Quick and Easy Baking
After a day of chocolate making I visited my favourite veggie store at the Cardiff Market. I came across a bag of super ripened bananas going cheaply and some raspberries that needed to be sold at the end of the day and I felt an inexpensive, easy dessert coming up. Rule number one for me is to always have a well stocked pantry, when lost for inspiration: that's where you find it!
I like basic foods, that are full of taste and flavour, but they need to be easy to make. I work in the kitchen all day, and often look after my children when they come home from school so things need to be effortless during the 'witching hour'. So with a bit of time on my hands I quickly get to making.
A little Help, with great Joy
One trick with looking after children and cooking at the same time is to engage them in the cooking. Getting them to know all the ingredients and what to do with them. Letting them discover the smells of the ingredients and get a feel for them. Creating the fun in food and building up a great appetite.
And of course involve them in the important part, the decision making. 'Shall we put a bit of chocolate in?', is usually a definite: Yes!
Letting them make that choice, it makes it their discovery, and their journey. When the cake then comes to the table, the own it, are proud of it and devour it. Of course as a parent I have the final say in what goes in. After a long day I like my meal to be filling, nurturing and life affirming.
My Choice of Healthy Ingredients
For me personally I tend to feel bloated after eating to many foods that are heavy on gluten. It took me a while to link the two, but now that I have, I feel much better, sleep much better and wake more refreshed. So for this desert I choose to work with whole grain rye flour. I like to work with the whole grain rye flour from Doves Farm. They mill it traditionally and it hasn't got the food miles. An other great gluten free option is Buckwheat.
The Better Sweet
A dessert, without sweeter is no dessert to me. To live a vegan lifestyle, means that there are many things that are no longer on the menu. One thing that I found most vegans have, is still a sweet tooth. But for an after tea dessert I don't want to be firing up my body with processed sugars. I use liquid coconut nectar in my chocolate and I've found the granulated form is fantastic to use in cakes.
Stick to the measurements in your recipe, but just swap it for coconut sugar. You'll find it in any health food store.
The bananas go in for great flavour and texture. To add a bit of depth and character to the flavour I also add some cinnamon. For some extra fruit and some moisture in the bread I've topped the bread with some raspberries.
All mixed and in a oven tray, and off it goes. With breads like this, I prefer to bake it in two stages, give it a third of its time in the oven uncovered to rise and to get a little crust and then two thirds of the time under a bit of aluminium foil . Once again, it's great to engage the kids, but with ovens be very careful.
After one hour in the oven, check if it is ready by sticking a knife in the bread and if it comes out without any batter on it's ready, if not give it a bit more time. Let it cool a little bit during meal time and have it still warm for dessert.
How it's done
Preparation time: 10 minutes mixing and 1 hour baking
- 250 grams of wholemeal rye flower
- 3 large bananas (as ripe as possible - black preferably)
- 3 tsp of baking powder
- 3 tsp of cinnamon
- 50 grams of raspberries
- 100 grams of coconut nectar sugar
- 75 ml or rapeseed oil (or any other non GMO vegetable oil)
- 50 grams of chipped dark chocolate (preferably sweetened with coconut nectar)
- Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees C
- Peel the bananas and mash them up (since I've got a little helper I let her mash them up with her hands, other wise, I'd use a fork
- Add everything else, except the Raspberry because I'd like to see them whole in the bread and not mashed up.
- Grease an oven tray and put the batter in. The batter will be sticky.
- Flatten the batter and spread evenly. Then poke little holes the batter and put the Raspberries in
- Bake the bread for about 20 minutes until it start rising and forming a crust. For the last five minutes or so you should start to smell it bake
- Cover the bread with some foil so that the bread bakes evenly
- After 40 minutes check if the bread is ready
- Take the bread out of the oven and let it cool off whilst you have your dinner. Once you've finished your main course slice it and stand back.... enjoy.