BY her own admission, Cork camogie star Orla Cronin doesn’t watch Netflix or binge out on any particular TV series – but the Enniskeane ace is as talented in the kitchen as she is on the pitch. The four-time All-Ireland winner is the best centre forward in the country but, like all local sportspeople, she’s had some time on her hands this past week after the GAA season was suspended. Orla has been busy baking and cooking and, as a treat for Southern Star readers this week, she is sharing her mouth-watering, delicious recipe for healthy banana bread.
Happy baking, and enjoy.
- 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil.
- 1/3 cup of honey.
- Two free-range eggs.
- Two large, ripe bananas mashed.
- 1/4 cup milk of any choice (I use almond).
- 1 tsp bread soda.
- 1 tsp baking powder.
- 1 tsp vanilla extract.
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon.
- Pinch of salt.
- 1 + 3/4 cup of brown whole wheat flour.
- Optional mix-throughs: Handful of chopped pecans/walnuts, broken up 70 percent dark chocolate pieces, mixed pumpkin and sunflower seeds, chia seeds, blueberries, scoop of protein powder, etc.
- Sesame seeds/pumpkins seeds.
- Preheat the oven to 170 degrees.
- In a bowl, whisk the extra virgin olive oil and honey together. Then whisk through the eggs.
- Next add in the mashed banana and milk.
- Add in bread soda, baking powder, vanilla extract, cinnamon and salt.
- Now, once the above are all mixed, you can start to add the flour. Using a wooden spoon, fold in the flour a bit at a time. It shouldn’t be too lumpy.
- At this stage, you can decide what add-ins to mix through. If you want to bump up the protein, add a scoop of vanilla or chocolate whey protein powder. I often just mix through a tbsp of chia seeds, and a handful of chopped pecans and walnuts. However, broken up chocolate pieces and blueberries make it tasty too!
- Line a bread-tin with greaseproof baking paper and pour in the mixture.
- Cover the top of the bread with sesame seeds and pumpkin seeds.
- Sprinkle a bit more cinnamon on top.
- Place in the oven and bake for about 50-55 minutes or until you can place a knife in the bread and it comes out relatively clean.
- Notes: This bread will be a soft texture and last for up to three days. I normally like to top with peanut butter and homemade jam. It’s an ideal mid-morning snack with your coffee/tea.