Bananas often get a bad rap due to their high sugar and carb content. With over 90% of the calories contained in bananas coming from carbs to those on a low carb eating plan, they are the devil’s food.

Online, bananas often feature amongst the top foods to avoid if you’re trying to lose weight. They sit alongside orange juice, cereal, bread, and flavoured yogurts as “foods you should never eat”. I’m not an advocate of any of these food stuffs, but I do get the sense that the simple banana gets a raw deal.

It’s a wholefood after all. And a perfectly packaged snack if you’re on the move. There’s a lot going for the banana in terms of its nutrient profile too. It’s high in potassium, a good source of fibre and contains various antioxidants.

Ever in pursuit of a health cake recipe, today, I looked to banana’s natural sugar to sweeten a low sugar bake that’s also packed with yogurt, oats and nuts.

I can rely on my children for honest feedback and this banana bread was achieving purrs of appreciation before it had emerged from the oven. Too impatient to wait until it had cooled, my daughter was in for her first slice while it was still warm. The fact that she quickly returned for a second, left me confident it didn’t lack sweetness and tasted good.

Ingredients

2 cups self-raising flour
1 cup mashed banana (approx. 2 large bananas)
¾ cup oats
¼ cup chopped pecans (or your nuts of choice)
¼ cup agave
¼ cup coconut oil
¼ cup natural bio yogurt
2 eggs, beaten
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp salt

Method

Heat the oven to 180 degrees (160 fan oven). Line a 2 lb loaf tin with grease proof paper.  (Scrunch it first to make it more pliable).

Over a low heat melt the coconut oil, stir in the agave and vanilla and cool.

In a separate bowl mash the banana with a fork. Add the yogurt and eggs and beat to combine.

Mix the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and add the cooled oil mixture, and the banana mixture. Stir through until well combined.

Finally mix the oats and pecans through the batter.

Pour the batter into the tin and bake for 50 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack before serving.