Sharing sweet desserts with friends is an essential part of enjoying a balanced life and diet. I do believe though that we can make delicious healthier desserts with more nutrients than traditional dessert recipes offer. For example, all of these recipes are based around macro’s Banana Flour (available only at Woolworths). Banana flour is made from 100% green bananas that have been dehydrated and blended. So it’s naturally sweet flour made from 100% fruit; that’s gluten free and a source of fibre, potassium and resistant starch (a type of fibre that is good for gut health)! AMAZING! Using banana flour and some other healthier choices, I’ve recreated three of my favourite traditional desserts: Rhubarb, pistachio and ginger crumble; Protein Waffles and brownies. All of these recipes I would more than happily offer my kids. In fact, Finn loved them! So go get your shopping list ready, it’s time to plan some baking!
The Watkins family are pioneers in the Australian production of green banana four. They first got the idea when they noticed the amount of bananas going to waste due to market specifications or oversupply. Woolworths macro partnered with the Watkins to bring us this fantastic product to help us both have easy, affordable access to a quality healthy cooking ingredient, whilst also supporting an Australian farming family. It’s stories like this that make me proud to be partnering with Woolworths macro this year.
Tips for cooking with Banana flour
- Banana flour is similar to coconut flour in that it is really absorbent. So if you’re substituting it for regular flour, use 25% less.
- Due to its absorbency, I also recommend eating the goods the day you cook them because I found even after being baked, the flour seemed to continue to absorb the moisture. If you do want them to have a longer life, I would aim for more like 50% of the regular flour amount. These recipes are designed to be eaten on the day they are made.
- Oven temperature matters when it comes to banana flour. A moderate temperature of 180°C is ideal (160°C if a fan forced oven).
This is a wonderful healthier alternative to a traditional crumble. It passed my cooking standards when my father in law who said ‘it’s definitely not sugar laden but it’s still slightly sweet and really nice – even for a sweet tooth like me!’ WIN! If you prefer raspberries, use the filling from this healthy raspberry and apple crumble.
Pistachio and Ginger Crumble Recipe
- 1 large bunch of ripe rhubarb, leaves discarded, stems washed and cut into 4cm bits
- 3 Woolworths macro Organic oranges, zest and juice (keep zest and juice of 1 orange separate to the rest)
- 2 Pears
- ½ cup macro walnuts
- ¼ cup macro banana flour
- 2 tbs macro hemp protein powder
- ¼ cup macro Organic oats (omit if coeliac)
- ¼ cup macro Organic shredded coconut
- 3cm, macro fresh ginger, grated
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 2 tbs macro Organic Honey
- 2 tbs macadamia oil
- zest of 1 orange (use zest from orange 3 noted in the ‘filling’ section above)
- ¼ cup macro crushed pistachios
- 1 tbs macro Organic toasted coconut flakes
- ½ tsp sea salt
- macro Organic Vanilla Yogurt to serve
- Preheat oven to 160 C (fan forced OR 180 C conventional)
- Start on the filling by adding the rhubarb, pear and juice of two oranges in a heavy based saucepan, and setting on a medium heat over the stove.
- Cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the rhubarb is soft.
- Make the crumble while you wait!
- Add walnuts, banana flour, hemp protein powder, shredded coconut, ginger, cinnamon, to a blender/food processor, and blend/pulse until the mixture begins to slightly stick together. Stop well before it turns into coconut butter!
- Add in the crushed pistachios, oats and toasted coconut flakes and mix through by hand.
- Warm the oil with the honey in the microwave for 10-20 seconds, and pour into the dry ingredients.
- Stir together to combine.
- Scoop your rhubarb mix into a prepared dish, or multiple, smaller ramekin dishes.
- Scatter the crumble over the top, and bake for 25-30 mins, until golden and crisp.
- Remove from the oven, and serve warm.
Unlike regular waffles, these are designed to be a more dense, nutrient packed waffle. The fibre in the banana flour and the protein in the hemp powder make them quite filling so you’ll only need one per person. I recommend cooking them straight after mixing because the coconut oil solidifies again (especially if it’s a cool day) making it hard to spread in waffle maker.
You can top these with any sweets you like, I enjoy vanilla yogurt, honey nut butters and berries. I had some blueberries but my two-year-old apprentice (see picture of him at work behind the scenes below, haha) stashed them in a drawer before I shot this and I couldn’t find them! Haha. You can get more waffle topping ideas here.
Banana Flour Protein Waffles Recipe
- ½ cup macro Banana Flour
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 2 tbs macro Hemp protein powder
- 2 macro Organic eggs, whisked
- ½ cup macro Organic almond milk
- ½ cup macro Organic coconut oil (melt if solid)
- 2 tbs macro Organic honey
- 60ml water
- macro Organic toasted coconut flakes
- macro Organic Vanilla Yogurt
- Flowers, macro Berries, macro honey & macro Nut Butter to decorate (optional and to taste)
- Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Stir until mixed well.
- Add in eggs and stir.
- Add in coconut oil, almond milk, and honey. Whisk until clumps dissolve and a thick liquefied batter is formed.
- Fill the base of your greased waffle maker with the batter and close it. Cook according to waffle maker's directions, or after about 6-8 minutes when firm. Unless you like them quite firm and crispy on the outside (like me) yours may not brown as much as these ones in the photo. Remove waffle from maker and degrease pan repeating the cooking process until all the batter has been cooked.
- Top with toasted coconut flakes, edible flowers and vanilla yogurt or other topping options noted in the blog post.
Banana Flour Brownies
One of Finn’s favourites, best served with a dollop of vanilla yogurt on top or without they’re a great snack if you’re out at the shops with a toddler because they do firm up quite well making them not too messy.
Banana Flour Brownies Recipe
- ⅓ cup macro banana flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ⅓ cup macro Organic cacao powder
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- ⅔ cup macro Organic coconut oil or macro Organic butter
- ½ cup Natvia
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 3 macro Organic eggs
- ¼ cup macro Organic almond milk
- ¼ cup macro Organic natural yogurt
- ¼ cup macro Organic cacao nibs
- ¼ cup macro chopped walnuts
- Preheat oven to 180ºC (or 160ºC if fan forced). Line an 8-inch square baking pan with aluminium foil; spray foil lightly with extra virgin olive oil spray.
- In a medium bowl, mix together banana flour, cacao powder, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.
- Using an electric mixer, cream butter and stevia at medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes, or until combined. Add eggs, vanilla, and almond milk. Beat together until incorporated.
- Scrape down sides of the bowl, and reduce mixer speed to low. Slowly add the banana flour mixture to the bowl, followed by yogurt, and mix gently until combined into a thick batter. Using a wooden spoon mix in cocao nibs and walnuts.
- With a spatula, spread mixture evenly in pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until firm and some crumbs (not dripping liquid) cling to the skewer when inserted into the middle of the cake. Cool on a wire rack before removing from pan and slicing into 12 squares.