Baby’s gone Bananas- Banana and Cashewnut Cake

Baby is completing 7 months and the last month has seen him sampling a variety of foods. Well like most first time parents we were lost on how to begin weaning….then after a dozen calls home…..internet browsing and having watched my lil niece being weaned….we decided on 2 simple rules……1. baby must be allowed to try all kinds of foods within reason….(that means no chocolate 🙁 2. he should start on fruit and veg, and after a few weeks of being purely vegeterian he would be introduced to meat. ( our fear of him not eating vegetables after trying out meat was scary….family history 😉

So after a lot of comtemplation on which fruit to start him on…..we decided to start him on a non- cooked variety and the fruit we chose was the banana, a good choice I must say for he relished each spoonful of the mashed gloriously sweet, soft silky fruit, with a wide smile, and half a banana later we had a very satisfied baby 🙂
Of all the vegetables/fruits he has had since ….carrots, beans, peas, potatoes, spinach, parsnips, radish, cauliflower, broccoli, courgettes,tomatoes, sweet potatoes, strawberries, cranberries, apples, pears, papaya, avocado…(name it he has had it)…..he still loves the banana, and has one everyday. Hence our house always has an abundant supply of bananas.

Well having said that there are occasions wherein a few bananas always turn spare hence i have the task of finding innovative ways to utilise them. Apart from the mangalore bun, banana loaf, milk shakes, ghariyos, this simple and tasty cake is a winner. I found this recipe by Rhonda J at it has had many good reviews so decided to try it out. Its supermoist and light texture is filled with banana goodness. Should be tried. Can make a treat in tiffin boxes or for tea time. I added some cinnamon powder and a few cashewnuts to the cake batter to give a bite to the cake and improve its nutritional value.
Food Fact: Bananas also known as the ‘Poor Man’s Fruit’ falls into the category of healthy foods. Needs no cleaning, cooking, available cheap and is ready to eat. Full of vitamins like vitamin A and C and a large number of vitamins from the B group, including thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and B6, as well as traces of folic acid. Vit B6 essential in the production of hemoglobin which keeps you from being anemic as well as white blood corpuscles which are part of your immunity system and help you fight diseases. It is also crucial in maintaining proper blood sugar levels by helping convert carbohydrates into glucose. Bananas are also a great source of potassium. Potassium is a vital ingredient in ensuring the proper functioning of muscles. This means potassium is essential for the proper functioning of your heart. Bananas are also very rich sources of carbohydrates and fibers. Fibers improve our digestive system and ensure that we get the most nutrients from the food we eat. A single banana is adequate to fulfill 16% of our daily fiber requirement ( helps to make baby poo time stress free ;)) Bananas also contain manganese and magnesium among other minerals that are part of our daily dietary requirement.
Cashewnuts are a good source of iron and zinc with good fats having zero percent cholesterol, also contains selenium an antioxidant known to fight cancer. Cashew nuts have a high energy density and high amount of dietary fiber, both which have been attributed to a beneficial effect on weight management, but only when eaten in moderation.

To make Banana and Cashewnut cake
Bananas mashed- 1 and half cup
Lemon juice- 2 tsps
Plain flour- 3 cups
Baking soda- 1.5tsp
Salt- 1/4 tsp
Butter- 3/4 cup
Sugar- 2 and 1/8 cup
Eggs- 3 large
Vanilla extract- 2 tsps
Buttermilk-1 and half cup
Cinnamon powder- 1 tsp
Chopped cashewnuts- 10
1. Preheat oven to 275°.
2. Grease and flour a 9 x 13 pan.
3. In a small bowl, mix mashed banana with the lemon juice; set aside.
4. In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
5. In a large bowl, cream 3/4 cup butter and 2 1/8 cups sugar until light and fluffy.
6. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then stir in 2 tsp vanilla.
7.Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk.
8. Stir in banana mixture.
9. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake in preheated oven for one hour or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
10. Remove from oven and place directly into the freezer for 45 minutes. This will make the cake very moist.

NB: I have also made this cake before adding a few dried berries instead. You can add anything you like into the batter including choc chips 🙂

I am sending this recipe to Ramya Rajesh’s event B for Banana hosted at Ramya’s recipes.

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