Thanks to the receding monsoon, the weather here has been super erratic. One day it begins to rains and one feels like indulging in pakoras (fritters) and twenty four hours later we have sun shining brightly upon us and one feels like guzzling chilled coolers. The swing of temps from cool to hot and humid take their toll on health. I am keeping my fingers crossed that we are able to sail through this weather without falling ill. Unlike the rest of the world (to be precise, those residing in the northern hemisphere), looking forward to autumn, we here are bracing ourselves for the heat and humidity that will keep us company for the coming two months. We do not dream of persimmons, cinnamon, apples, pumpkins. Instead, salads, light curries and coolers, that had been our saviors during the summers, return with much enthusiasm back on our table 😛
I find this heat really suffocating. I try to finish off my cooking chores for the day, during the morning itself. Although, mornings are nowhere near cool but the intensity of heat and humidity is bearable. For the rest of the day, I try to lay low, ensuring that I stay well hydrated. Goes without saying that the bananas don’t fare too well in this heat. Guess I need to buy them lesser in number. But then, over ripe bananas are never a bad news, hai na? Coz they are an excuse to bake a banana cake or bread! Everyone has their favorite recipe for banana bread. Taking a cue from these cookies that I had baked earlier, I turned mine into Chia Seeds and Cacao Nibs Banana Bread. I have to admit, that there was this huge urge for adding dark chocolate chunks but I resisted it since I wanted chia and cacao nibs to be the twin heroes of this sweet bread. And I am really pleased with the way it turned out – a little crunch from the chia seeds, the little chocolaty bites from the cacao nibs, perfect amount of sweetness from ripe bananas, beautiful colour lent by the coconut sugar and perfect amount of moistness added by the yogurt. 😊
¾ C Maida (APF)
¾ C Aata (Whole meal flour)
½ C Rolled or Quick cooking Oats
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda (Soda bi-carb)
2 tbsp Chia Seeds
2½ tbsp Cacao Nibs (plus extra for sprinkling over the top)
¼ C Yogurt
1/3 C Oil (any neutral oil)
1 C plus 2 tbsp Coconut Sugar (or caster sugar)
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
3 ripe Bananas, medium size
1 tbsp Lemon juice
In a mixing bowl, whisk the sugar and yogurt till combined. Add eggs and whisk until completely combined and the mixture is smooth. Whisk in the oil and vanilla extract.
Peel and mash the bananas with the back of a fork and mix in the lemon juice. Fold this in to the liquid mixture. Pour the wet mixture into the dry one and fold in till just combined. Do not over mix or whisk. It is okay if the batter is not smooth in consistency. (Over whisking will result in funnels in the cake and yield a dry textured bread.)
Transfer the contents into a 10 inch by 4.5 inch bread tin (i believe an 8 inch by 4.5 inch one would also be just fine) and bake for approximately 50 – 55 minutes or till the skewer inserted comes out clean. (Do keep an eye after half an hour. If the bread is becoming too brown over the top, cover loosely with an aluminium foil)
Remove from the oven and place the bread tin over a wire rack. Cool for 10 – 15 minutes. Run a knife around the edges of the bread and turn it over onto the wire rack.
Allow to cool completely and then slice and serve. Enjoy it with your morning coffee or your afternoon tea.
Note: For egg free bread, swap the each egg with 1 tbsp flax seed powder soaked for fifteen minutes in 2.5 tbsp of water.