Health{ier} Banana Cake with Toasted Almonds

 

‘Cake’ is definitely not associated with ‘Healthy’ most of the times. But, this cake has all the goodness of bananas, almonds, oats with reduced amounts of sugar and butter. So, this is surely a healthy or rather health’ier’ cake!

Bananas are such an amazing source of potassium and fiber that they should be included as a part of regular fruit intake. But, for some reason I’m not too crazy about them. I find them appealing only when they are perfectly yellow and firm, without any of too much ripening. Hubby likes bananas and adds them to his cereals/oats. So, we still get them regularly only that I hardly have them. Last week we had a few left which were almost too ripe to eat and our kitchen started smelling like banana. So, I made them into a cake! Almonds are such a good source of protein, so, I chose to top off the cake with some nice and lightly toasted slivered almonds.

The last time I made ‘Banana Bread’ I loved it even more than the actual banana…..so this time I instead made a cake since I had more bananas left. So, what’s the difference between a Banana Bread and a Banana Cake? I guess the bread is a little dry and firm whereas the cake is more moist, lightly dense and fluffy.

In this cake, I used oats flour, whole-wheat flour and all-purpose flour. I’m pretty sure you could use only oats flour or only whole-wheat flour with some variation in the taste outcome. Also, I used 3 bananas for a richer flavor and taste, but you could reduce it to 2 bananas. Since, ripened bananas already have a lot of sweetness, I reduced the amount of sugar and further replaced half of it with honey. Once again, you could eliminate the sugar completely and use honey, agave nectar or apple-sauce. But, you will find some difference in taste and texture of the cake. The almonds on the top add a nice crunch to this delicious fruity cake.

Serve this cake at breakfast or at tea-time drizzled with honey or top with some vanilla ice-cream for an after-dinner dessert!

Prep time: 25 min
Bake time: 35-40 mins
Yield: Makes a 9-inch round, 2 to 2.5 inch thick cake

Recipe

- Ripened Bananas – 3 medium pureed
- Oats flour- 3/4th cup
- Whole wheat flour – 1/2 cup
- All-purpose flour – 1/2 cup
- Baking powder + Baking soda (double acting-aluminium free) – 1n1/4th tsp
- Salt – 3/4th tsp
- Butter – 1/2 stick – at room temperature
- Sugar – 1/4th cup
- Honey – 1/4th cup
- Milk – 1/4th cup
- Eggs – 1
- Vanilla extract – 1 tsp
- Almonds – slivered – 1/2 cup

1. Peel off the skins and cut chunks of the ripened bananas into a blender. Puree into a smooth paste.

2. In a mixing bowl, place a sifter or colander above it and add the dry ingredients – oats flour, whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, double acting baking powder + baking soda and salt. Skip the sugar at this point. Using a spoon, mix everything well and sift through the colander into the bowl. This lets the dry ingredients mix well and removes any lumps from the flour.

3. In another bowl, mix the wet ingredients. First, take softened butter. Add sugar slowly and using a whisk or an electric mixer, mix until all the sugar has melted with the butter. Now, beat an egg into it and further whisk until it is nice and airy.

4. Now, add the pureed bananas and honey to the wet ingredients and mix everything well. Add this mixture to the dry ingredients. Mix well to create a thick batter. If you find the batter very thick, add milk and further mix everything.

5. Pre-heat the oven to 350 deg F. Ready a cake pan lightly greased with butter and dusted with flour. Remove all the batter into the pan and smooth the top evenly. Pop it into the oven and bake for around 35 to 40 mins or until an inserted tooth-pick comes out clean.

6. In a small pan, lightly toast some slivered or chopped almonds and top this beautiful and healthy cake with them.

Drizzle some honey and serve along side morning coffee or milk or as an evening tea-time snack!

Variations:

- The ripened bananas already have a good amount of sweetness, so avoid using too much sugar/honey.

- This cake came out tasting great with a nice banana-ish taste and flavor. Since I added 3 bananas, it came out a little dense. If you want the cake to be just mildly banana-ish, and reduce the denseness, reduce the number of bananas to 2 and up the milk to 1/2 cup or 3/4th cup as required.

- To make this egg-less, replace the egg with flax egg (powdered flax-seeds + water).

How to sliver or chop whole almonds?

If you have whole almonds in your kitchen and have ever tried to sliver/chop whole almonds, you already know that it is not easy. Using a spice grinder is no good too as instead of chopping it, it will turn them into fine powder. To make life easy, try this:

- Take a small bowl and fill with water. Add almonds to the bowl and place it in the microwave or stove for just around 1 or 2 minutes. Take the almonds out and dry using a paper towel. Now, using a knife you can easily chop them up finely.

 

 

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