* bake me something! * was the request from the ravenous yogi a couple of days ago.
whole wheat, banana, and avocado weren't necessarily part of the demand, but ... at this point he's accepted that my baking endeavors inevitably lean toward the hearty, the rough-hewn, and the whole grain.
when he went back for a second slice i figured i'd scored on this one; only then did i tell tell him there was avocado in there. timing is everything.
this banana-avocado loaf is made with 100% whole wheat flour for a deep, nutty flavor and satisfying chew. it's also free of eggs and dairy, and sweetened with low-GI, mineral-rich coconut palm sugar. a 'flax egg' -- ground flax seeds mixed with water to activate the soluble fiber in the flax -- acts as the binder. a great trick for reliable egg-free baked goods; i use a ratio of 1 tablespoon of ground flax to 3 tablespoons of water = 1 flax egg. mashed avocado, along with a small amount of olive oil (both great sources of healthy monounsaturated fatty acids) replace butter and create a moist, dense texture. you won't detect any avocado flavor - or green hue - in the finished bread.
we also have chopped walnuts in here for textural contrast and -- lest you think this concoction is sounding all too virtuous -- a sweet & crunchy crown of turbinado sugar + cinnamon.
we've only eaten the bread straight-up so far, but i'll bet it would be amazing toasted and spread with almond butter, cream cheese, or butter + jam, even mashed avocado with a sprinkling of crunchy sea salt ... that last one's a little out there but i would go for it. whatever your schmear of choice.
whole wheat banana avocado bread
makes one 9x5 inch loaf
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp ground flax seeds
6 Tbsp water
1 ripe avocado, mashed (about 1 cup)
1/4 cup olive oil (plus more for greasing pan)
1/2 cup coconut palm sugar
2 ripe bananas, mashed (about 1-1/2 cups)
1 tsp vanilla extract
grated zest of 1 lemon
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 Tbsp turbinado sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
preheat oven to 350F with rack in middle
grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan with olive oil, line with parchment paper, and rub the paper with oil.
whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl.
in a small bowl, mix together ground flax seeds and water. set aside.
in a separate large bowl, beat mashed avocado, oil, and coconut sugar until creamy and glossy, 3 to 4 minutes (i used a hand mixer for this). beat in flax mixture for another minute. then add banana, vanilla extract, lemon zest and juice, and beat until combined.
add in the flour mixture in three portions, taking care not to over mix. stir in the walnuts.
pour the batter into the prepared pan. mix together the turbinado sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over the top.
bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. cool on a rack before slicing.