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  • Sally Marchini APD | Marchini Nutrition

Mucking around with baking - can it work?

This easy, nutritious and very delicious banana bread shows you that it can work!

My son was complaining to me the other day about how long it's been since I made him banana bread, with a reminder that we had some ripe bananas that need using up in our fruit bowl. Yes, I felt like a bad mother, and as it was raining today I decided to give it a try.

Now, I am not a baker. I really don't like following recipes and making exact measurements that are needed in baking for success, apparently. I do understand some basic principals though, like you need to sieve and mix your dry ingredients before combining them with the mixed wet ingredients. Saying that I added the sugar to the dry ingredients rather than creaming them with the butter because I didn't use butter. I had swapped it for yogurt.

And, of course, I like to modify recipes to make them healthier and gluten free because I'm a coeliac and have diabetes so like to look after my health as well as that of my family.

So, I Googled a recipe for gluten free banana bread and adjusted it to suit my requirements, being not too careful with the measurements. And it worked! Boy, did it work!

This is what I did:


Dry ingredients:

1 cup ordinary gluten free plain flour

1 cup besan flour (for the nutritious qualities of chickpeas)

1/4 cup raw sugar (this was half what the recipe called for)

2 teaspoons of Bicarb Soda (I didn't have any baking powder, and added a squeeze of lemon to the wet ingredients just before adding them to the dry ones for the acid it needs to work as baking powder)

Pinch of salt (actually I forgot that in my recipe)

Wet ingredients:

2 large ripe bananas, mashed

2 eggs, beaten

A generous half cup of low-fat Greek plain yogurt (to replace the butter in the recipe)

A dash of vanilla essence

A squeeze of lemon (added at the last moment before adding to the dry ingredients just in case it curdled the yogurt)


Preheat your oven to 175 degrees Celsius

Lightly grease a loaf tin (try canola or rice bran or light olive oil)

Pour combined wet ingredients into combined dry ingredients and mix together.

Pour batter into loaf tin. I also added a sprinkle of cinnamon over the top because I felt like it.

Put into the oven for 50 minutes. Check it's cooked through by sticking in a wooden skewer. If it comes out clean then it's cooked. If not, give it another 5 minutes and try again.

And this is what I ended up with.

It was so quick and easy, and the result was delicious, nutritious and wonderfully moist.

It is higher in protein with the yogurt and besan flour, and lower in saturated fat and trans fat as we swapped the butter for the low fat yogurt. It's also likely to have a lower glycaemic index with besan flour and yogurt swaps.

I thought the flavour was excellent. I'm not sure what role the added salt was meant to play, but I didn't miss it in the flavour. Maybe next time I'd add the cinnamon to the mix as the flavour on top complimented the banana nicely - probably a teaspoonful would be good.

The boy was very happy too. Don't you love happy endings?

If you'd like to learn how to adjust your favourite recipes to be healthier so that you can include them as part of a nutritious diet, why not book into Marchini Nutrition for personalised advice for your health benefits?

Yours in good health, Sally.

Sally Marchini graduated from the University of Newcastle as a dietitian following study after her diagnosis of coeliac disease in 2002 on top of her existing type 1 diabetes. She set up Marchini Nutrition in 2012 in Swansea NSW, and is recognised as one of the leading private practice dietitians in Australia. Read more about Sally and Marchini Nutrition here.

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