Everybody loves guilt-free desserts. Here is a new recipe that combines two of my favourite cake flavours for spring – banana and carrot. I love cream cheese frosting and buttery cake as much as the next person, but when you’re working on your beach body for spring break or just want something a little more virtuous, give this loaf a try. It’s moist, toothsome and lightly sweet, making it the perfect morning or tea time snack. It has heart-healthy walnuts, is dairy free, and has no refined sugar – not to mention the health benefits of potassium-rich bananas and vitamin-c loaded carrots. Yes, it’s still a treat, but it’s certainly better for you than a huge buttery pain au chocolat (brb googling if ubereats can deliver me one of those).
This loaf is REALLY good toasted and spread with almond butter or butter and honey. You can also make it more desserty and add a yogurt glaze. If you have a nut allergy in the house, omit the walnuts and use regular cow’s milk instead. Very ripe bananas are key. Happy baking!
Recipe adapted from Ambitious Kitchen
Makes 1 loaf
1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup unsweetened, desiccated coconut (if you aren’t a coconut person, try replacing with quick cooking oats)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 medium/ overripe bananas
1/2 cup coconut sugar (or organic cane sugar, or brown sugar)
1 large room temperature egg
1 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
2 tablespoons melted, cooled coconut oil or melted butter
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup shredded carrots (about 2 large carrots – I find using a medium/small grate is best)
1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/4 cup chopped walnuts (or pecans)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a traditional loaf pan wth coconut oil, or grease with butter.
Whisk together the flour, coconut, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and and baking soda. Set aside.
Mash banana in a separate bowl, and then add coconut sugar, egg, vanilla, almond milk and applesauce. Fold in grated carrots. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix JUST until combined and no dry bits remain – overmixing will make the cake tough!
Carefully and gently fold in the nuts and coconut oil. For extra panache, slice a whole banana lengthwise and place slices on top, drizzle top with honey. Bake for 45-50 minutes. If you use a 9×5 pan, it may take less time, so check the bread before 45 mins is up. Make sure a cake tester comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 20 minutes and then remove for serving.