It was one of those mornings. I was out of eggs – what, how could I let that happen?! – and out of coffee beans. I was staring glumly at a bag of Moomin coffee, a hasty Helsinki airport purchase, and wondering how nasty that might be and what I could have for breakfast. On my counter were some very brown bananas, barely a patch of yellow left. I had some buckwheat flour, but not a lot, and a bag of hazelnuts. I thought I might try a new take on banana bread.
It is worth buying bananas and letting them go really brown to make banana bread and pancakes. This is when they are at their best for cooking, rich and syrupy sweet. I never do this intentionally. I buy bananas and let them sit on the side. I feel guilty when I see them every day. I worry about waste, and then eventually they go completely brown, and they become banana bread or pancakes.
I love the flavour of buckwheat, I use it a lot. For pancakes, waffles, bread and now banana bread, the nutty flavour goes very well with the bananas here. It is gluten free as it isn’t actually a wheat, and as I used coconut oil too, this bread is dairy free also.
A quick word on coconut oil, I know it is being heralded as a new discovery and superfood, but you know, in Asia they have been using this forever, and in Asian shops it is very easy to buy, and much cheaper too (ok, so it isn’t extra virgin, but you know). Often in bottles, which in Asia wouldn’t be a problem as it being warm, the oil would be liquid. Here, I put mine in a pot of hot water so that it melts a bit and I can pour it. You can get jars too.
Once I discovered that coconut oil was a good butter substitute (I am lactose intolerant so I must take care), I started using it for fruit curds and in cakes that demanded to be dairy free. Texturally it is similar, unlike oils, and so it works very well. I should really share my lactose free life hacks with you some day. I have many! Of course you can use butter instead, if you prefer. Buttery bananas are good.
Lets crack on with the recipe, shall we? This banana bread is dense and fruity with nutty pops of hazelnut. It didn’t last a day in my flat, and I ate most of it. I am going to make more this weekend.
Enjoy – recipes now have their own page in my new website design, so that you can save and print the recipe on its own. PDF downloads are coming soon too. Both reader requests, and good onse I think! Let me know if there are any bugbears or things that you would like to see changed too!
Oh and you know what, the Moomin coffee was actually ok! :)
Buckwheat and Hazelnut Banana Bread [Gluten & Dairy Free Recipe]
makes one loaf
175g buckwheat flour
100g soft brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp good vanilla extract
4 very ripe bananas, mashed (mine came to 250g when peeled)
75g coconut oil (or butter if you prefer)
50g blanched hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
one loaf tin, I actually used a pie dish as I couldn’t find my loaf tin :)
Preheat your oven to 180 deg C.
Mash the bananas and mix in the sugar and coconut oil. Beat with a wooden spoon until well combined.
Add buckwheat flour, a pinch of salt and vanilla and mix through until you get a well blended batter.
Stir through the hazelnuts and spread he batter into your greased tin.
Bake until a skewer comes out dry when the cake is pierced with it. Mine took 30 minutes, keep an eye on it from 25.
Lovely as is, hot, cold or toasted.
Got the buckwheat bug? Here are some more buckwheat recipes to try:
Buckwheat Pancakes with Plums, Almonds and Honey
Buckwheat Waffles with Rhubarb, Apple & Candied Hazelnuts
Homemade Matcha Soba Noodles & A Recipe for Matcha Mari Soba
Love Bananas?! Me too!
Black Sticky Rice with Banana & Coconut Cream
Banana, Coconut & Lime Bread
Chef Baka’s Banana Fritter Recipe (from Palm Island)