What’s Cooking Good Looking? Gluten & Dairy-Free Banana Carrot Loaf

“There is no sincerer love, than the love of food.” ~George Bernard Shaw

He got that right! My love for food is pure. My love of good wholesome food is purer… And this is why I want to share with you the recipe for this sweet, yet filled-with-goodness, coffee-time treat. The recipe is adapted from my friend’s grandmother’s recipe for traditional Banana Loaf, to create a delicious and nutritious, gluten-free and lactose-free Banana & Carrot Loaf, large enough to share with all of your friends.

I love to slice it up and package it, as gifts for friends, and save a section for myself to have with a coffee in the afternoon. This cake is so packed with great ingredients, that it can even start the day off well, as an alternative to the breakfast muffin. Whatever the occasion, everyone will love you for sharing this moist cake-like loaf bake.

First, of course, you need the recipe, to add the ingredients to your shopping cart. So here goes:

· 2½ cups gluten-free all-purpose flour

· 1¼ teaspoons baking soda

· ¼ teaspoon pink Himalayan salt

· 4 large bananas (mashed)

· 2 cups carrot (grated)

· 4 large eggs

· 1¼ teaspoons pure vanilla extract

· ½ cup melted coconut oil

· 1 cup brown sugar

· 1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses (unsulfured)

· ½ cup unsweetened apple sauce

· ½ cup chopped walnuts

· ½ cup raisins (soaked)

· 1 teaspoon spice mix or ½ teaspoon cinnamon


Pre-heat your oven to 350º, and pre-soak your raisins with hot water just to cover, and add the spice mix to the water. This rehydrates the raisins and adds flavour to the whole loaf. I like to use a blend of masala chai or all spice, but whatever you love is perfect. Also at this stage, pre-line a 13x9 inch glass baking dish or two standard loaf tins, by using a little extra coconut oil and dusting of flour, and/or baking parchment paper.

Blend together the flour, baking soda and salt, in a small bowl. Then, in a large mixing bowl dump the mashed bananas, grated carrot, eggs, vanilla, melted coconut oil, sugar, molasses, apple sauce, walnuts and raisins, together with the soaking water and spice mix (make sure you only added enough water to cover the raisins or your mixture will be too wet). Beat the ingredients well for approximately two minutes by hand.

Little by little, add the dry ingredients to the wet. Stir well, to bring it all together. If the mixture looks too runny, then feel free to add a little more flour. However, it is a wet mix and you will need to bake it slowly.

Pour mixture into baking dish or divide equally between the loaf tins. Place on a tray in the middle of the oven, and bake for approximately 60-70 minutes (time may be a little shorter for loaf tins). Checking on it occasionally, and you might like to cover the top loosely with foil after 15 minutes, and remove 15 minutes before the baking is complete.

The bake is finished, if you can insert a toothpick in the centre of the loaf and it comes out clean. The top should feel firm but with spring back (just don’t burn your fingers!) Leave to cool in the dish/tins for 10 minutes, before you turn out onto a wire cooling rack.

This delicious banana carrot loaf is amazing served slightly warm, but will keep for up to 5 days, if stored in an air-tight container once cooled. Devour at will!

Get ready to enjoy this delicious gluten-free, non-dairy banana carrot loaf

Happy baking!

Tips:

· Choose organic ingredients, whenever possible.

· Pink Himalayan Salt is packed with nutrients.

· Blackstrap molasses and brown sugar add to the nutty, rich flavour and aroma, and are also more nutrient-dense than regular sugar.

· Coconut oil is great for the metabolism, and is a fantastic source of nutrients.

· Try making your own fresh, unsweetened apple sauce.

· If any of your friends have nut allergies, leave them out, and add in dates or figs!

· If your flour looks lumpy, then sift it in, in batches.

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