Classes are almost over!
I came home today, cold and excited to be in my warm kitchen with a few hours of free time before finals really hit. I'd planned on cleaning up the house today, and in the process of tidying the kitchen, I came across a plastic bag with three very ripe bananas. We're always scrounging dollar bags of just-past-perfect bananas, which are perfect for baking. Especially when they are sitting behind the fruit bowl in a twenty-somethings' kitchen for a week. Right.
So in the pursuit of cleaning, and making the house smell fabulous whilst I do so, I decided to try a new banana bread recipe. I know I've posted a similar recipe before, but this time I decided to use 100% whole wheat flour, replace all of the sugar with agave, and use olive oil - I'm telling you, this was one healthy loaf of bread. Normally when I cook with these ingredients, it's something I whip up when I want something for myself. I'll pull out all the stops - butter, sugar, chocolate, cream - for my friends and family, but there's something really rewarding about cooking with whole foods that my body really craves.
I used olive oil, agave, two fresh, organic eggs, unsweetened cocoa powder, whole wheat flour, oats, almonds, and bananas. Three whole bananas, in fact, which I think made it possible to use less sweetener. The prep for this bread took all of five minutes, and it popped in the oven for an hour while I did all my cleaning. Soon, the smell of toasted nuts met me as I swept the living room, and I crept back into the kitchen to check on the oven. It looked great, and the smell was fantastic, so I figured, even if it tasted "super healthy", it'd be a success. Boy, did I underestimate this little guy.
Sweet and moist with a hint of cocoa and toasted nut crunchiness, I wouldn't think twice before serving this to my friends. Or, maybe giving mini-loaves to my professors. It couldn't hurt!
Eat well, stay warm, and enjoy your week!
Cocoa Agave Banana Oat Nut Bread
1/2 cup agave nectar
1/3 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
3 very ripe bananas
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup whole oats
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup chopped almonds, plus more for sprinkling on top
Preheat oven to 330
Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix in oats and set aside.
In a large bowl, beat oil and agave nectar. Add eggs one by one and mix well. Mix in bananas, cocoa and vanilla, making sure everything gets incorporated. Stir in flour/oat mixture and nuts. Grease a regular loaf pan, and pour batter in, spreading evenly.
Sprinkle with remaining chopped nuts.
Bake for 50-60 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Enjoy warm or wait a while for the flavors to blend.