Berry Good Banana Bread.

We love our banana bread in this house, as it is, with chocolate, with yoghurt, with nuts and now with berries.

The best thing about this cake is it works well with whichever berries you have on hand. I have made it with blueberries, strawberries and raspberries and it always turns out great. I have also made with with sugar, and honey and it turned out well too.

Banana strawberry goodness!

This is a perfect treat for breakfast, tea time, school snack, dessert and even as a gift for a loved who loves banana bread.

Let us get started.

Ingredients are:-

1. 2 1/2 cups self raising flour. (If using All purpose flour, remember to add 11/4 tsp of baking powder and 1 tsp baking soda, plus a small pinch of salt).

2. 1 level tsp ground cinnamon.

3. 1 tbsp desiccated coconut (optional).

4. 1 1/2 cup sugar or sweet honey.

5. 4 large mashed really ripe bananas.

6. 1 cup frozen strawberries or raspberries. (I usually let them thaw a bit and mash roughly).

7. 1/3 cup coconut oil (or vegetable oil).

8. 2 large eggs.

9. 1 tsp vanilla.

10. 1 cup strawberry or mixed berry yoghurt.

Method.

1. Preheat oven to 180 °C and grease your baking tin really well.

3. Sift your flour and cinnamon in a large bowl, add the coconut and mix well.

4. In another bowl, mix the oil, sugar and eggs till well combined, then add the mashed banana and berries, followed by the vanilla.

5. Add dry ingredients to the wet as well as the yoghurt. Be careful not to overmix.

6. Add the batter to the pan and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hr, till cake is ready and a skewer comes out clean. I usually lower the temperature to about 160 after twenty minutes, and it takes about the same time to bake.

7. Let cake rest in pan for ten minutes then flip it carefully onto a rack and let cool completely in an airy area.

Baking times may vary as ovens are different so start checking at about the 50 minutes mark.

Looks so good!

Cut a slice and enjoy it!

Tip: I love making it in my bundt pan, but it works well in any large baking tin.

Baked this one with honey, it’s just a bit darker but tastes just as delicious as the one made with sugar.

It looks, smells and tastes so good. It is moist and crumbs beautifully too. Definitely worth a try don’t you think?

A Simple Bean Stew.

This is one of my favorite ways to have beans. If you can make this ahead of time, and let it sit a bit for the flavours to settle in well is even better.

It goes well with any flatbread, rice or savoury crepes.

You can also make it spicy and add chillies or cayenne if that’s your thing.

To make this delicious meal we will need:-

  1. 2 tbsp coconut oil. Your preferred oil will do too.
  2. 2 -3 cups already boiled red beans.
  3. 1 chopped onion.
  4. 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste.
  5. 4 tomatoes, blanched, peeled and pureed.
  6. 1 large carrot, grated.
  7. 1 bunch of coriander, stems and leaves separated.
  8. 1 chopped green bell pepper.
  9. Salt and pepper to taste.
  10. Spices- 1 tsp each paprika, curry powder, dhana jeera powder.
  11. 1 tsp mixed dried herbs.
  12. A small pinch of sugar (optional).
  13. 3 cups of water / vegetable stock.

The ingredients are simple, but healthy, flavourful and come together in a beautiful sauce that is finger licking good.

As usual, heat your sauce pan, add 2 tbsp of coconut oil. Add the onion and cook till soft.

Add the green pepper, coriander stems and ginger garlic paste. Add the spices and let them release their aroma and flavour, make sure they do not burn. You can add a tbsp of water as the spices cook.

Add the tomatoes and let them cook down till mushy. Salt and pepper can be added here too.
Add your carrots and broth. Cover and let them cook on medium low for about twenty – thirty minutes. The sauce will reduce and thicken. Do not rush the process. The beans will soften, absorb all the flavour and be a lovely colour too.

Once ready, add the chopped coriander leaves and let sit a while before serving.

This is a perfect make ahead dish as the longer it sits, the more time the flavours have to mix together well. So if you are into batch cooking, this simple bean stew is a great dish to make.

The beans slap really well on their own or with some rice too, and an avocado slice on the side. Mmmhhh. Yum!
Chapati Madondo aka Beans and Chapati are a perfect comfort food.

How do you like your beans?

Sweet Potato Chocolate Bread.

This is a Choco version of my sweet potato bread whose recipe I’d already shared on the blog here.

There are a few other changes. The addition of yoghurt makes it more moist for longer. It is not too sweet and has just the right amount of chocolate goodness.

Looks, tastes and smells so good!

Below is the recipe card.

This bread is so good! So delicious and moist.

You can make a smooth purée if you do not want to see the sweet potato bits but I like how they look in this cake.

You can add some chocolate glaze for added decadence but trust me it good enough as it is.

This is definitely worth a try!

Porridge. A perfect comfort food.

Can I start today’s blog post with a riddle?

Question: What do you call couture porridge?

Yummy fancied up oats porridge.

Answer: Haute- meal.

I knew you’d get it, LOL!

Porridge is a popular breakfast option in many cultures around the world. It is also a good meal for weaning babies, convalescing adults and anyone struggling with a solid food diet.

Amaranth flour porridge with crunchy peanut butter, honey and garnished with unflavored yoghurt and moringa powder.

There are many ways and options for making porridge. In our culture, we like it fresh but also fermented . We call it “ucuru wa mukio. You can read more about it here.

I love fermented porridge, it is full of good bacteria, as well as nutrients. It is usually served on festive occasions and also to breastfeeding mothers, as it is believed to boost milk production. I remember when I got my first born, my grandmothers as well as my mother in law made me some. At one time I had three full jerrycans of fermented porridge. That’s almost 100 litres! I loved it.

