Last weekend we attended a lovely outdoor garden party. We were asked to bring a cake to go along with the tea and coffee. I wanted to make something healthier than the typical cake, which is loaded with white flour and sugar. In addition, I wanted to use ingredients that we have on hand. We always have loads of frozen bananas, which we keep on hand for making smoothies. Why not banana bread? Or better yet, buckwheat banana bread?
This recipe is an adaption of a basic banana bread recipe that is made in the mainstream fashion with white flour and loads of white sugar. Instead of white flour, a combination of oats and buckwheat are used. Whole oats and buckwheat are far tastier than plain old flour, and higher in fiber and other nutrients. I never like to purchase pre-ground flour. The whole meal varieties can go rancid quickly, and it simply tastes better when you grind it yourself. Instead of white sugar, the sweetness is provided by dates. Yes, you still get sugar, but at least it is in a whole food. This means that you get essential minerals, micronutrients and fiber along with the sugar. It’s still a good idea to limit you total daily sugar intake. But, this dish is a special treat!
In the video, the rolled oats and buckwheat are ground together with the dates in a food processor. The next time I make this, I will probably grind the oats and buckwheat together first in the blender. Then, add it to the dates in the food processor and finely chop the dates together with the oat/buckwheat flour. This will result in a more finely ground flour than just using the food processor.
You may notice in the video that most of the measurements are made using a digital kitchen scale. They are really inexpensive these days, and the engineer part of me really appreciates using an accurate scale. It is helpful for making your cooking more repeatable, especially when baking. Certain ingredients, such as rolled oats, dates or walnut pieces can vary in density, so it is just more accurate to use a weight measurement instead of a volume measurement. Also, as shown in the video, measuring things like butter is easier with the scale. Just put the butter on the scale and start taking away what you need. The amount removed shows up as a negative weight on the digital scale.
- 185g or 2 cups Rolled Oats
- 100g or 1/2 cup Buckwheat Groats
- 250g or 2 cups (loosely packed) Pitted Dates
- 1 Teaspoon Salt
- 1 Teaspoon Bicarbonate of Soda (Baking Soda)
- 1 Teaspoon Ground Cardamom
- 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Powder (or 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract)
- 110g or 1/2 cup Butter (softened)
- 4 Ripe Bananas
- 2 Eggs
- 85ml or 1/3 cup Milk with 1.5 Teaspoons Vinegar (added to sour)
- 50g or 1/2 cup Walnuts
- Preheat oven to 175C/350F
- Grind all dry ingredients (except the walnuts) together in a food processor. This will take several minutes to get the oats and buckwheat close to a flour-like consistency.
- Set ground dry ingredients aside.
- In the food processor, blend the butter, bananas, eggs and milk. Be sure to add the vinegar to the milk. This will sour it and will react with the bicarbonate of soda to produce gas, which makes things rise.
- Blend in the dry ingredients, then at the very end add the walnuts. Blend for a second or two to coarsely chop them.
- Generously butter a casserole, loaf or baking pan. Add the batter, smooth the surface and bake for 50 minutes.
I hope you enjoy this Buckwheat Banana Bread. It’s a tasty treat with no white flour and no refined sugar!