I’m not really one to go in for the whole gluten-free thing because I think there’s nothing wrong with eating pasta and bread if you want, especially the wholewheat variety which I tend to opt for. However, due to feeling a little stuffed from Easter, and receiving a free sample of a few of Hemsley + Hemsley’s recipes (really good btw!), I thought it would be fun to try something different. Their recipe calls for bananas, but I decided to add sultanas for sweetness and sprinkle some sesame seeds on top for a crunchy and protein-rich topping.
Ingredients to make one loaf:
- 300g ripe bananas ( £0.36, 3 bananas, Tesco)
- 30g butter, room temperature (£0.85, 250g, Tesco)
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup – I used golden as its cheaper but you could also try honey (£1.15, 454g, Tesco)
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon (£0.85, Tesco)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract (£1.09, Tesco)
- 3 eggs (£0.89 for 6, Tesco)
- 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda (£1.29, 200g, Tesco)
- 1 tablespoon of juice of one lemon (£0.35, Tesco)
- 200g ground almonds (£2, 200g, Ocado)
- 50g ground flaxseed (£2.14, 175g, Morrisons)
- 75g sultanas (£1.54, 500g, Tesco)
- sunflower seeds, for sprinkling (£1.10, 150g, Tesco)
- Preheat oven to gas mark 5 (fan 170C) and line a loaf tin with baking parchment.
- Mash the bananas and butter in a mixing bowl to a pulp with a fork. Add the golden syrup, cinnamon, vanilla, eggs, bicarbonate of soda and a small pinch of salt. Mix well.
- Then add the ground almonds and flaxseed, followed by the sultanas and mix until everything is combined.
- Pour the mixture into the tin and sprinkle the top with sunflower seeds, until it is fairly well covered (as in the picture). Bake for 1 hour – 1hr 15 minutes, and it’s ready when a skewer inserted into the centre comes out dry. Check on it at 30 minutes, and if it is starting to look quite brown, cover the top with baking parchment until the end.
- Allow to cool, and serve. Store the loaf, covered in the fridge for up to a week or even freeze for later use.
Total preparation and baking time: about 1 hour 30 minutes, but very easy to make, just takes a while in the oven!
Total cost to bake one loaf: it’s roughly £5.50 for the whole loaf, and considering you can cut it up into about 12 slices it’s much cheaper than buying a cereal bar or other healthy snack (and much tastier too)
‘Free-from’ can often end up being quite pricey but this one doesn’t demand too many expensive ingredients, so I think it may be a keeper. Shop around for the ground almonds and flaxseed, they are a bit more expensive so see if you can find a deal. You could also grind your own, but this is more time-consuming.
This recipe seems to be a good one to play around with – perhaps add some cocoa powder for a bit more of a treat and/or switch up the different fruits and seeds. It is just perfect sliced up with a little butter and is such a yummy snack, whilst also being really healthy and filling.
(P.S. I would have called this ‘moist banana and sultana loaf’ as it is really lovely and moist but I hate the word ‘moist’! http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/10/hate-moist-word-alternatives_n_2259254.html.
Let me know if you’re into gluten-free baking, whether you have allergies or not!