I was fortunate enough to receive Donna Hay’s latest recipe book (Fresh & Light) earlier this month as a birthday present. I’ve been a fan of her work for well over a decade. Her recipes are always simple (not too many ingredients) and easy to follow, encouraging you to mix and match ingredients and learn about the basics to then explore. Her latest book is full of fresh healthy food offerings really tapping into some tasty ingredients that I love to use. Between the photo’s and the recipes I was so inspired I didn’t know where to start in choosing my first recipe to make. And so I asked the gift givers to be the guinea pigs and choose the recipe and in return I would bring the spoils for them to sample.
And so first cab off the rank was a wonderfully light Banana, Mango and Banana Bread. Very different from my usual banana & coconut offering, this one had a slight zing from the buttermilk and a lovely light by chewy texture contributed by the wholemeal flour.
As my brain is often likely to do, I started thinking of other variations not suggested by Donna Hay and came up with this option. Its coming into summer season in Australia and stone fruit are starting to be more plentiful. I’ve been longing for apricots this year for the first time in ages so it seemed like an ideal combo to try out.
I’ve got a few other idea’s up my sleeve for this bread that might see the light of day at a later stage, but for now, I share with you…
Donna Hay’s Banana (and apricot) bread.
- 1 cup plain flour – sifted
- 1 cup wholemeal flour
- 6 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 large very ripe banana’s – mashed
- 1/2 cup vegetable/canola oil
- 3/4 buttermilk
- 2 eggs – room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
- 1 cup sliced fresh apricots
Pre-heat your oven to 180c. Line a tin with baking paper as this mix does tend to be a bit sticky.
Blend your dry ingredients, sifting your plain flour with the baking powder before adding the wholemeal. To this mix add the mashed banana, oil, buttermilk, egg and vanilla.
Once smooth then add in the sliced apricots apart from approx 5 slices (for decoration). Spoon your mixture into a loaf tin and then add your remaining apricots along the peak of the loaf for decoration.
Bake for approx 45 mins, testing with a skewer. The skewer will come out of the loaf clean when it is ready.
We ate a slice straight from the oven, but were just as delighted with a piece the next day as a sweet (slightly healthy) treat.
Happy Cooking & Happy Eating, (& thank you to Donna Hay for the inspiration)