chocolatey grain-free, nut-free banana bread (and a name change)

chocolatey grain-free nut-free banana bread

You might have noticed a name change around here. Let me explain. A few summers ago, with some luxurious free time on my hands and New Years inspiration in my heart, I started this little blog. It began as a place to share recipes based on fresh, seasonal produce with family, friends, students, colleagues and anyone else who was interested. It needed a name, and ‘Nourish’ seemed like a good fit. After all, I wanted to share recipes that were nutritious as well as delicious and sustainable.

But as I dipped my toes into the online world of food blogging, I found so many different and often conflicting views on how to ‘nourish’ oneself that it really made me consider exactly where I stand on that old chestnut of ‘what should we eat?’.

My conclusion was simple. I believe that there is no single best diet. Traditional food cultures around the world, in all their glorious diversity, show us this. The common thread linking all ‘good’ diets is that they are based on real, unprocessed, locally produced, seasonal food. In addition to this, in traditional food cultures, food serves as the glue that binds communities, marks celebration and embodies intergenerational connection. Food knowledge is passed from one generation to the next, creating vibrant and colourful food cultures whose delicate threads connect individuals both to each other and to their own heritage.

In Western culture many of us are a little lost, and the rapidly rising rates of diabetes and obesity reflect this. We are looking outward for the solution both to our hunger and our health crises. I believe, however, that the answer lies within. Even those of us who don’t have a rich food culture stretching back generations can create our own, by connecting to the sources of our food, listening to our body’s innate wisdom and tapping into the joy that can come from nourishing ourselves with real food that tastes fabulous and leaves us feeling good. And by sharing that joy with others.

In essence, we can create a nourishing food life. So, rather than thinking about food as a collection of nutrients that nourishes our bodies, I suggest that we look at our food lives as a whole. Hence, the new name, Nourish Food Life. How is your food life? Does it nourish you, or is it a source of anxiety? Does it bring you pleasure, or pain? Does it feed your soul?

Chocolatey Grain-free Nut-free Banana Bread

Even those of us who love their food life with a passion need lunch box staples that are super quick to make. This is one of mine. It can be prepared in the time that it takes to measure out the ingredients and pre-heat your oven. It ticks the boxes for grain-free, gluten-free, sugar-free, nut-free and dairy-free, so is a good one to have up your sleeve for any tricky-to-feed people in your life. Plus, it’s delicious :)

  •  1 cup (140 g) sunflower seeds
  • 3 large (or 4 medium) ripe bananas
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil (melted, or at least very soft)
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup cacao
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate soda
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt

Preheat the oven to 160°C. Grease and line a 21 x 11 x 6 cm loaf tin with baking paper.

Place the sunflower seeds into the bowl of your food processor and blitz until fine (a small amount of texture is okay).

Add the bananas, eggs, coconut oil and vanilla and process until smooth and creamy.

Add the remaining ingredients and blitz again briefly until you have a smooth, uniform mixture.

Using a spatula, scrape the mixture out into the prepared tin and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until dark brown and springy on top when pressed lightly with your fingers. Allow to stand in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire cooling rack.

Store in the refrigerator, but bring to room temperature or toast lightly before serving.