I am yet to try making some fermented porridge for myself from scratch, but it is definitely on my to do list.

Porridge is a great breakfast option. It is usually rich in carbohydrates, making you fuller for longer, regulating your appetite as a result. It is rich in fibre, boosts immunity, and abundant in various minerals and vitamins too. For example, did you know finger millet is one of the richest plant sources of calcium, as compared to other cereals? Porridge is a great way to indulge in our whole grains and get all the amazing benefits in one go.

I prefer this local brand of porridge flour. They have amaranth, millet, and even bean options available.

My usual porridge options range from amaranth flour porridge, oatmeal, millet, rice, flour, pumpkin flour porridge and even green banana porridge which I have already shared here.

I have attached a video below of how I make my oatmeal sometimes.

This was a decadent, delicious bowl. Yum!

If using porridge flour, I usually boil 3 cups of water on the stove top. In a small bowl, I mix 6 tbsp of the porridge flour with another cup of cold water to get a thick, smooth paste. I then add the paste to the boiling water and stir with a wooden spoon till it thickens to my liking. I let it simmer on low for about 10 or so minutes then add some milk or peanut butter, if using. This makes enough porridge for 3-4 people.

Finger millet porridge, garnished with unflavored yoghurt, moringa, black seed powder, chia and sesame seeds.

I sweeten my porridge with honey though sugar also works well, but when using sugar I add it in while still on the stovetop so it can dissolve completely.

You can use ripe mashed banana to sweeten your porridge too, and some yogurt works well with oatmeal, in addition to your favorite toppings.

Porridge bowls are quite versatile so you can play around with your preferred flavours and toppings.

Other add ons once I pour some porridge into my bowl are chia seeds, baobab powder, black seed powder, desiccated coconut, chocolate flakes, moringa powder. Nuts and seeds work well too, as do chopped fresh fruit or dried fruit. Banana, raisins, passion pulp, mango cubes add yummy flavours, interesting texture and added colour and nutrients to your porridge bowl. Work with what you like and have on hand. 🤗

Creamy cardamom flavored oatmeal porridge. Garnished with sliced banana and chia seeds, sweetened with honey.

Porridge is a perfect comfort food to me, especially on cold, dull mornings, during the rainy season and anytime I feel I am missing home. A bowl of thick porridge works wonders in lifting my mood.

Millet porridge is another fave, topped with cream, peanut butter and some moringa powder.

Here are other delicious breakfast ideas worth checking out.

Do you like porridge, how do you make yours?

Herb and Cheese Rolls.

I am a big fan of savoury / seasoned breads. Such as these yummy cheese and herb rolls.

Don’t they look lovely?

I like using this recipe from half-baked harvest, though I usually make a few changes here and there.

These rolls are so soft, fluffy, buttery, well seasoned, herby, cheesy and great to have with some soup on the side or even on their own.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

1. 3-4 cups of all purpose flour.

2. 1 small packet of instant yeast (about 2 1/4 tsp).

3. 2 tbsp honey.

4. Small pinch of salt.

5. 1 cup of warm milk.

6. 2 tbsp of melted butter. Have some extra butter on hand to brush on the rolls once out of the oven.

7. 2 eggs.

For the herb and cheese filling our ingredients are:-

1. 2 tbsp chopped coriander.

2. 2-3 cups cheddar cheese and mozzarella cheese (grated).

3. 1/2 cup of softened cream cheese.

4. 1 minced garlic clove.

5. Salt and freshly ground back pepper.

6. Mixed savoury spice seasoning.

This is the savory seasoning I used.

7. 2 heaped tsp mixed herbs (mine had thyme, oregano and basil).

8. 1 tbsp sesame seeds.

Let’s get started.

1. In a large bowl, add the flour, yeast, salt, and mix well. Add the sugar, milk, beaten eggs and butter. Mix with a wooden stick then once its kind of a shaggy dough, knead with your hands till it is soft and smooth.

2. Cover with a cloth and let rest for about one hour in a warm place, or till the dough is doubled in size. I usually keep mine in the oven with the light on.

3. For the filling, chop your coriander, which can be alternated with parsley too and set aside in a bowl. Add the grated cheddar and mozzarella, mixed herbs, salt and pepper, and the savoury spice and mix well.

4. In another small bowl, add the cream cheese, a little bit of salt and pepper and the minced garlic and mix well.

5. Get a baking tin and line it with parchment paper.

6. Once dough is ready, punch and knead a bit to deflate it. Roll it out to a rectangle shape, but not too thin.

7. Spread the cream cheese mixture on the dough generously, then sprinkle the cheddar and Herb mix.

8. Roll it tightly into a log shape, same way we do with cinammon rolls, then slice into 12 pieces.

This recipe makes 12 rolls.

9. Place the cut pieces in the baking dish, cover and let rest for half an hour.

10. Preheat oven.

11. Sprinkle the sesame seeds on the rolls and bake fo 25-30 minutes at 170°C. You can let them brown a bit and you will smell and see the cheese bubbling on top. They smell so good!

Love it when the cheese bubbles over. Yum!

12. Once out of the oven, brush generously with some melted butter and let rest for about 10 minutes.

13. Serve warm as a brunch side, or with soup on the side.

They are fluffy, soft, well seasoned and so tasty.

They bake so beautifully too. See how well browned the bottoms are. 😍

We have had them here on their own, with some roasted tomato soup and some pumpkin soup.

Had them with some pumpkin and bell pepper soup.
They go well with some roasted tomato soup too! The soup recipe is from here.

Definitely worth a try!