Before you roll your eyes at yet another banana bread recipe, pause in your tracks. Have you every tried roasting bananas? I may be late in the game but its never too late to discover some simple tricks. It does the work of three days on the counter in 20 mins, caramelizing the sugars within and drawing out the essence of bananas. Encouraged by the stellar results of baking with avocados, I was eager to try another avocado bread recipe; I decided upon a simple Banana Avocado (Banavocado) Bread that would justly showcase the wonderfully intense flavours of roasted bananas.
Roasting the bananas is easy. Just place the unpeeled bananas on a baking tray and pop them into the oven for about 20 minutes. Don’t be alarmed by the blackened and blistered Frankenstein bananas. The juices will start to ooze out and that’s when you know the bananas are ready to be removed from the oven. For the scientifically inclined, the black skins has probably got to do with heat-damaged membranes and the resulting leakage of phenolic compounds from the cell vacuole into the cytoplasm. The cytoplasmic enzyme polyphenoloxidase then oxidizes these phenolic compounds into polyphenols analogous to the brown pigment melanin [source]. Yes, I actually google such stuff.
At this point, your whole kitchen will smell like heaven already. Oh yeahh.
The rest of the recipe is easy too! Mash the avocados and prepare the dry ingredients as the bananas are roasting. Then when they’re ready, mix the bananas into the wet ingredients (they’re so soft they need little mashing) and you’re almost good to go! I must forewarn though. I think it would be prudent to cut down on the amount of banana and avocado puree or increase the amount of flour because these turned out a little on the mushy side. I’ll fix the ratios right in future attempts.
- 3/8 cup (6 tablespoons) whole wheat pastry flour
- 3/8 cup (6 tablespoons) oat flour (ground fresh from rolled oats)
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- Pinch sea salt
- 3/8 cup (6 tablespoons) mashed avocados (Note: try reducing to 1/4 cup)
- 3/8 cup (6 tablespoons) mashed roasted bananas (see Directions below. Note: try reducing to 1/4 cup)
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1/2 tablespoon honey
- 1/2 teaspoon almond or vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup chopped almonds
- 1/2 cup non-dairy milk
- Preheat oven to 350°F/175°C. Place the whole bananas with their skin intact on a baking tray and roast for 20 minutes until the skin turns brown-black and juices are seeping out from the skin.
- Meanwhile prepare the dry ingredients. In a large bowl mix together the flour, baking powder and salt.
- Once bananas have roasted, let cool, then mash together with avocado until creamy. You may use the food processor or mash manually.
- Add the coconut oil, honey and almond extract and mix to combine ingredients.
- Pour mixture into the bowl with the dry ingredients and mix to form a batter. Gently fold in the nuts. The batter should be thick and sticky.
- Lightly grease a mini loaf pan and pour in the batter.
- Bake at 350°F/175°C until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, approximately 40-50 minutes.
While the Banavocado Bread may not have the best texture (yet), at least I discovered a new trick – roasting bananas!