Simply Divine Banana Bread
I first tasted the deliciously sweet Banana Bread in New Zealand. It's ubiquitous there as well as in Australia and available in most cafes, although it probably originated in the US. It's very quick to make and already spreads its yummy aroma during preparation. It's also a great recipe for using up those bananas you weren't quite quick enough to eat while they were still somewhat firm, and now they're brown, soft and too sweet and you don't know what to do with them.
Bananas are among the most popular types of fruit, all over the world. The World Health Organisation (WHO) even bestowed on it the title "Fruit of Fruits". Deservedly so. The banana contains a ton of very valuable ingredients. So many in fact, that you could eat only bananas for a very long time without experiencing any nutritional deficiencies whatsoever. It has vitamins, minerals, essential trace elements as well as natural hormonal substances and enzymes.
Bananas calm our nerves due to their high B vitamin content: B1, the classic nerve vitamin, as well as B2, B6 and B12 all strengthen our nerves. In addition, vitamins B1 and B2 promote calm and balance.
The banana, just like chocolate, counts as a mood food. You've probably heard that chocolate makes you happy. It's actually the cocoa that has this effect. It contains valuable substances like theobromine and affects the serotonin and dopamine levels in our brains, raising our spirits. The same goes for bananas. A lack of serotonin in our bodies can make us depressed. Chocolate contains tryptophan, a precursor to serotonin. You can raise your serotonin levels fast by combining carbohydrates, sugar and foods with a high fat content - all present in chocolate. But the tryptophan levels in chocolate are so low that they are unlikely to affect the brain's serotonin levels. You'd have to eat truckloads of it. Bananas however contain much more serotonin.
But sometimes it's just the joyful anticipation that makes us feel happy. Waiting for our favourite dish or looking at delicious ingredients can already set off the brain's production of dopamine.
My anticipation of eating banana bread was very high and I'm very sure the banana-sugar-fat mixture released floods of endorphins into my blood stream.
Simply Divine Banana Bread
- 115g butter (warmed to room temperature)
- 150g sugar
- 3-4 TBSP maple syrup (or 30-40g sugar)
- 2 large eggs
- 180g (gluten-free) flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- optional: 50g ground almonds or walnuts
- 1 pinch of salt
- 2 ½ very ripe bananas
- 125g sour cream
- ½ banana for decoration
- 1-2 TBSP walnuts
- Preheat oven to 180°C (fan). Mix butter, sugar and maple syrup in a large bowl. Add the eggs one by one and mix thoroughly. In another bowl, mix the flour together with the baking powder and salt. Add the ground nuts.
- Mash the bananas with a fork. Stir the flour under the egg-butter mixture, add the sour cream and the bananas and mix well.
- Butter the inside of a loaf tin and fill in the dough. Press the walnuts into the surface and put the sliced deco-banana on top in a chain pattern. Bake for around 45-55 minutes.
- Let the cake cool before cutting into slices.