I’m not necessarily simple when it comes to baking. I’m not the keep the ingredients to a minimum kind of girl, or into the try not to use too many unusual ingredients kind of deal. In fact, you could almost say I’m the complete opposite.
The opposite as in, it’s not unusual for something simple like muffins or bread to have a long list of ingredients, and it’s not unusual for many of those ingredients to be ones that aren’t that mainstream or the popular ones you would have in your pantry.
And I’m totally okay with it.
I’m totally okay with it, because the recipes that I create, and the things I make and the ingredients that I use happen only because I like to try new combinations, use uncommon ingredients, and in the process try to make everything gluten-free, refined sugar-free and completely vegan.
For the most part it works. Not only in terms of the recipe, but in terms of me being able to play with different ingredients and learn about them and understand how they behave in baked goods, in the oven, when heated and when combined with other ingredients. it lets me understand how things work when they are put together with other things and then, how they come to create what we know and expect to be bread, muffins, baked goods, fresh breakfast treats and classic breakfast favourites.
But last week I had a client who made me think of things a little differently. She said that my recipes all looked delicious, and she liked the idea of making them all and having delicious vegan, sugar-free baked goods, but that in reality, with all the ingredients and different unusual flours, it was all just too overwhelming. And especially at a time where she was trying to improve her overall health and felt it was just too much to tackle all at once.
And I totally get it. Sometimes I look back at my recipes and think the same thing: “wow, there are lots of ingredients in that. I should try to simplify sometimes.”
And so that’s what I’ve done. I’ve simplified the simplest of them all: banana bread. This favourite classic, not taken up a notch, but by my standards, taken down a notch. Made with simple ingredients that you probably already have on hand. Not complicated, not loaded with different flours and different binding agents, and in fact, with very few ingredients in the realm of breads and baking.
But not at the expense of being healthy. Not at the expense of being free of refined sugar or vegan. This version is still whole grain, packed with healthy ingredients, and sweetened with banana and iron rich blackstrap molasses instead of sugar.
And it’s so easy, you could make it right now with the ingredients in your cupboard and have it to enjoy all weekend long. That’s my kind of banana bread.