“Well, can’t you make some healthy junk food for me to have as a snack?”
If my son was growing up in what the surveys say is a typical American home, he’d be a junk food junkie. Given the choice, cookies, ice cream, cake, chocolate, candy, would always win. As it is, though, he was born into our family so he is more of a junkie wannabe, constantly nagging me for all those things and resigning himself to a banana when the answer is, “No.”
The other day, though, he had a particularly rough day, and he really wanted something sweet but a banana wasn’t cutting it. (Yes, he must be my son, since he’s already learned that food can sometimes provide solace in the face of difficult days! No, I do not approve of folks “feeding” their problems, but face it, sometimes you just need some comfort food!)
One look at his little sad face, and I caved. Since I still have all that sorghum flour I mentioned in the sorghum pancake post, I decided I’d try experimenting. Maybe I could make a quick bread which would be a good healthy snack but provide that little sweet solace my son craved.
Since sorghum flour is so high in fiber, it seemed it would make a great base for a banana bread where ripe bananas would help to cut down on the need for sugar and the fiber in the sorghum flour would counter any spike in blood sugar levels from all the fructose. I didn’t want the bread to be too heavy, though, so I mixed a bit of brown rice flour, and then, because you know how much I like that protein-full garbanzo bean flour, I added that, too.
Because I wanted to steer clear of egg, dairy, and soy allergies, I used ground flaxseed and flax milk, using lemon to make a “buttermilk” and adding vinegar at the end to help the eggless, gluten free breads to rise.
I had wanted to use a little bit of safflower oil, but since the cupboards were bare of that, I opted for a coconut oil and used some coconut sugar, figuring any residual coconut taste would complement the bananas. To add other flavor, I decided this would be a spice bread and incorporated some cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice and cardamom. Then because this was supposed to be “medicinal” bread, I added mini Enjoy Life chocolate chips, and the results were two loaves of delicious, healthy snacking bread.
My son was happy that he got to eat a “healthy junky snack”, and I was happy that I was able to bring a smile to his face without compromising my principles surrounding junk food.
Sorghum Banana Quick Bread
2 tbsp golden ground flaxseed mixed with 6 tbsp of water
1/2 cup flax milk* mixed with 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
2 cups mashed very ripe bananas
1/2 cup melted coconut oil**
1/4 cup Agave
2 cups sorghum flour
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup garbanzo bean flour***
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp allspice
1 1/2 cups Enjoy Life allergen free mini chocolate chips****
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar*****
1. Line two 9 x 5 loaf pans with parchment paper so there are wings hanging over the sides of the pan for lifting the bread out, and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix together the flaxseed and water and let it sit for five minutes to thicken.
3. Mix together the milk and lemon juice and let that sit for five minutes to thicken.
4. Mix together the flaxseed mixture, the milk mixture, the mashed bananas, coconut oil and agave. Set aside.
5. Whisk together the sorghum, brown rice and garbanzo bean flours with the coconut sugar, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice.
6. Add the chocolate chips to the dry mixture, and then add the dry mixture to the wet ingredients with the apple cider vinegar. Mix quickly and well.
7. Evenly divide the batter between the two loaf pans.
8. Bake for 40 minutes until the bread is golden brown and a toothpick in the center comes out mostly clean.
9. Cool the bread for 10 minutes in the pan. Then remove the bread, using the parchment paper wings to a wire cooling rack. Cool another ten minutes, and then carefully slide the loaves off the parchment paper onto the wire rack.
10. Cool completely, slice and enjoy. Or eat it while it’s still warm, if you can’t wait!
* You can use any other type of milk, too.
** Try it with safflower oil or vegan melted butter instead of coconut oil if you have a tree nut allergy.
*** If you have a legume allergy, just double the brown rice flour or opt for another type altogether.
**** If you want to mix it up, omit the chocolate chips and try using chopped dried plums or apricots or dates instead.
*****If you don’t have apple cider vinegar, white distilled is fine.
Final Note: If you don’t want to use all those spices, don’t. Feel free to omit any of them or experiment with your own flavors.