Tag Archives: banana bread

Bananas’ Best Bits

One of the nicest things about adding some new foods to M’s limited list, other than the obvious of…well, you know, the addition of new foods to a highly restricted diet…is that just 3 new ingredients have added a huge number of new recipes for him to enjoy. Each one has brought something different to the cookery table, but the best one in many ways, or so M would have you believe, is the mighty banana. I first started playing with recipes back in March for M’s birthday, when I adapted an old favourite to bake a banana bread birthday cake with reasonable success. M wasn’t impressed by what he felt was an overwhelming flavour of nutmeg, so the recipe has had a few more tweaks to reach what is, by M’s exacting standards, almost complete perfection. It’s no exaggeration to say that the introduction of a 3rd fruit has been a game-changer in our household and so I thought I’d share the best bits about bananas with you all:

Banana Bread – it’s never easy to find recipes that can be adapted, and adapted well, to suit M’s restricted diet and these days vegan recipes are almost always my automatic go-to starter for 10. I found a wonderful vegan banana bread recipe on the BBC Good Food website and it took just a few subtle tweaks to turn it into a tasty, gluten-free, M-friendly baked treat that has been a big teatime hit. The latest twist has been to add some dairy- and soya-free chocolate chips to the dough, which makes the cake taste even more indulgent and a welcome addition to his daily packed lunch for school.

Banana & Chocolate Chip cookies – so often my recipes are a response to an unexpected need and these cookies are no different. One of M’s English lessons recently revolved around a tale of children stealing cookies from the staff office and his tutor group were given the opportunity to re-enact the story during a lesson. M came home from school very upset that he hadn’t been chosen to be one of these wannabe thieves and felt excluded because he knew he wouldn’t be able to share eating the cookies once they had successfully been taken. Fortunately, a quick call to the Head of Year 7 and an even quicker Google search found this wonderful recipe, which again required just a few tweaks to make a batch of M-friendly cookies that could be smuggled out of the school office alongside the ones for the rest of his class.

Banana, Apple & Lime Smoothie – one of M’s most precious possessions at the moment is the Nutribullet and Smoothies recipe book that my Aunt has given him as a memory of my Uncle. M feels even closer to him as he peruses the different recipes, trying to work out which he can safely make and enjoy and smoothies have quickly become a staple of his everyday diet. It’s even given him a great vehicle to trial raspberries as a handful added to the fruit mix works a treat. Despite his regular reluctance to get up and get ready for school, M can frequently be found whipping up a smoothie as an alternative to a more normal breakfast and he happily drinks it as he and G walk to school each morning. For a child who has always struggled with what to eat first thing in the day, these smoothies have been a real success story and a welcome break from the stresses that have all too often been a constant part of our morning routine.


Banana bread to rival the Godmother’s!

Courtesy of minionslovebananas.com

Courtesy of minionslovebananas.com

As part of our recent plan to given M a substantial bedtime snack, M and I sat down to discuss what sort of foods he could choose from before bed.  I originally proposed a bowl of cereal or a couple of slices of toast, but quickly learned that this caused M no end of confusion.  Sometimes M struggles with his understanding of the world, can take things a little too literally and is very much a creature of habit.  Unexpected changes to his routine have been known to throw him for a loop and cereal at bedtime proved to be one such thing.  M very much associates cereal with breakfast and just couldn’t grasp that it would be okay for him to have it again later as a snack.  No amount of patient explanation would persuade my obstinate lad to change his point of view and so I gave in to the inevitable, abandoned that suggestion and hunted around for some “acceptable-to-both-of-us” alternatives.

We agreed on a few staples from the fridge and the store cupboard including Wot no Dairy! yoghurts, Frank* bars and Nakd bars, but I wanted to add something new to the equation too.  Thinking hard, I remembered that M had been requesting banana bread for a while and I wondered if I could once again find and adapt a recipe to satisfy this craving.  Around 4 and a half years ago, one of M’s godmothers, L, looked after him for an afternoon whilst I was at a check-up at our local eye hospital.  I’m not sure she’ll even remember the occasion, but M certainly does, predominantly because that afternoon they baked banana bread together. This banana bread has gained a position in M’s memory as the best, most delicious banana bread in the whole wide world ever and nothing has ever compared, or even come close.  He talks about the amazing smell and delicious taste, whilst the rest of us have, I have to confess, pretty much forgotten all about it,

My challenge, therefore, was set.  To create a loaf of banana bread that not only met M’s current dietary requirements, but that also needed to equal the memory of L’s bake all those years ago and I was ready to give it a go.  I found a relatively simple recipe, adapted it to suit and set about whipping up my masterpiece.  The smell of baking banana bread tantalised both M and G, who were forced to wait patiently until bedtime to sample it.


Our kitchen was silent as they took their first, and then subsequent bites and Mike and I waited nervously for the verdict.  G declared it instantly as the “best thing she’s eaten, ever” and was full of praise.  M was a little more discerning in his comments.  My banana bread was great, as the empty plates in front of my children attested to, BUT it comes a very close second, as L’s still tops the rankings in his opinion.  So L, if you’re reading this and have even the vaguest recollection of that now infamous banana bread and the recipe you used, please give me a clue, so that I too can bake the “Best banana bread in the world”.