Blackstrap Molasses Banana Bread.

This is an easy one bowl banana bread with blackstrap molasses. The bananas are some green ones I had that ripened before I got to cooking the last of the harvested batch from our garden.

Yes. You can use green banana too if they ripen before you get to cook them. Do not throw them out. If they are more than you can use, peel and freeze them in ziplock bags.

I do the same with fast ripening yellow banana and plantains. I pack three to four at a time and they come in handy when baking quick bread, for smoothies and pancakes too.

I used blackstrap molasses to make it healthy and I need the iron boost. The flavour is not overpowering and blends well with the mixed spices and makes the bread have a dark rich colour.

This is a straightforward recipe. You will need:-

  • 1/3 cup blackstrap molasses
  • 2/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 5-overripe green bananas
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil – I like using coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp mixed spices blend (mine had ground cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger and cardamom).
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp caramel essence, vanilla will work too.
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds (optional).

Method.

  • Blend the wet ingredients and pour into a bowl, add the dry ingredients to it. mix and add to your parchment lined cake pan.
  • Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for about an hour, (start checking at 50 minutes mark), till skewer comes out clean.

There are green bananas that had been harvested in our garden, and ripened before I could use them all up.
The best thing about this is you can pour all your wet ingredients and whizz them in the blender, it is faster and ensures they all incorporate well.
The blackstrap molasses and dark brown sugar make the batter look a bit dark which is ok.
My son likes peeking to watch the cake rise.
Let it rest about 15 minutes in the cake pan before removing it to let it cool on a rack.
The cake is moist, has a rich colour, smells and tastes amazing.
Perfect for tea, snack or with custard as a dessert. It is soft, moist, delicious and so aromatic.

Definitely worth a try!

Sautéed Sukuma Wiki with Bacon.

Sukuma wiki aka collard greens are quite popular in East Africa. It is mostly had with ugali (steamed cornmeal) and fried with onions, tomatoes and spices of choice. It is also a great side dish for meat dishes.

As it is easily available and cheap, it can get boring fast, so one has to look for ways to spice it up. Like we did here with bacon.

You can also mix it up with Swiss chard, cowpea leaves or amaranth greens.

This is quick side dish that is easy to make and so delicious. If one can get younger, tender sukuma greens it is even better as they cook fast and are tastier than the big leafed mature ones.

For this recipe we will need:-

  • 3-4 strips of bacon. I used collar bacon, it is very flavourful, not too fatty and does not dry out when cooked. Making it perfect for this dish.
  • 1 chopped onion.
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped.
  • 1 large tomato and 1 green bell pepper (grated).
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil.
  • A small pinch of sugar (optional).
  • 1/2 tsp paprika.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  • 1 bunch of tender sukuma wiki (collard greens).
  • Freshly squeezed juice of half a lemon.

Let’s get started.

Chop your bacon up and add to a heated pan for it to render its fat.

It is not very fatty and doesn’t get too crispy. Cook for about 4-6 minutes on medium heat then set aside.

Add oil to the same pan, followed by the onion and garlic.

Once softened, add the grated tomato and bell pepper mix, as well as the paprika, and sugar, if using. Cover and let cook down till its a thick sauce.

Do not forget your seasoning.

Once tomatoes have cooked down, add the greens and increase heat. Let them cook for about 8 minutes till tender. They will shrink down fast, so keep that in mind when seasoning.

Once greens are cooked, add in the bacon you had set aside and mix it in well.

Last goes the squeeze of lemon and turn off the heat.

Let it rest a short while before serving, so the flavours can meld in well.

(You can add in cayenne or hot pepper if no kids will eat it).

This is a great side dish for ugali, mashed potatoes or chapati.

We had ours with these green banana cutlets whose recipe I shared last week here.

It is tasty, easy to make, colourful and smells so good!

Please try it and let me know how it turned out.

Love,

Wanjoro.

Green Banana Cutlets.

Green bananas aka “matoke” as they are known here are available in Kampala in plenty. While many here prefer them steamed and mashed, there are many other meals one can make with them. You can make them into a porridge, like we did here. Bake them, deep fry them, make a yummy breakfast dish or even stew them.

This time round I steamed them whole, let them cool a bit, then peeled and mashed them into cigar like rolls. Next, I pan fried them in butter and a pinch of mixed herbs to get a delicious taste that one cannot believe is green bananas.

Let us get started. You will need:-

  • A small bunch of green bananas, about 9 pieces if small, or 5 large.
  • 1 tsp freshly ground mixed spice blend -I used one that had ground sea salt, pepper, sesame seeds, fennel, cloves, coriander, star anise, onion and ginger.
  • 1/2 cup of cornflour. This makes them crunchy on the outside but soft and fluffy inside.
  • 1/4 tsp of ground turmeric.
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil.
  • 1 tsp dried mixed herbs.
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter.

Method.

Wash the bananas and boil them whole for about 20 minutes, till soft. They will blacken a bit.

Drain and cool them. Peel and mash them together with the spices, cornflour and oil, then shape them into little cigar like rolls.

Heat your pan and add the butter, I like adding a bit of oil too so the butter doesn’t brown too fast.

Add the rolls in batches and pan fry till they are a golden brown colour on medium heat.

They smell and taste amazing. You can have them as a snack or with greens on the side, whatever tickles your fancy.

We had ours with sautéed greens and bacon. I will post the recipe for it soon too.

Colourful, delicious, filling and easy to make. Definitely worth a try.

Keep it here for this and more simple family friendly recipes using what is on hand, as well as titbits about our experiences as a family here in Kampala.

I would also like to thank you all for stopping by, sharing and subscribing to this blog, as well as those who take the time to try out my recipes and give me feedback. I really appreciate it. It means a lot to me.

Love and Light.

Wanjoro.

Chai Masala Pancakes.

Pancakes are one of my family’s favourites. For breakfast, for brunch, as a snack for school or for tea, I cannot stay too long without making them in our home. I usually flavour them depending on mood, what the kids want and what I have on hand.

These are simple pancakes to make, this time I used chai masala to flavour them. Just a little bit goes a long way.

They are so tasty and smell so good. OMG.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups self raising flour.
  • 2 eggs.
  • 1 heaped tsp of good quality tea masala. You can use store bought or make your own.
  • 1 1/2 tbsp icing sugar. (you can use regular sugar too, or honey).
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp almond essence, (you can use vanilla too).

Method.

Sift your flour into a bowl, add the tea masala, sugar and mix well.

Make a well in the centre and add the eggs and some water to make into a smooth batter.

Add the oil and almond essence next and after mixing let the batter sit a while.

Make your pancakes the regular way.

When you see the bubbles, it is time to flip.

They smell so good at this point, it is tempting to taste one. Go ahead, cut a piece. 🙂

Behold my leaning tower of pancakes. LOL.

Serve hot with a drizzle of honey and a pat of butter on top. Yum!

PS: I do not add oil when cooking as the batter already has oil mixed in.

Dig in and enjoy.

Tasty, filling and easy to make. Pancakes are never boring.

New recipe coming soon. A new twist on Matoke and greens.