From waste to wow: banana bread

From waste to wow: banana bread

Having a bunch of spotted-skinned bananas sitting in my fruit bowl is definitely not a sight I cringe at: for me it is the thumbs-up for turning this bendy fruit from waste to wow: enter the world of banana bread.

Now, the name in my book is a total misnoma – it is much more of a cake than bread but I will definitely not hold that against it.  It is delicious and a wonderful way to use up what in many households would be considered food waste.  Far from it.

Before the transformation…

The secret ingredient in this recipe is the addition of ground cardamom, the delicate spice from India that, added to the mix, brings out more banana flavour than you thought possible.  Like a maid of honour not overshadowing the bride’s big day but getting many a secret approving glance for her support, cardamom is the perfect addition to this cake.  Team it up with a handful of chopped walnuts for a bit of crunch and you have a wonderfully satisfying fragrant cake. Add a bit of coconut to further elevate it to unbeatable status. Let the baking commence.

Banana bread (makes one loaf)

  • 3 ripe bananas
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 75g coconut oil
  • 175g gluten free flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 60g coconut sugar
  • 1 tbsp chia or flax seeds, soaked in 2 tbsp warm water
  • 50g walnuts, chopped
  • 50g desiccated coconut
  • 2 tsp ground cardamom or seeds from 4 pods
Fragrant and satisfying banana bread


  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees (160 fan) and line a loaf tin with baking parchment.
  • Peel the bananas and mash with a fork, drizzling over the lemon juice which will stop them from going brown.
  • Mix the coconut oil, coconut sugar, soaked chia/flax seeds and cardamom in a bowl before mixing in the mashed bananas.
  • Stir in the chopped walnuts and desiccated coconut before sifting in the flour and baking powder (confession time: I chucked in the flour without sifting as gluten free flour tends to be really fine anyway).
  • Gently fold everything together before spooning the mixture into the prepared tin.
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes, testing with a skewer in the middle to see if it comes out clean. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then remove and cool throughout on a wire rack.
  • Dust with icing sugar if you like and serve sliced with a nice cup of tea – total bliss!

I hope you love this as much as I do! For more on food waste why not check out my blog post on the subject here.

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