I’ve been sitting with a bag of over-ripe bananas for a while now, and I can’t bring myself to use them in smoothies since I got a box of delicious mangoes that I’ve been keeping in the freezer for that purpose to go with pumpkin. Bananas are fantastic as natural sweeteners in baked goods. They also provide that extra bit of squish and binding that one needs. Supreme in its yumminess! I decided to make some quick brownies to send with Man-thing to my female pals at the archives on campus, as healthy treats. If I bake as much as I did last night and kept it all for myself and Man-thing we would struggle to fit out the door to get more ingredients!
These are based on the lovely banana and walnut brownies from over at My Inspiration, because I really love their healthy but delicious recipes that don’t compromise on taste. At least one of the ladies at the archives is on a no-sugar effort for Lent, and I want to use less to no refined sugar in my baking and life where possible, so this was the ideal. Although I am cautious of overplaying my hand when it comes to dates as sweeteners, I will say there is nothing better than making date syrup, because yowza, what epicness!
Buckwheat-oat banana & nut brownies (serves 16 or less if you want a nice big brownies!)
- 1/2 cup Buckwheat flour
- 1/2 cup oats (choose GF if you want it to be completely GF)
- 3 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 2 TBSP mashed white beans
- 1/2 cup pitted dates (soaked)
- 2 TBSP sultanas (soaked)
- 2 small bananas (one mashed, one sliced)
- 3/4 cup non-dairy milk
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 TBSP of sunflower seeds + 2 TBSP of pumpkin seeds
- Soak your sultanas and dates at least an hour before you want to start baking. Once done soaked, blend with enough of the soaking water until smooth and creamy. I used about 1/8 – 1/4 cup soaking water.
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius and line an 8″ square cake tin with parchment paper.
- In a small bowl, combine the non-dairy milk, date/sultana mix, vanilla extract, white beans and mashed banana and stir together.
- In another bowl add together the dry ingredients, then stir in and mix the wet ingredients. Add the chopped banana and seeds and lightly mix til combined (OR you can be uber fancy and layer down your extra banana like so).
- Pour into the baking tin and use the back of your spoon to smooth out the surface. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes. I stopped at 15 because I wanted squishy brownies!
For Man-thing I served it up with a little dollop of cashew cream. Even though he was supposedly full from testing out all manner of other baked goods he was quick to gobble up a little creamy bar once he’d gotten taste of the combination, all with a huge smile on his face.
- 1/2 cup cashews
- 2 TBSP coconut oil
- 1 tsp agave syrup
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- Blend until creamy! Set in the freezer for half an hour then transfer to fridge.
I really enjoyed these immensely – using seeds instead of nuts didn’t overpower the brownies (especially since I wanted to cut them up into smaller bites), and the extra bit of blended sultanas, though subtle, helped to keep the brownies a bit sweet. The two tablespoons of cannelini beans also helped with moisture, since I find buckwheat drains liquid very easily and leaves goods dry.
Nom! Simple but effective to sate munchies that strike one senseless late at night. Squishy, lovely, and sugar-free!
Anyway, may I please spam everyone now with nature? I had a royal time in the garden yesterday following bugs around, since winter is coming and I know we have precious few weeks left of buzzy things. I get supremely annoyed at the start of spring when all the flies come out to play, but by the end of autumn I’m all nostalgic for what’s to come.