Although I’ve been blogging about self-love, growth, family, faith, my love of cooking and baking lives on in me. As this is a blog that covers everything that I am and everything that I love, food has to come back and say hello. I have been writing new recipes in my food journal, eating up a storm, and dreaming about food too.
One of my favourite things to eat in the world is fried plantains and scrambled eggs. Any Nigerian or Islander knows this combination of sweet and savoury is the stuff dreams are made of: you take a super ripe plantain, cut it open, fry it in high-heat oil, blot it with a paper towel, and hit it with sea salt while it’s hot. Then you take some scrambled eggs (I like mine with roasted red peppers, red onions, spinach, mushrooms, and other veggies) and you throw it on top. I am telling you….it’s everything you want to eat for breakfast. Why am I telling you this? Well, here’s the story: one day I decided I wanted to bake banana bread and I realized, rather than the three bananas I would need, I had only two bananas and one large plantain. In that food defining moment, I thought to myself: “Adaora, why not add that very ripe plantain into the mix?” I did, and it is now my favourite way to have banana bread. As is the case with a usual banana bread, you want your banana’s as ripe as possible too: using very ripe bananas will allow you to add less sugar, and it gets you the sweetest and most complex banana bread you can possibly have. As there are no eggs in this recipe, its safe to take a spoon or finger into the mix. Actually, anytime I bake something my mom insists on having access to the bowl (once I’ve scrapped every last bit of batter that I can into my baking pan or onto a baking sheet).
Here’s the recipe:
Plantain Banana Bread
2 Cups Unbleached All Purpose Flour
4 Tablespoons of Baking Powder (NOT Soda/Bicarbonate)
1 Cup of Light Brown Sugar (or Date Sugar or Coconut Palm Sugar)
2 Medium Bananas (very very ripe), mashed
1 Large Plantain (ripened to a black in colour – rather than green or yellow) , mashed
1/2 Cup of Almond Milk (or Cow Milk)
1 Cup Coconut Oil (Or Vegetable Oil)
2 tbsp Ground Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Ground Cloves
1 tbsp Vanilla Paste or Vanilla Extract (Madagascar or Tahitian)
Pinch of Salt (I like Sea Salt or Ground Himalayan Pink Sea Salt)
1 Bread Loaf Pan
1 Silicone Brush (for basting pan with oil)
Measuring Spoons (1 Cups, 1/2 cups)
1 more teaspoon of Coconut or Vegetable oil
Three medium sized mixing bowls
1 Wooden or Metal Potato Masher
One Wooden Spoon
1 Offset Spatula
Use your silicone brush to baste your bread loaf pan with Coconut or Vegetable oil. Set aside. Following this step will allow you to easily remove your banana bread from your pan. Running your offset spatula or a butter knife around the bread (while it’s still in the pan) will also allow your sweet loaf to slide right out without losing any of it to the bread loaf pan.
Mix and bake:
Now here’s the fun part: you get to watch all the parts turn into one glorious loaf of plantain banana bread! Let’s go:
Preheat your oven to 177 C/350 F
In one bowl combine your dry ingredients: Flour, Sugar, Ground Cinnamon, and Ground Cloves.
Mix together until it all looks like one bowl of evenly speckled flour. Set aside.
In one bowl combine your wet ingredients: Milk & Oil.
Stir them together a little bit. Set aside.
In one more bowl break apart your plantain and two bananas (one at a time) and mash them with your wood or metal potato masher until you have created that baby food looking wet mash. Add Vanilla Paste or Vanilla Extract, mix, and set aside.
Now take your wet bowl (full of the wet mix) and pour it into your dry bowl (full of dry mix). Take your time mixing these two together in order to ensure that they are fully combined (that means no dry bits left at the bottom of the bowl). When you are sure that the wet and dry bowls have been fully incorporated into each other, take a look at your batter: you will find that it looks a little bit too dry to be a bread mix. That’s what you want. At this point, you should add your third bowl of mashed plantain and banana’s into your wet-dry mix and you will find that the texture has finally come to be the wet but together bread batter you’re looking for.
You are now free to pour or scoop your batter into your prepared bread loaf. Use your offset spatula to smooth your batter evenly into the pan. Lightly tap your bread loaf pan against the counter so the bread batter can spread evenly in the bread loaf pan too. Let your bread batter sit on top of your warm preheated stove for 10 minutes and then place your bread pan in the oven to cook at 177 C/350 F for 35-40 minutes.
When it’s done, let your bread sit in your bread loaf pan for 10 minutes before running a butter knife along the sides of the bread and cutting into it. I promise you that it is very tasty.
I started eating and then I remembered I had to take a picture of the inside…..absolutely GLORIOUS!