Bakers love black bananas

This is a fact. Unless of course you don’t like bananas (madness!), in which case you would disagree, but I think practically every other baker on the planet would wholeheartedly agree with this statement. So imagine my joy when I came across this in the reduced aisle at Tesco’s:DSC03748

A bunch of mostly black bananas! Open-mouthed smileDSC03750

And only 32p!!! For  9 bananas! Imagine my joy! My mum’s reaction was one of disbelief/disgust at my delight…she’s not a baker you see Smile with tongue out

So on the car journey home, I carefully examined my feelings. What do I want to make first with these precious bananas? I decided on banana bread. Actually, wholemeal banana-coconut bread to be exact.

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It’s based on the above recipe for wholemeal banana bread that I found in my ‘recipe file’. No  idea of the source, and I’d never made it before (that I could remember anyway!) so thought I’d give it a whirl, with a few changes of course! Smile with tongue out

Wholemeal banana-coconut bread

  • 2 tbsp marg/butter/vegan spread
  • 2 tbsp milk (I used soya milk)
  • 3/4 cup (160g) sugar (I used sweetener, as my mum is diabetic, so I often use this to make my recipes more suitable for her)
  • 1 egg/flax egg (1 tbsp flaxseed+3tbsp warm water)
  • 4 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1.5 cups (240g) wholewheat plain flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup desiccated coconut (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 200C/390F, and grease/line your loaf tin.
  2. Whisk flax egg (if using) and leave for 5 mins. Meanwhile, mash your bananas.
  3. In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugar together. Add the butter and sugar and beat till well combined.
  4. Combine flour, baking powder and dessicated coconut, and gently fold in to the mixture. Then add the milk, and fold until combined.
  5. Spoon mixture into your pan, then bake for approx. 45 mins, depending on your oven.
  6. Stand in the tin for 5 mins before turning out on a wire rack to cool fully.

The best bit was obvoiusly mashing the bananas! Smile with tongue out Wanna see some disgusting black banana pictures? You know you want to…DSC03751

The four bananas I used. Not too bad, right? Wrong.

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And those weren’t even the worse ones! Smile with tongue out The lovely mashed banana mess:DSC03758

Lovely, right? And actually, adding the coconut was a bit of a last minute idea, so didn’t add it until the end, so it was harder to stir in properly, without over-mixing the batter, but it still turned out great.DSC03759

Oh, and these are possible the best thing ever invented for lazy people like me who HATE lining tins:DSC03761

Aah loaf tin liners, how I love you! Smile So anyway, after a little too long in my oven (sidetracked by Scrubs Smile with tongue out) the cake turned out a little browner on top than I normally like, but I actually ended up preferring it like this:

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Of course, after letting it cool a little, I dove right in:DSC03776

Mmmm! The coconut was definitely a good decision! Wholesome and filling, so this will make a great snack that will satisfy even a monster sweet tooth like mine Open-mouthed smile

Also baked Garlic and Rosemary bread in my beloved bread machine for my elderly neighbour. Check out this HUGE loaf!DSC03770

Maybe went a little overboard on the size here! Note to self: the ‘extra large’ loaf setting is not an exaggeration! Check out the size comparison:DSC03772

Haha! Open-mouthed smile Sweet little Mrs Raggett is going to have fun with this one! Smile with tongue out

In other news, I found out more about the London Mini Marathon (for under 18’s) I mentioned a few posts ago. It’s a lot shorter than I had hoped for- only 3 miles (I prefer slightly longer distances, where you don’t have to sprint!). When I checked previous race timings, most people had run all 3 miles in sub-8 minute mile pace. Don’t know about you guys, but for me, that is FAST!fullcolour_mini_londonmarathon_jpgresize-3

I would have until March to train, which is when the trials are to qualify…. Can I speed up that much though? I did a 4 mile tempo run today, with my fastest mile at 8.14…

What do you think? It would probably be possible to qualify at a 8 min mile pace, or just over, but do you think it would be possible for me to speed up this much over four months, when my current average running pace is about 8.30?

Advice greatly appreciated! Smile

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5 Responses

  1. Yum, that banana bread looks so good- I love the idea of banana and coconut together.
    As for the training, if you don’t try, you won’t know. With some focused speed training I am sure you would be capable- you are already very close. It’s good to have something to aim for 🙂

    • Thanks! I thought it would be a good combo too, and it was! 😀
      Great advice, thank you! I’m going to aim to do it, and as you say, with speed training it may be possible! 🙂

  2. Coconut and banana! that sounds great! What a good idea! We always freeze our bananas if they go bad and then we have a big banana bread making party for our friend who is obsessed with banana bread 🙂

    as far as running, in 4 months you can drop 15-30 seconds no problem if you focus on speed work. Every track season I would start out with my mile time around 7-7:30 and by the middle to end of the season I’d be down around 6 mins. So it’s definitely doable. Maybe sign up for a few 5ks to help train, running races is what always helped me get faster, even if I did do a lot of speed workouts. Then the usual…tempo runs, hills, track sprinting workouts. If you focus and really want to do it, I think you can definitely do 3 miles in sub 8 min miles! (all this running advise is from my days of running in high school and college, since I broke my knee I’m far from a runner anymore so I don’t have any really recent advise to share haha sorry!)

  3. Haha I would be that friend! I’m a banana bread lover too! That is a great idea, freezing bad bananas for when you need them…!
    Thanks, that’s great advice! 😀 I’m going to take that on board, and do the tempo runs, sprinting, etc and hopefully it’ll be possible!
    Wow you were fast! I’m sorry you can’t run anymore 😦 But seriously, brilliant advice so thank you!

  4. […] it was time to head home and get my bake on! I made Emma’s wholemeal banana and coconut loaf I made a few changes though: instead of sweetener I used fruit […]

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