birdseed banana bread
Banana bread was one of the first things I learned to bake as a young, experimental elementary school chef, and to this day it is my go-to treat to make for houseguests, care packages, or co-workers. I have tweaked and prodded and played around with banana bread recipes over my 20+ years of making them (am I old?!), some ending in dough-ey disasters and others ending in smashing success. I've made flourless versions, versions with chocolate, versions with nuts, versions with zucchini and apples and peanut butter swirls. Yet it is this recipe that continues to rise to the top; the one I bake over and over for friends and family, and the one my dad lovingly refers to as "that banana bread with all that birdseed in it." [Exaggerated eye roll]. It is sweet, crunchy, marvelously moist, and packed with a rich and toasty banana flavor. I prefer mine cold, from the fridge, a day or two old to allow the flavors to meld, and slathered sloppily in almond butter.
Recipe inspired by one of the originals, Deb from Smitten Kitchen.
• 1/4 cup uncooked millet (see NOTE)
• 2 tbsp. golden flaxseeds (see NOTE)
• 2 tbsp. sesame seeds (see NOTE)
• 2 tbsp. roasted & salted sunflower seeds (see NOTE)
• 1 tsp. kosher salt
• 1 tsp. baking soda
• 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
• pinch of ground cloves
• 1.25 cups gluten-free flour (I love Bob's Red Mill)
• 1/4 cup teff flour
• 3 large, very ripe (brown) bananas, about 10" long
• 1 large egg
• 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
• 1/3 cup coconut palm sugar
• 1/4 cup maple syrup
• 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease or butter a 9x5" loaf pan and line with parchment. In a small bowl, combine millet, flax, sunflower, and sesame seeds and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, salt, baking soda, and spices until combined.
In a large mixing bowl, mash the bananas with a potato masher or immersion blender until mashed but still slightly chunky. Add the egg, coconut oil, coconut sugar, maple syrup, and vanilla extract, and whisk vigorously until full combined and slightly frothy. Dump in the dry ingredients, and stir in using a wooden spoon or large spatula until just combined. Fold in the millet and seed mixture, reserving a couple tablespoons for the topping.
Pour the batter into your prepared baking dish, and scatter the remaining millet and seeds on top. Drizzle with a bit more maple syrup if you'd like too. Bake until top is golden brown and springs back when pressed with your fingers (or until a toothpick tester comes out moist but not wet), about 40–50 minutes. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack before removing from the pan. Refrigerate the leftovers, or keep at room temperature for a shorter shelf life.
NOTE: For those concerned with the amount of weird ingredients here: the bulk section at your local co-op or Whole Foods is your friend! By only the amount you need and you won't be left with a giant bag of flaxseeds taunting you from the back of your fridge for the rest of the year.