One of the last things I did before running out the door before our holidays (amazingly the first time I wasn’t running like a lunatic due to being so late) was to throw the remaining (very ripe) bananas in the freezer. It gave me a (silly) sense of pride to know we weren’t wasting them. It’s the little things after all!
While we were away I came across an unusual recipe for banana bread from Simon Rimmer with the added ingredient of butternut squash. I’m always looking for different ways to use up bananas and this recipe definitely piqued my interest.
I made some changes to the original recipe. I reduced the sugar and used chopped walnuts instead of pecans. I also reduced the amount of nuts as hubby isn’t a huge fan and it seemed an excessive amount also for me too. The original recipe is topped with a cream cheese icing which would work wonderfully, but I wanted to keep my loaf dairy-free and simple so just drizzled the cooked loaf with honey. It also means I feel no guilt eating it for breakfast 😉
The end result is a lovely dense and very moist cake with a subtle taste of banana. If anyone guessed this cake has a vegetable ingredient, I’m certain they’d never guess butternut squash. Another way to sneak some veg into your children’s diets perhaps? And if you have any pureed butternut squash in the freezer leftover from your munchkin’s earlier weaning days, I can’t think of a better way to use it.
BANANA AND BUTTERNUT SQUASH LOAF
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 50-60 mins
Makes 1 loaf
150ml vegetable oil
2 bananas, mashed
225g butternut squash, cooked and mashed
275g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
50g walnut pieces
drizzle of honey to serve
Preheat the oven to 180C and line a loaf tin with baking paper.
In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the sugar, egg and vegetable oil. Fold in the mashed banana and butternut squash.
In a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking powder and cinnamon. Fold this dry flour mixture into the wet banana mixture. Stir through the walnuts.
Pour into the prepared loaf tin and bake for 50-60 minutes until golden brown on top and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Leave to cool.
Drizzle honey over the top of the loaf before serving.
- add sultanas or raisins for added sweetness
- omit the walnuts if putting into a child’s lunchbox
Tip: If you have the time, it’s much better to peel your bananas before freezing them, as peeling a frozen or defrosted banana takes some skill. Just peel, throw in a ziploc bag and freeze.