Hemp, Banana & Chia Seed Loaves

Recipe by Malina Kleine

Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Vegan

This recipe is a great alternative to the standard banana bread. It is packed with nutritious ingredients such as hemp protein, chia seeds, banana, almond meal and coconut sugar. This is not just a healthy, vegan and gluten free but a filling sweet lunch, leaving you feeling full of energy.

Sustainability

All ingredients used are relatively to very sustainable. E.g. bananas have a fairly low environmental impact. This is due to their low carbon footprint which is estimated at 0.48 kg CO2e per kilo. Compared to tomatoes which are 2.5 kg CO2e per kilo, this seems quite small. They are in season all year around as they flower after a set number of leaves have grown. Furthermore, bananas are energy efficient as they use natural sunlight to grow and come with their own tough skin which acts as natural packaging. This is important as e.g. berries need plastic packaging to keep them in good condition.

But the most sustainable product used, is hemp. It is a hardy, fast growing herbaceous plant and its broad leaf blocks out sunlight inhibiting competing weeds, reducing need for herbicide use. Furthermore, it is grown organically, without need of any synthetic agricultural additives. Adding to its sustainability, hemp seed protein is highly nutritious. The seeds present a source of protein, minerals, and dietary fibre. With this it is the only plant that contains all essential fatty acids and amino acids required for body functions, having positive impacts on e.g. metabolism, skin, brain, and heart. Therefore, exchanging the source of fish for essential fats with hemp is also a solution to the overfishing and contamination of modern fish.

Taste:

In order to create a balanced dish in terms of taste I needed to assess the different qualities required. The loaf itself is not crispy so it is balanced out with some nuts and seeds to give texture. The cake is rich due to coconut sugar, this is balanced using a small amount of coconut cream whip. To add freshness, I have included some chopped fresh seasonal fruit.

Total cost:  Including toppings around 23$, serving four people (I got most ingredients at Binn Inn).

Ingredients:

2 Bananas

1 ½ Cup Dates

1/3 Cup Chia seeds

275ml Apple juice

200ml Coconut Cream

½ Cup Coconut oil

2 ½ tbsp Hemp

1 Cup Almond flour

1/3 Cup Coconut flour

2 tsp Baking soda

1 tsp Cinnamon

1 tsp Ginger

To decorate:

Coconut cream

Seasonal fruit

Maple syrup

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 170°C
  2. Soak dates in hot water for around 5 min then blend into a paste using a food processor.
  3. Blend the chia seeds into a powder like consistency. This will allow them to act as egg replacements by absorbing the apple juice and congealing.  
  4. Add chia powder and the apple juice into a large mixing bowl
  5. Blend banana and sugar with the coconut cream and add to the mix.
  6. Now strain the dates (you can leave a bit of water) and blend. Add to mix.
  7. Incorporate the remaining ingredients (Hemp, Coconut oil, Coconut flour, almond flour, cinnamon and baking soda)
  8. Mix until fully combined (should be tacky – a bit like a batter, not runny!)
  9. Grease the tin and fill with mix leaving a 1.5cm gap at the top.
  10. Bake at 170°C for 30 minutes.
  11. Then reduce the heat to around 150°C for another 20 min. Insert a skewer and if it comes out clean it is ready.
  12. Decorate as you please.