Twisting It Up with Carrot Banana Bread

Banana bread is good. It's real good. It's comfort food at it's finest. It's the kinda thing that makes your house smell all homely and wonderful when it's baking. Think about that warm cinnamon and banana aroma just spreading throughout your home...Mmmm.

And then there's carrot cake. It's a classic. Moist, rich cake topped with indulgent cream cheese frosting. The kind of thing you wish you could convince yourself is healthy because it has carrots, but you know it wouldn't be right. Because healthy would mean you could eat it for breakfast, and let me assure you, carrot cake is not something you should be eating for breakfast often!

Sorry to spoil the fun. I'm all for the "cake for breakfast" deal, but the traditional carrot cake just doesn't cut it. Anyways, I'm sidetracking. Close your eyes. Now just imagine for a moment if you could combine banana bread with carrot cake. Wouldn't that be amazing? Now imagine if you could eat that creation for breakfast. Wouldn't that be even better? Now open your eyes. You're looking at the carrot banana bread combination that tastes like those two classic combined and that's (genuinely!) healthy enough for breakfast!

One bite and you'll be sold. It tastes indulgent enough to satisfy any sugar cravings, light enough not to make you feel guilty, and yummy enough that you seriously won't believe it's "healthified".

If you want to give this cake a slightly more dessert-y feel, a low fat cream cheese frosting and some chopped nuts would do just the trick. I, however, omitted the frosting and went for a drizzle of glaze instead. It adds that punch of extra sweetness, ups the cake's presentation, yet doesn't add too much to the cake itself.

I added chopped raisins to the batter, but dried pineapple, chopped nuts or even shredded coconut would work as well. Not adding anything is a great option too!

Also, be sure to grate your carrot in the largest holes because that way, you'll be able to see all those nice shreds of carrot when you slice into the loaf. Else, finely grated carrot would just be meshed into the batter such that it may lend a slightly orange tinge to the loaf but you won't necessarily be able to see it. One more thing to note: I didn't completely mush my bananas. I mashed them but left a few small chunks. When baked, the chunks become gooey and soft and are just so delicious to bite into! If you haven't already noticed, I'm a big fan of texture!

For the cake:
3/4 cup plain flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup baby oats
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt
2 medium ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup unrefined sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp coconut oil
1/4 cup milk
1 cup grated carrots
1/4 cup chopped raisins or other add-ins (I used black raisins because I didn't have any golden on hand, but both work just as well)

For the glaze:
(sorry, I didn't measure quantities!)
powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 175 C. Line a loaf pan with baking paper and set aside.

In a large bowl, sift together flours, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Add in the oats and stir to combine.

In a separate medium bowl, beat the egg and whisk in the mashed banana, sugar and vanilla until well mixed and creamy. Mix in coconut oil and milk. Then fold in the grated carrots.

Add the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until just combined. You don't want to overmix otherwise you'll have a tough and gummy cake... and no one wants that! Gently fold in the chopped raisins.

Pour into prepared loaf pan and bake for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean (a few crumbs clinging on are ok!).

Remove from oven and cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

To make the glaze, mix together powdered sugar and milk until it forms a glaze consistency. Apologies for the lack of explanation here! Drizzle the glaze on top of the completely cooled loaf.

Cut into slices and serve. Enjoy!

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