Three aging bananas sat staring at me in Paolo's kitchen, and I knew something had to be done.
Let it be said: bananas are an amazing and tasty fruit. You know this. Monkeys know this.
Nonetheless, I am typically not in favor of banana consumption because of the miles undertaken to get a banana from point A to B (say, for example, Peru to Italy). Those miles are
paid for in more ways than your .60 cents per pound bounty.
(I'm not even going to get into the conditions on most banana plantations; whether you're buying "organic" or not. Organic says nothing about fair trade, and this industry can be notably horrendous.)
|Can you guess what it is that I decided had to be done??|
But . . . I
didn't purchase these bananas, so am I such a hypocrite if I consume them before they go bad?
And am I so terrible if I guiltily enjoy this occasion of being forced
bananas from a disgraceful, wasted end?
|And if it happens to be the case that you have candied walnuts, you know what to do.||
|Make it look sweet and glazey with just a bit of local honey immediately after removing from the oven|
The excitement of living in a region that produces buckwheat flour
and chestnut flour
has yet to wear off (see my chestnut buckwheat bread recipe
), and so I smiled a bittersweet and salivating smile as I began improvising Chestnut Buckwheat Banana Bread.
You can probably substitute any flour for this recipe, but if you can track down buckwheat
and chestnut flour
, I suggest following my lead. But, keep the chestnut ratio around 2/3rd because of its tendency to brown quickly.
Whether or not it matters to you that this recipe is gluten free, it is. But that's neither here nor there, because why use regular flour if you can have the hearty flavor of buckwheat and the sweet nuttiness of chestnut (um, and it's healthier)?
Also note that I omit any sugar because I like to drizzle [local] honey over my bread. Like a boss.
|Yeah, I guess this is an ok spot to eat this completely Italian version of banana bread. Fine.|
Chestnut Buckwheat Banana Bread
1 1/2 cup chestnut flour
1 cup buckwheat flour
3 extremely ripe large bananas
1 cup milk (or milk substitute)
2 eggs* (use one egg for a drier texture)
1/4 cup EVOO (substitute butter if you like saturated fat)
1 tbs fresh lemon juice or apple cider (this is to give the baking soda something to react with and will be flavorless once baked)
2 tsp baking soda
1-2 tsp cinnamon (I buy it in bulk—save dat money!)
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
optional: 1/2 cup toasted walnuts and/or dark chocolate chips
*if you're out of eggs or vegan substitute with 1/4 cup yogurt or applesauce or an extra banana)
Preheat oven to 350 F/180 C. Grease a bread pan or, in my case, a bundt pan.
Sift together flours, salt, baking soda, and spices
Whisk egg, lemon juice, milk, and EVOO together. Mash bananas into a puree and whisk in with the liquids. Stir this into the flour mixture until just combined, then fold in walnuts or chocolate chips, if using.
Pour the batter into the greased pan and bake for about 30-40 minutes, until a toothpick comes out relatively clean. Easy breezy.
|ok, so I undercooked this a bit. But I like a moist banana bread, and so did all of the mouths that tried this.|
The bread comes out moist, almost cakey, but without any added sweeteners (thanks, natural sweetness of bananas and chestnuts!).
Drizzle it with honey when just out of the oven for a glazed look, or if you just so happen to have candied walnuts
on-hand, sprinkle away, my friend.
I know this is an odd way to close out a post centering on bananas, but I humbly request that you not put yourself in a situation where you can make this recipe.
If you'd like to read another great opinion on why you should stay away from bananas unless you're in a country that grows them and
they come from a fair trade source, read Darya Rose's opinion here