Bananas often receive mixed reviews, some say they are high in sugar and high GI. But the truth is bananas actually have a low GI rating.
What is GI you may ask? The Glycemic Index (GI) is a relative ranking of carbohydrate in foods according to how they affect blood glucose levels. Carbohydrates with a low GI value (55 or less) are more slowly digested, absorbed and metabolised and cause a lower and slower rise in blood glucose and, therefore usually, insulin levels (source: GI Foundation. Visit the Glycemic Index Foundation for more information). The GI Foundation also offers a great GI Database of Food which you can search to find out the GI rating of foods for yourself. I find bananas are a terrific, healthy way to add sweetness to a dish as well as loads of vitamins.
I recently saw a recipe that talked about the use of bananas, while at the same time used maple syrup as a sweetener. For a type 1 diabetic like me, I thought there was more of an issue with the maple syrup than with the banana. But this just shows how confusing it can be to find recipes to suit – of course everyone is different so it’s always good to do your own assessment of the ingredients used in ‘diabetic-friendly’ recipes. I’m a keen banana advocate.
Ripe and over-ripe bananas have a higher GI rating at 48-51, while under-ripe bananas can be as low as 30. To keep the GI of my recipes low, I use bananas that are ripe but not over-ripe. Over-ripe bananas give a really yummy flavour to cakes I admit, but ripe ones do the trick.
I also like to make mini cakes because it’s easier to count the carbs per serve. Of course you can easily increase the ingredients and make a bigger loaf or cake if you prefer.
I’m a low-fuss cook and with two small kids and multiple work commitments, I don’t have much time to spend beating eggs, so I love this recipe as I literally throw all the ingredients in together, mix well and job done. I end up with a delicious guilt-free treat. Even my hubby fights me for the last bite! So give it a go and enjoy.
Low carb Banana Cakes
- 1 banana (approx. 140g)
- 100 g almond meal
- 1/2 tsp unsweetened pure vanilla extract
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 50 g walnuts (you can substitute walnuts with pecans for a change)
- 1/4 tsp pure Stevia extract powder (or your preferred sweetener)
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tbsp desiccated coconut
- 1/2 tbsp linseed meal
- 50 g Greek yoghurt (or preferred full fat, unsweetened yoghurt)
- 1 egg (large)
For the icing: 65g light cream cheese, 1/8 tsp 100% pure stevia extract powder, 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon.
Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
Line the base of two ramekins with baking paper and spray sides with oil.
Mash the banana in a bowl.
Lightly crush walnuts in your hands and add to the mashed banana.
Add all other ingredients to the bowl and mix until well combined.
Pour mixture into two ramekins and bake at 180 degrees Celsius for approx. 40 mins. Once cooked remove from oven and set aside to cool.
For the icing: add the Stevia powder and cinnamon to the cream cheese and mix well with a metal spoon.
Spoon over the cream cheese icing over each cake and smooth with a knife. Serve and enjoy!
Please note I use 100% Pure Stevia Extract powder for this recipe. If you are using another form of Stevia, or an alternate sweetener, you may need to experiment with the quantity required.