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Thursday, January 28, 2021

#quarantinebaking: Avocado and banana bread

If you’re taking to baking as a mindful activity while in self-isolation, why not add a twist to your banana bread

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If you’re taking to baking as a mindful activity while in self-isolation, why not add a twist to your banana bread

In trying times, people turn to basic comfort foods. Like bread.

Call it a back-to-basics approach, ‘carb therapy’, or view it as an irrational fear that the supermarket will run out of bread, breadmaking offers inexplicable psychological benefits in uncertain times.

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Indeed, as we self-isolate in the current coronavirus climate, there’s been a reported rise in the number of online searches for “bread” and “homemade bread”, and #quarantinebaking is suddenly a thing on social media.

As well, during these unprecedented times, the way we shop for food has changed.

Many people have resorted to stockpiling and panic buying, which is totally unnecessary and causes more harm than good to society and to the economy.

Apart from pantry staples, we must really make use of the seasonal and local produce that’s available in plenty for all. Fresh food is key to good health and immunity so make the most of what’s in season at your local greengrocer or supermarket.

When it comes to fresh food, we are spoilt for choice in Australia. In season now, we have Shepard avocados. While Hass seems to be the more preferred variety, Shepard is more versatile as it stays green even when ripe. To check if it’s ready to eat, press gently at the neck with your thumb; if it gives a little, you are good to go. And it’s easily available at all greengrocers and supermarkets like Aldi.

Most people think of three dishes when it comes to avocados – smoothies, smashed avo on toast and guacamole. But there are so many unique ways in which this flavourful, creamy and nutritious fruit can be used.

If you’re taking to baking as a mindful activity while in self-isolation, why not add a twist to your banana bread

Like this deliciously moist Avocado Banana Bread.

Banana bread is a common affair in most households. Not only is it utterly delicious, but also the best way to use up those extra ripe ‘soon to throw’ bananas that almost all of us have sitting in our fruit bowls. It’s easy to make, great for breakfast or the kids lunchbox, and is hearty and healthy.

This one though is different, because it’s more about the avocado this time. On the way to fetching the avocado, I noticed the above mentioned ‘soon to throw’ banana looking forlorn at me. And that’s how the avocado bread turned into the avocado banana bread.

You can easily convert this recipe into avocado bread simply by increasing the amount of avocados and omitting the bananas. Also include nuts, chocolate chips if you wish; this is an easy recipe to customise. Also, this is an ideal recipe to get your kids involved. The process itself is quite straightforward so the mess is minimal, which is very important when you have enthusiastic kids around in the kitchen.

Avocado Banana Bread

Ingredients

2 cups self raising flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

½ tsp salt

2 tsp baking soda

½ cup vegetable oil

1 medium size ripe avocado

1 medium size ripe banana

1 ½ cups granulated white sugar

¾ cup milk

¼ cup plain full fat yoghurt

½ lemon, juiced

Note: If you do not have self-raising flour, replace with all purpose flour but add 2 tsp baking powder to the dry ingredients.

Method

Preheat the oven to 170°C (fan forced).

Grease the loaf pan (refer notes) with butter or line with baking paper. Keep aside.

In a large bowl, add the self raising flour, whole wheat flour, salt and baking soda.

Into a blender, add the avocado, banana, sugar, milk, yoghurt and lemon juice. Blend till smooth and pour into the dry ingredients. Whisk till incorporated.

Pour into the greased loaf pan and bake for 1 hour 20 minutes or till done. Turn the pan around halfway through to ensure even cooking. Since oven temperatures can vary, check after 45 minutes, and thereafter every 5-10 minutes. To confirm if the bread has cooked through, insert a skewer in the middle of the loaf; the bread is cooked if the skewer comes out clean.

Cool for 30 minutes before slicing.

Note: If you have a small loaf pan, then use two and fill up only till the halfway mark, as the batter does tend to rise.

READ ALSO: Refreshing cocktail recipes to try while at home

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