Loaves, like muffins, are a great item for meal or snack prepping because they can be quite healthy with the right ingredients and they are easy to package individually and transport. I kept this version ultra nutritious with a combination of sprouted buckwheat flour and almond flour to form a hearty and dense base. Each has a nutty flavour and together they contribute many important nutrients including protein, fiber, manganese, iron, zinc, calcium, vitamin E and B vitamins.Sprouted buckwheat flourAlmond flour (or sub almond meal)In the spirit of meal prepping, this is a large recipe for two loaves. It can be modified by using different whole grain and nut flours if preferred and cut in half easily to make just one loaf.The extra detail on the top comes from marbling a mixture of almond butter and maple syrup, then placing a row of banana slices on before baking.For some texture variety and added flavours I added in some chopped pecans and raw dark chocolate. Bananas, dates, maple syrup and molasses all make it naturally sweet and cocoa powder makes it extra chocolatey.
½ cup chopped dark chocolate (or dark chocolate chips)
⅓ cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup Medjool dates, pitted and chopped
4 large bananas
½ cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon cooking molasses
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
¼ cup almond butter
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 banana, sliced into 12 even slices
Preheat oven to 350°.
Place all the dry ingredients into a large bowl.
Blend the wet ingredients in a high-speed blender or food processor until smooth. Add the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients and stir to combine.
Set up two loaf pans and line them with large pieces of parchment paper. Spoon in the mixture, half into each pan gently lift and hit the pan against the counter a few times until the mixture is levelled.
Add the topping ingredients in a small bowl, stir to combine. Pour half down the middle of each loaf. Use a bamboo or popsicle stick to create a marbled design. Place the stick around ½-1 inch deep and make rounded horizontal zig-zags from one side of the pan to the other. Repeat the swirl pattern in the other direction.
Top each with a row down their centres of 6 banana slices and press them about halfway down into the mixture.
Place in the oven and bake for 50-55 minutes, until an toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Leave the banana bread to cool on cooling racks for around 10 minutes then remove the loaves from the pans and place them directly on the cooling rack until fully cooled.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for up to a few months.
If freezing, slice beforehand and place small pieces of wax paper in between so the slices do not stick together.
Muffins are a great item to prepare in advance. They freeze well and are very portable, perfect for a healthy, on-the-go snack or light meal. For this version I tried to keep them as nutritious as possible by starting with a base of sprouted spelt and sprouted buckwheat flours. This extra step in the processing creates a whole grain flour that is easy to digest, with more bioavailable nutrients.
From there, the muffins get some density and healthy fats from almond meal (ground almonds) and moistness from apple sauce, Greek yogurt and a bit of cultured butter. Natural sweetness comes from dates and maple syrup and vanilla and cinnamon add a bit of seasonal spice.
When Christopher Columbus came to the New World he also found out about papayas for the first time and hailed them the “fruit of the angels”. They are a tropical fruit with a buttery consistency and unique flavour that sort of tastes like a blend between mangos and cantaloupe. They have a slight muskiness that can be nicely balanced with a sprinkle of some freshly squeezed lime juice (or chia pudding with lime juice already in it). Papayas contain a special enzyme called papain, which helps with the digestion of protein and is used to treat traumas like sports injuries as well as allergies. They are also a great source of vitamins C and A, folate, fiber and several minerals including magnesium and potassium.
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A big bowl of meaty chili is a common craving of mine in the winter. It’s a good way to use up leftover bits of meats and vegetables and a can of beans or legumes can be thrown in as well. I like to add in as many vegetables as possible to keep it from being too heavy and make it more balanced. Continue Reading →
Roasted yam rounds are a good substitute for crackers, bread or chips as the base of an appetizer or snack. They are warm and nourishing, easy to digest, dense, sweet and filling because of the complex carbs they contain. Simply slice a yam into thin pieces, roast until the desired crispness is reached and then top and serve. Continue Reading →
Persimmons and pomegranates are vibrant, flavourful winter fruits. Persimmons are sort of similar in taste and texture to mangoes and when cut horizontally their star shaped interior presents nicely on a plate. Pomegranates are a bit more tricky to prep- the ruby red arils have to be removed from the skin and connecting pith. Once they are freed they are great sprinkled over salads and add in a nice crisp sweetness. Continue Reading →