Monday, June 19, 2017

Very Moist Wholemeal Buckwheat Chia Seed Banana Bread

As a mum, I'm constantly looking nutritionally good recipes to cook and bake for my family... Do you?

Nutrition-wise, I believe that all baked goods that are made with wholemeal or wholegrain are way more beneficial than those that are made with plain white flour. Agree?

Taste-wise, sad to say that most wholemeal and wholegrain foods are not as moist and delicious as those that are made with plain white flour. I know that I have failed pretty badly when my fussy son says that he can detect wholemeal in his food and then whinge whinge whinge all the way. Hmmm...

To enhance the taste and texture of wholemeal and wholegrain foods, I have noticed a few good strategies used:

1. Use a combination of half or less wholemeal flour and half plain flour, not all wholemeal flour
For example like these Highly Rated Wholemeal Banana Chocolate Muffins that I baked at here and this soft and moist Tang Zhong Milk Wholemeal Bread at here.

2. Use wholemeal flour only in recipes that makes very moist food like banana bread and banana muffins.
For example like these Low Fat Banana Berry Wholemeal Muffins at here and Easy Black Bottom Milo Wholemeal Banana Bread at here. Even though these recipes are really good enough for me, some readers still mentioned that these reduced fat wholemeal food are not good enough for them. I guess that the key thing for these recipes to work is not to over-mix and probably not to expect too much from low fat wholemeal food... Give and take?

3. Incorporate substantial amount of fat and flavours into your wholemeal food.
For example like these Wholemeal Date Scones at here. Absolutely! These wholemeal scones with good amount of butter and dates are so so so delicious! See... I can't defy the fact that fat like butter and other tasty ingredients like chocolate and dates can definitely mask the wholemeal "cardboard" taste... Ops!

Strategy 4? Yes, I have found another strategy here and it is to use a combination of buckwheat flour with NO gluten plus chia seeds too to bake these very moist and delicious wholemeal banana bread.

moist wholemeal buckwheat banana bread
Very Moist Wholemeal Buckwheat Banana Bread

Throughout all these years of home baking, I must say it is very rare to find mix-and-bake recipes that can bake moist and delicious wholemeal food and this recipe is one of them...

How? This recipe uses a combination of the strategies that I have mentioned earlier:

1) It contains a combination of wholemeal and buckwheat flour. 
Buckwheat flour? As mentioned in my earlier post at here, buckwheat is a plant cultivated for its grain-like seeds. Despite its name, buckwheat is NOT related to wheat meaning that buckwheat is gluten-free!!! Its flour is a healthy ingredient which is high in fibre and protein, rich in vitamins and minerals and has yummy nutty flavour. Without any gluten content, it will make food a little chewy but won't toughen the texture of your food.

I know. I know. Whenever I mention an interesting ingredient, someone will ask if there is any substitute for the interesting ingredient. Hmmm... Yes, you can choose not to use the interesting ingredient but your food won't be interesting anymore! Hence, if you really have to substitute buckwheat flour with something, please use plain / all purpose flour or even wholemeal flour but please be aware that your banana bread will be slightly tougher than those that are made with buckwheat flour. 

2) It contains a good amount of banana, oil and sour cream. I must admit that sour cream is one the magic ingredients in this recipe. Once again, some of you might ask... Can you substitute sour cream with yogurt? Yes, you can but I have to say that your bread won't be as moist as those that are made with sour cream. I have to strongly emphasise too that this recipe is NOT LOW FAT and can't be made with low fat ingredients!!! Give and take lah!!! Or you will have to eat cardboard banana bread :p

3) It contains chia seeds which is another magic ingredient! As we all know, chia seeds swell and become jelly-like in the presence of liquid. Thus, they bind to dry ingredients pretty well and give the banana bread a slight nutty taste. You can omit this addition if you don't like chia seeds in your banana bread and you don't have substitute it with anything.

4) Last but not the least... This recipe is fully loaded with banana, NOT sugar! So if you think that this banana bread is sweet, it is actually the natural sweetness from the banana, not from the added sugar! Please DO NOT reduce the amount of added sugar any further!!!

All together... these magical ingredients create these delicious nutritional wonders...

Look how moist is this banana bread!
And extremely moist when it is freshly baked and partially warm!

Here's a video showing how I baked these super easy super moist banana breads. Please note that I have used double the amount to bake two loaves. Due to the low GI ingredients used, please be aware too that the banana bread can be very filling! Just one thin slice can make you pretty full!

So moist and good that I have baked these banana breads for my aunties in Singapore too and they said that they love it!!! Want to try baking these wholemeal banana breads? And please tell me if you love them too :p

Here's the recipe that is modified from Epicurious.

Makes one 20 cm x 10 cm loaf
150g (1 cup) wholemeal flour
75g (1/2 cup) buckwheat flour*
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
500ml (2 cups) roughly mashed ripe banana (about 2-3 very large or 4 medium bananas)
90g (1/2 cup) dark brown sugar
2 large eggs, roughly beaten
125ml (1/2 cup) neutral tasting vegetable oil
125ml (1/2 cup) (about 150g) sour cream
2 tbsp chia seeds

*Available in most specialized health shops or baking supplies shops. If unavailable, you can substitute this ingredient with all purpose / plain flour but the breads will be slightly tougher.

Preheat oven to 180ºC / 350ºF. Line loaf pan with baking paper.

Combine wholemeal flour, buckwheat flour, cinnamon, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Set aside.

Using a hand whisk, whisk and mash bananas and brown sugar in a large bowl until the brown sugar is dissolved with no large lumps of banana.

Whisk in eggs, oil sour cream and chia seeds. Sift the flour mixture into the banana mixture and use a hand whisk or spatula to mix until just combined. VERY IMPORTANT: Do not over-mix!

Pour batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake cake for 50 mins or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Allow cake to cool slightly in the pan for about 10 mins. Transfer cake onto a wire rack to cool slightly or completely.

Slice and serve. Best to enjoy this banana bread on the day of bake especially when it is slightly warm. Store any uneaten cake in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.

Happy Baking
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  1. Neutral vegetables it normal cooking oil?
    Can I use olive oil or coconut oil?

    1. Hi, you can use any neutral tasting oil like corn oil, rice bran oil, canola oil, sunflower seed oil and etc. Please do not olive oil because of its grassy taste and also it is not suitable to be used for cooking and baking with high heat. I prefer not to use coconut oil too because it is very different from other vegetable oil due to its high saturated fat content.