- 2 very ripe Bananas
- 2 Eggs
- 75g unsalted Butter or Coconut Oil
- 75g Blueberries, chopped in half
- 75g Spelt Flour
- 75g ground almonds
- 1 heaped tsp Baking Powder
- Preheat the oven at 160 degrees C.
- Melt the butter or coconut oil, and then leave to cool a little.
- Mash the bananas in a medium bowl.
- Add the eggs and mix.
- Stir in the the melted butter/coconut oil to the bananas and eggs mix, followed by the blueberries.
- Sieve in spelt flour and baking powder and combine.
- Finally mix in the ground almonds.
- Pour into a lined small loaf tin and bake for 45 mins or until golden brown.
You can add 75g sultanas and 1tsp cinnamon instead of blueberries. Or, if you’re feeling indulgent, you can chop 75g of high quality dark chocolate (75% or above) into small chunks or add cacao nibs if you would like it completely sugar free!
You can also use brown rice flour as a replacement for Spelt if you’re making the cupcakes… it works well, but not as well in the loaf. But a good option for gluten free.
So what’s so good about them?…
Bananas are an extremely healthy fruit that can get a bit of a bad rep due to their high levels of fructose. This is particularly the case for bananas in cakes like these as you typically use very ripe bananas which have much higher levels of fructose, glucose and sucrose. However, they contain a fair amount of fibre, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals so are still a great fruit to include in cakes. The blood sugar balance that you find in the whole fruit lessens as they get more ripe as the level of resistant starch and pectin decreases. Furthermore, in this recipe you mash the fruit thus breaking down the fibre further. The inclusion of healthy fats in this recipe therefore serves to help balance this. I would recommend that you try the recipe first with the two bananas, but then try a batch with just one and see if your tastebuds are as happy with less in there.
Eggs are a feature in most cakes so probably aren’t a surprise to be in this recipe – but they too are massively nutritious and deserve a mention. They are packed full of protein and have pretty much a little bit of everything we need from our food. They boost good cholesterol, can benefit eye health, have all the amino acids in the right ratios. They have a whole host of vitamins and minerals including vitamin D which many people are deficient in.
Butter or coconut oil can be used in this recipe with equal success. Both are far superior to margarine which we now never touch – it’s one of those foods which we always believed to be the healthier option but it is highly processed, full of ingredients that you have never heard of and manufacturers have to dye it to make it a more appealing colour. Butter is simply made from milk. Whilst the food industry have led us to believe that a low fat diet is the healthiest option and saturated fats are the enemy, nutritionists are now winning the battle of re-educating the public that it is certain types of fat that are horrendous for our health and we should fuel ourselves with healthy fats and not sugar. Soapbox moment over!
Coconut oil is a healthy saturated fat that is packed full of nutrition. It keeps us fuller for longer which prevents us from reaching for the sugary treats. It can help you burn fat due to the way it is metabolised and helps support brain function as well as lowering bad cholesterol. Make sure you buy extra virgin or virgin (actually the same thing when it comes to coconut oil) and cold-pressed oil to get the maximum nutritional punch.
Blueberries are among the most nutrient dense berries – and have a much lower level of fructose than most fruits. They are particularly high in fibre, vitamin C, vitamin K and manganese. They are billed as the king of antioxidants which protect the body from free radicals that can damage cell structures and contribute to aging and diseases like cancer. Blueberries can also reduce DNA damage, protect our good cholesterol, lower blood pressure and may help prevent heart disease. They can help maintain brain function, improving memory, and can have anti-diabetic effects. They may also help prevent urinary tract infections and help reduce muscle damage after exercise. A real superfood. Plus they are tasty!
Spelt flour has more soluble fibre and lower FODMAPs (a trigger for IBS) than modern wheat flour so I find it aggravates my tummy less. It is also less processed (always a good thing!) and richer in nutrients such as protein and minerals like manganese, zinc and copper.
The balance of half spelt and half ground almonds reduces the impact of gluten on the body slightly. We don’t follow a strictly gluten free diet in our family, but we have made a conscious decision to significantly reduce the amount of gluten that we consume as we had slipped into the habit of eating wheat products for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Ground almonds also give lots of satiating healthy fats, protein, fibre, vitamin E, manganese and magnesium.
As I mentioned, in my last recipe for Gingerbread, there’s also antioxidants in almonds and they can help balance blood sugar levels – so are perfect to balance the big hit of fructose from the bananas in this recipe. It’s always a good idea to combine healthy fats, protein and fibre when you eat healthy natural sugars as this will help balance blood sugars. Almonds can also help lower blood pressure and bad cholesterol, plus they keep hunger at bay and actually promote weight loss.