For those of you who follow me on Instagram, you would’ve seen a bit of an issue I had yesterday assembling what was supposed to be a gorgeous ‘cookies in a jar’ edible Christmas gift. I had planned everything, bought all my ingredients and my jar and even planned what order I was going to put the ingredients in for it to look the best. Despite some rigorous research and preparation, I neglected to realise that the jar I had bought was a little on the LARGE side (festively plump if you will), and so by the time I had put all my layers of cookie ingredients in the jar, the jar was only about a quarter full. GAH!
Trying to stay positive in the face of what was clearly dancing in ‘epic fail’ territory, I set about the pain staking task of trying to separate the components of the cookie jar ingredients back out into their original containers, you know, to try again.
Yeah, NO. I managed to separate out the chocolate chips and the coloured chocolate buttons, but the rest kind of meshed together into indistinguishable components. I absolutely HATE waste, so I set aside the ‘flour’ (read: predominately white flour like substance spotted with oats, brown sugar, coconut and stray chocolate chips) and told Rob ‘I’ll make something with that…’. He smirked and glad wrapped the bowl, knowing better than to challenge my suggestion that all was not lost. I appreciated his restraint set about thinking of ways to use the flour combo mixture to make something delicious.
As luck would have it, I also had 3 x brown, sad looking bananas residing in my fruit bowl and so it seemed the stars of failure had aligned to give me one last chance at baking glory.
This loaf combines all my favourite baking ingredients into one recipe and it works really well. It has only a small amount of sugar, and is packed full of lots of goodies like coconut and chia seeds to make it a healthier alternative than other sweet treats. Super quick to whip up the mixture, it takes about 45 minutes to cook in the oven.
I have included an edit at the bottom of this recipe to swap the walnuts out for chocolate chips. This was so yummy and allows the loaf to be included in lunch boxes as a delicious treat!
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 medium ripe bananas (or 2 large ones)
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/3 cup desiccated coconut
1/2 cup walnuts, roughly chopped (plus extra for the top of the loaf)
2 tbsp chia seeds
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp raw sugar mixed with cinnamon to top the loaf (optional)
Prep time: 5-10 minutes
Cook time: 45 – 50 minutes
Preheat oven to 180C and grease a loaf tin. Set aside.
Cream the butter and the sugar together using an electric mixer.
Add the bananas and eggs and beat to combine.
Add the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, coconut, chia seeds and honey and mix to combine.
Add the roughly chopped walnuts and stir gently through the mixture.
Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf tin and top with reserved walnuts. I like to add a sprinkle of raw sugar and cinnamon on top as this gives the crust of the loaf a sweet crunch when it comes out of the oven – this is up to you if you would like to include!
Pop in the preheated oven for 45-50 mins at 180C, or until golden brown on the top and cooked through. Keep an eye on the loaf from about 40 minutes – you know it is ready when the top is golden brown and a skewer popped into the centre of the loaf comes out clean. Depending on your oven, cooking time may vary a little bit.
Serve warm with a cup of tea. ENJOY!
EDIT: If you are wanting to pack this as a lunchbox treat for the kids – swap the walnuts for chocolate chips – half a cup for the mixture plus a small handful for sprinkling on top. This was absolutely delicious! And remember to check with a skewer that it is cooked through before pulling it out the oven!