Walnut Streusel Banana Bread
So how’s that diet workin’ out for ya?
I can hear the jeers already.
I know I could be making more paleo-friendly baked goods, but frankly – I don’t want to waste my time. I have yet to taste a cake made with honey or stevia that tastes better than one made with brown sugar. I have yet to try cookies that taste better when made with chickpeas instead of flour (my mother can attest to that after a failed attempt to make such cookies). I can only go so far on the elimination-diet scale.
And anyway, I haven’t had a single bite of this delicious, moist, sweet banana bread. I have yet to bite into the crunchy walnut streusel topping (made with butter and dark brown sugar). I am being good.
…OK, I tried a little bit. But I had to make sure it tasted good before I brought it to my breastfeeding group tomorrow.
In all honesty, though, my month of paleo is working out really well, aside from a few hiccups (like the slice of banana bread I gorged down last night when it was fresh out of the oven). There hasn’t been a lot of cheating aside from our cheat day last Saturday, and actually, I always thought having a cheat day was kind of dumb, but it really does make pigging out that much more special. And I’ve never looked forward to Saturdays so much in my life!
I also feel better. I have more energy, even though Maeve’s sleeping patterns have been all over the place lately. Wide awake at 3:30 am? Waking at midnight and then again at 5 am? Going down at 7 pm and not waking til 5:30 am? I never know how much sleep I’m going to get these days. I’ll blame teething for that one.
I don’t find myself missing bread as much as I thought I would. My sourdough starter died an awful, neglectful death when Maeve was born and I never got around to starting a new one, but last night I took a few minutes to whip one up. Hopefully my bubbly little baby will soon be ready to bake with (for future cheat days).
Yes, I’m already thinking about making this no-bread, no-pasta, no-sugar thing a regular lifestyle choice after the month is through. We’ll see how I feel on January 31st, but so far it seems to be working out. Mostly I want to be good so I can pig-the-eff-out when we go to Portugal in March. Piri-piri and custard tarts have been calling my name for months now.
Anyway, I made two large loaves of this banana bread and one small cake. Most of it will come with me to the Cuidiù Breastfeeding Support Group meeting tomorrow morning, but the rest will go into the freezer for some rainy cheat day when we feel like having a little something sweet with a cup of tea (it freezes very well since it’s mostly composed of bananas).
Walnut Streusel Banana Bread
For the bread:
1 cup golden demerara sugar
1/2 cup softened butter
4 ripe or defrosted bananas, mashed
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cup flour (I used cream flour for this one)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
For the streusel:
100 g chopped walnuts
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup cold butter, cubed
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees (180 degrees Celsius, no fan).
- Line a loaf pan with parchment and set aside.
- Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (I use my stand mixer with paddle attachment for this).
- Add the mashed banana and vanilla. Mix well.
- While mixing, add in the eggs one at a time. Mix well after each addition.
- Sift all of your dry ingredients. Add them all at once to the batter – at this stage I usually stop using the stand mixer and fold the dry ingredients in with a spatula. Do not over-mix.
- Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.
- Make the streusel: in a bowl, combine all streusel ingredients. Rub the butter into the mixture with your hands until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over the banana bread batter.
- Bake in the preheated oven for about 40 minutes. A toothpick inserted in the centre should come out clean.
- Eat right away or store wrapped in plastic in an airtight container for 4-6 days. Freeze indefinitely.