Let’s Go Bananas With Jasmine
OK, I’ve created a LOT of banana bread recipes in my time and they never fail to amass countless fans — in fact it was one of my first recipes for H+H way back when. The funny thing is that bananas are one of those foods that some people really get squeamish about. “But the texture!” they cry, and they’re also put off by the colour and even the fruit’s propensity to bruise. If you’ve ever had to deal with a squashed banana at the bottom of your bag you’ll see where they’re coming from. Bake bananas with other yummy ingredients, though, and suddenly they’re everybody’s favourite — weird, that ???? If you often find yourself with a fruit bowl full of bananas ripening at the speed of light, where does your mind go? To that banana bread, of course. You can’t beat a classic… but if you’re anything like me you love having a go, getting creative with a sprinkling of spices and more wholesome ingredients. Here are my 3 ways with banana bread — I can’t decide which is my favourite, they’re all so delish!
The cult recipe from my Ayurvedic cookbook East by West This is my trusty banana bread, one that I’ve been baking for well over a decade, and it’s always a hit. It’s malty and not too sweet, and anyone who tries it immediately wants the recipe. I add cinnamon and raisins to sweeten it, and walnuts for crunch, and it’s so simple yet wonderful! Try toasting it and serving with salty butter, or almond butter for a vegan option.
I created this recipe as part of the #BakeForSyria book project that benefited those affected by the Syrian refugee crisis. This is a variation on my banana bread above, but with flavours and ingredients inspired by Syrian cuisine: chickpea flour as the protein-rich base, cinnamon, dates, olive oil, walnuts and the kicker, Aleppo pepper. A warming delight.
Banana bread meets cake, and it’s a love story! For this recipe, I felt inspired to work with caraway seeds after an afternoon with my Polish friend, an unexpected and beautifully fragrant flavour. Kids love this cake (as evidenced by my toddler godson!) and it’s both timeless and versatile (and Mum loves it, too).