Spelt Banana Loaf

A wonderful ‘all in one bowl’ recipe makes this light and moist banana loaf so simple. Add the dates for an extra hit of nutrient-rich sweetness if you like. Unbeatable served warm, or sliced and toasted the next day. It also freezes very well, in slices, making it perfect for the lunchbox or as an ‘on the go’ snack!

serves 8-10
what you need
200g butter, melted                                        
1 cup (180g) rapadura sugar                                                             
2 eggs, lightly beaten                                    
1 cup (130g) white spelt flour                        
½ cup (70g) oat bran
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
3 ripe bananas, mashed
10 dates, halved and pitted (optional)
1 small banana, peeled and sliced in half lengthways
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp golden caster sugar

what you do
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan forced). Lightly grease a 19cm x 9cm (base measurement) loaf tin.
2. Combine all the ingredients (except the dates if using) in a large bowl and stir until smooth. Transfer the batter to the prepared tin. Add dates if desired, evenly dispersed, poked into the batter.
3. Arrange sliced banana halves on top, pressing into the batter gently then sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.
4. Bake for 50 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the centre of the loaf. Stand in the tin for 15 minutes, then lift out onto a rack to cool.
Note: For information on rapadura sugar and oat bran, see below.
Storage: In the unlikely event of leftovers, cake will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. It freezes well, for best results slice first prior to freezing.

GF option: Substitute spelt flour with brown rice flour and oat bran with almond meal.

rapadura sugar is a whole sugar that undergoes minimal processing. This allows it to retain a higher nutrient content than white sugar, which when refined to create crystals loses much of its nutrients. Rapadura sugar is simply the product left behind after evaporating the water from the sugar cane juice and has a unique, caramel flavour. Substitute the same quantity of rapadura sugar for regular sugar in any recipe. It is available from health food shops, and is usually an organic product.

oat bran contains three segments of a seed - the endosperm, the germ and the bran. Although it is a whole grain (rolled oats known as oatmeal), oat bran only contains the bran of the seed and is therefore not a complete whole grain. But nutritionally speaking, oat bran contains higher levels of dietary fibre, vitamin B, protein and iron, compared to rolled oats. Both are low in dangerous saturated fats, making them a healthy option to include in your diet. Oat bran can also be ground into flour.

©Jane Grover  
Recipe from Our Delicious Adventure – Recipes and Stories of Food and Travel