaspoon good quality salt (I used Himalayan salt)
· ½ cup plant based milk
· 2 medium-large ripe bananas
· 1 large granny smith apple
· 2 medjool dates
· 1 tablespoon maple syrup
· 1.5 tablespoons of peanut butter
· ½ tablespoon tahini (plus more for drizzling on the top)
· 2 teaspoons cinnamon
· 1 teaspoon all spice
· 1/8 cup toasted sunflower seeds (plus more for topping)
· 2 tablespoons chopped dark Lindt chocolate + ¼ cup chopped 70% dark chocolate for melting and drizzling over the loaf
· 1 tablespoon oats for topping on the loaf before baking
1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius
2. In a bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and spices. Set aside.
3. Place the bananas, plant based milk, maple syrup, and nut butters (all of 2 tablespoons) into the food processor/blender and blend until everything is smooth. You can mix it by hand if need be.
4. Peel the apple and grate it. Add the toasted sunflower seeds, 2-3 tablespoons of chopped chocolate, grated apple & chopped dates in with the dry ingredients, then add all of the liquid mixture into the dry mixture. Mix thoroughly. The batter will be stiff and look dry, but this is correct.
5. Grease a loaf tin (mine was a silicone non-stick one) with tahini and then mold the batter into the pan. Top with the oats and extra sunflower seeds.
6. Bake for 60 minutes, check if it’s done by pushing a tooth pick or knife through the center of the loaf and it shouldn’t be too wet. There will be some batter-smudge on the knife, don’t worry, but it shouldn’t be wet. Remove from the oven and let it sit in the loaf tin for 10 minutes before turning out.
7. While the banana bread is cooling slightly, bring a small pot of water to the boil. Place a glass bowl over it (ensuring that the water isn’t touching it) and add the ¼ cup chopped chocolate. Stir with a wooden spoon until melted.
8. Turn the loaf out, douse it with drizzles of melted dark chocolate. Then drizzle liberally with tahini. Top it all with a pinch of salt. Serve, indulge and enjoy!
Allow yourself to fully relish in treating yourself. Accept & embrace nourishment on all levels – physical, mental, emotional & spiritual. Allow yourself to experience the joy as you tuck into this divine creation mindfully. Feel the different textures, embrace the different tastes. The fruity banana flavor, the decadent chocolate, the savory tahini, the uplifting nature of the pinch of salt.
I am a firm believer in eating a balanced, delicious, nutritious diet. And yes, that balance includes eating decadent chocolate banana loaves for afternoon tea or even a Sunday breakfast in the garden.