This year I’ve tried a new veggie in my garden; the courgette (or Zucchini if you’re across the pond). My old housemate used to pretty much live off courgettes and got me into them a big way! They can be added to spag-bol, salads, stir-frys and many more amazing savoury dishes. They’re really brilliant for adding some extra flavour and texture. I stumbled across Deliciously Ella’s Courgette and Banana loaf [in her newest book] and double took. A sweet recipe using courgette? I needed to try this.
Just a warning for those thinking of growing courgette plants; they grow like crazy! I got two plants from my dad and his partner earlier in the year and remember asking them “they won’t grow too tall will they?”, worrying they would over shadow my other veggies. Well, they pretty much grew sideways x4 and killed my peppers! The joys of learning about gardening as you go.
However, minus the space I hadn’t prepared for, the plants have done quite well and I’ve had courgettes in my fridge and on my plate for the last 2 months whenever I’ve fancied it.
So, I had 3 over-over-ripened bananas that needed using up pronto, as well as an abundance of courgettes from my plant in the garden, so I thought it was a perfect opportunity to try something different.
As with all my recipes they vary from the original so I subbed and dabbled to get the following:
You will need:
1 courgette (grated)
3 ripened bananas (mashed up)
300g flour (I used 3/4 buckwheat and 1/4 all purpose as several online recipes mixed it up)
4 tbsp maple syrup
4 tbsp apple puree*
1 tbsp ground cinnamon**
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 tsp vanilla extract
big handful of dark chocolate chips
The apple puree I made from scratch by peeling and coring 6-7 apples. I cut them into bite-sized chunks and cooked them in a small amount of water for 30 minutes. I then shoved them in my food processor with the cinnamon and whizzed it into mush.
Start by prepping your ingredients; grating the courgette, mashing the banana and measuring out the dry ingredients. The chia seeds will need to be added to a mug with about 8 tbsp of water to form a gel-type substance which takes about 10 minutes.
Add into your bowl the courgette, the bananas and the vanilla. Give it a good mix.
Next, add the flour a bit at a time so it doesn’t clump up, your apple puree and maple syrup.
The best part, add the chocolate chips! Also, the chia seeds. Make sure it’s mixed up real good, so none of the flour or other ingredients are left hanging on the side of the bowl.
I greased up the loaf tin with some coconut oil (it worked a dream, I think it’s the first time my cake/bread/baked goods haven’t stuck to the tin and ended up in tiny fragments) and added the mixture. Add to a pre-heated oven around 200c for 40-50 minutes.
I stuck a knife in to check it was cooked through, but you can tell pretty well by the colour of the bread. I couldn’t wait around for it to cool down, so sliced the end, made myelf a cuppa and got stuck right in!
It was definitely unusual on the tastebuds and next time I’m going to add another banana, but it was super tasty and I can’t wait for the next slice. Several other baking gurus have suggested trying a slice for breakfast with some nut butter, so I’ll be having a go at that too.
Let me know if you give it a try, and your thoughts!