Two things us Irish are renowned the world over for – a pint of Guinness and our constant need to talk about the weather. So here goes… Wow… What a summer we’ve had and some of us can be still found clinging on to those last rays of sunshine as we move steadily into October, whilst secretly wondering is it time for the long boots yet? The weather has been so amazing AND so needed after the unsettled stormy start we had to the year. A full two days without rain is what we usually call our Summer in this country and are quite thankful for it too I might add, so to say we have been spoilt rotten this year is an under statement.
Me, well I took a little break from baking and delved into a relatively unknown world of Al Fresco dining, as this new and unusually long spell of glorious weather brought with it easy and quick to prepare lunches and dinners such as salads, bbq’s and lots and I do mean lots of ice cream. A welcome excuse to get away from the cooker, I spent every moment I could outside of work, with the small one in the warm fresh air, even if that just meant kicking a football about the back yard while the hubby took up his manly role in front of the Barbeque.
Because of this my poor baking trays have been lying idly about collecting dust since early July, apart from my loaf tin that is, which was used on a few occasions to make this amazing Almond banana bread by Rachel over at Bakerita – a favourite with the small one – and a must for picnics or breakfast on the go, as we’d pile into the car to set off for the beach or the park. A must also to get rid of the quickly turning brown bananas which were unaccustomed to the heat.
And after a summer that took us many times for a dip along the Wild Atlantic way, saw us catching up with special friends and their lovely families, enjoying many outdoor get-togethers, good food, friendly banter, fun-filled days and sunset evenings, all too soon I found myself stood back at school gates, waving goodbye to the small one, who turned eight in July and seems to have grown so much in a few short months. The usual hugs and kisses have now been replaced with a little grin as he shuffles into school – too grown up now to show any affection in front of his classmates. But hey, that’s ok, I get extra in the evenings and that gives me something to look forward to.
Almond banana bread
Serves: Approx 12 slices • Baking time: Approx 45-50 minutes • Ever so slightly adapted from Bakerita
3 small ripened bananas
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
100g Ground almonds
50g Coconut flour
1½ teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
½ teaspoon salt
1½ teaspoons cinnamon
1. Preheat oven to 180c/Gas 4/160c (fan). Grease and double line all round (this is stop the sides from burning) a 2lb loaf tin.
2. Mash the bananas and beat together with the coconut oil, honey, vanilla extract and eggs.
3. Stir in the ground almonds, coconut flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt, and cinnamon and stir until well combined.
4. Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf tin. Sprinkle with chopped almonds and drizzle with a little honey. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until the bread is golden brown.
5. Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.