Packing school lunches is hard work. I know! And even though I talk to my kids regularly about the importance of healthy food and how sugar isn’t all that great for us, at 5 and 8 they still get upset when their lunch boxes look more boring than their friends. Step forward my happy compromise: Chocolate Banana Loaf!
Now I’m not going to start putting in brightly coloured packets of sweet treats, as I just don’t want to fill them up at lunchtime with additives and sugar. There are a few healthier options out there, like the new Pulsin Fruity Oat Bars for kids (go to their website www.pulsin.co.uk and use the discount code CJEA10 for 10% off) and I use these sometimes.
But I really wanted to create a recipe that makes a good lunch box option that’s also ideal for an after school snack, that won’t affect their blood sugar but also that doesn’t contain nuts, so I can send it to school with no risk to any children with nut allergies who may want to try some.
So here we have it… Yes I’ve been busy this week – creating my new Chocolate Banana Loaf recipe. Let me know what you think?
Chocolate Banana Loaf Recipe
This lovely loaf is the perfect packed lunch treat and after school snack.
This recipe is packed with good nutrition – it’s got lots of potassium from bananas, protein from eggs, iron and magnesium from the cocoa powder, and healthy essential omega 3 fats from the flaxseed. Plus as my kids and my husband would say, it looks and tastes like “normal cake!” Bonus!
- 125g Xylitol Total Sweet sugar
- 2 bananas
- 150g butter (room temp) (you could use coconut oil instead if you’re off dairy)
- 3 eggs
- 200g Gluten Free self raising flour (you could use regular white flour, but I tend to keep my family gluten free as much as possible)
- 4 tablespoons dark cocoa powder, or raw cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 75ml milk/unsweetened almond milk/Koko milk/oat milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Half teaspoon cinnamon
- 3 heaped tablespoons of ground flaxseed (linseed).
Put the sugar, bananas and butter in a blender and blitz until smooth. Add in eggs one by one, then add in the flour, baking powder and cocoa powder.
Then add in the milk, vanilla and cinnamon, and mix together well.
Finally sprinkle in the ground flaxseed and give a last quick pulse, but don’t overwork it.
Pour the mixture into a greased and lined loaf tin, and cook at 180C for about 45 minutes.
Check it’s done when a skewer goes in and comes out clean.
Cool on a wire rack and serve.
If you want to make it nut free for school, use oat milk or dairy milk.
If you don’t have a food processor, don’t worry – just mix by hand. Mash the bananas first before you add them in.
Are sugar substitutes any good?
Someone asked me on Facebook this week about my use of Xylitol, and whether it was a healthy alternative. In an ideal world, we wouldn’t use much sugar at all. But the problem I find as a Mum is that my kids are bombarded with sugary messages, and they enjoy a piece of “normal looking” cake sometimes. So this is why I use Xylitol in my baking. It’s easy to replace like for like with normal sugar, but I always reduce the quantity by at least 50%. Plus it’s one of the most natural alternatives around (if you can call anything made in a factory natural), and is also positively good for their teeth, actively helping to prevent cavities. So it’s the best I can find.
Like this? I share lots more low and no sugar recipes in my 30 Day Sugar Detox Workshop! The next one starts on Saturday 24th September in Norwich. Find out more and book here.