Why is banana bread called banana bread? Fruit, flour, sugar, soda, oil...one could say that banana cake would be a more appropriate name. Perhaps calling it bread is just our way of cheating. You know, you could polish off half a loaf of bread and feel pretty smug about it, but imagine eating half a cake. Egad! Guilt trip galore!! :oP
DH and I spent a long weekend at Chennai having a super duper fun time playing with our nephew and nieces. There were run off the mill games like hide and seek, chinese whispers, running and catching, lego connect four and there were crazy ass made up games like evil robot, mind reading and pretending to be asleep because we were so freaking tired by the end. Well that last bit was just hubby and me. Try keeping up with a pack of highly active kids and you'll know exactly what I mean.
Anyways, we came back home from these three days away to find some verrrrrry ripe bananas on the counter. When we'd left on Friday night, they were raw, but three days is plenty of time to ripen and ripen some more. I love eating bananas in this state but there are only so many I can have. Hence, I decided to make banana bread.
I found a nice marbled chocolate-banana bread recipe on the PPK and used that as the base recipe. But as much as I luuuurrrrve chocolate, I wanted to make something non chocolatey. So I thought about the things that go well with banana, and spinach suddenly popped into my head. If spinach and bananas can be a great duo in green smoothies, why not in bread, right?
And while I was at it, I adjusted the ingredients a bit and made it even more healthy by substituting a portion of the white flour with pearl millet flour. So here is my Marbled Green Smoothie Banana Bread. I feel comfortable calling it bread now. :)
3/4 C Pearl Millet Flour (Bajra/Sajje Hittu)
3/4 C + 3 T All Purpose Flour (Maida Hittu)
3/4 tsp Salt
3/4 tsp Baking Soda
1 C Mashed Very Ripe Bananas - about 3 large bananas (Pachbale Hannu)
3/4 C Sugar
2 T Coconut Oil - at room temperature
1/3 C Vegan Mylk - soy, almond or cashew
1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
1/4 C (tightly packed) Blanched Spinach
5 T Boiling Water
Preheat the oven to 170C/340F.
Line a loaf pan with aluminum foil.
Place the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and whisk a few times to mix well and incorporate air. Transfer 3/4 C of this flour mixture to another large mixing bowl. 1 C of the flour mixture will remain in the first mixing bowl.
Beat together all the wet ingredients (not the spinach and water). It should come to about 2 C.
Bring 1 C of water to a rolling boil.
Meanwhile, blend the blanched spinach with 3/4 C of the banana mixture to form a smooth, creamy liquid.
Pour the spinach mixture into the mixing bowl with the 3/4 C of flour and mix lightly. Add 2 T boiling water to this and mix well with a fork to get a smooth paste.
Pour the remaining 1 1/4 C of banana mixture into the bowl with the 1 C of flour and gently mix. It's okay if some flour can be seen but DO NOT OVER MIX. Add 3 T boiling water and mix quickly with a fork until fairly smooth.
Now pour about 1/2 C of the plain banana bread batter into the prepared loaf pan. Top this with about 1/2 C of the green banana bread batter. Keep alternating them until you've finished transferring all the batter into the pan.
To form a pretty, marbled pattern, take a butter knife and swirl it through the batter in circles for a few seconds.
Bake in the preheated oven at 170 C / 340 F for 60 minutes. Increase the temperature to 180 C / 350 F and bake for 20 minutes.
About 10 minutes into the 180 C baking, test with a butter knife poked into the center for doneness.
Remove the pan from the oven and let it rest for a few minutes.
Lift the bread along with the foil and transfer to a cooling rack. Let it cool completely before slicing.