Remember being young, and fun, and eating whatever you felt like? Yeah, me too. Those were the good old days. Then the 40s hit, and a single Cheeto sends me up an entire dress size. Now when I cook - which is hardly ever because, really, who has time? - it's all about fibre, and low sugar, and food sensitivities and high protein. Gah. It makes me want to eat cookies. High fat, sugary, delicious cookies. That's why we have stretch pants, right?
This is almost a healthy banana bread recipe. Healthy-ish. It's still got chocolate chips in it. There's whole eggs. But there are a couple of healthy aspects -- barley flour, which is the answer to all your healthy baking wishes. Walnuts and chia for protein and fibre. Hemp hearts for crunch and fun. Fireball because, well, Fireball. You should drink a little while you bake for the complete experience.
Healthy Banana Bread with Chocolate Chips, Walnuts and rum
3 large very ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup olive oil OR soft butter (butter is less healthy but more yummy)
1/2 cup raw honey OR maple syrup OR packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp Fireball OR rum
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup barley flour (or use whole wheat)
2 Tbsp Chia seeds
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips - mini are best for optimal distribution
1/2 cup walnut pieces
1 Tbsp hemp hearts
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
I know I said mash the bananas, but I'm lazy - so peel and put them in the bowl of a mixer. If they're frozen, then thaw slightly first (microwave works, or I lay mine on the top of the stove while the oven preheats). They'll eventually get blended ish.
Mix the bananas, oil/butter, honey, Fireball or rum, and eggs in the mixer bowl. Mix until blended - low, high, wander off for a while, doesn't really matter. It will probably all be lumpy, especially if you're using frozen bananas. Lumpy is okay! Say this to yourself a few times, maybe with a shot of Fireball to help your conviction. Add the vanilla to the bowl. Pro tip: you don't really need to measure vanilla. Splash some in, it'll be fine.
Add all the dry stuff to the bowl. Just dump it in on top of the eggs and whisky. If you're new to baking, you'll read that you should mix by hand only until blended, and this is likely true. If you overmix the batter, it will do something dire. I'm not exactly sure what, but something, and it's potentially not good. However, we're cooking with Fireball which gives us superpowers and this means you can just mix all the stuff together. Go ahead - turn on the mixer. Let it buzz around a few times. Does it look mostly mixed up? Excellent. It's perfect and you are a cooking wizard!
Pour this magic into a greased 9x5 inch loaf pan. The size doesn't really matter here - too big, and you'll get a flat loaf that cooks faster, and too small and things will bubble over top. Cook for about 50 minutes - check the banana loaf by poking with a knife in the thickest part of the loaf. If it comes out with batter clinging to it, it's not done. Pro tip #2: If your bananas were frozen, the loaf can take a little longer to cook. Mine seem to take an hour. When it's done, take it out of the oven and sprinkle the hemp hearts on top.
That's it! When it's done, delicious banana bread that could be justified as healthy-ish. Almost. If we squint real hard at it while drinking a shot of Fireball.