Grain free? I’m sure you’re not used to seeing or hearing of grain-free breads, understandably so as they’re a newer trend hitting food blogs everywhere (especially after the popularization of Paleo). Well I’m here to introduce, broaden your horizons, banish any fear of carbohydrates from breads, and rekindle your love of bread. This recipe is not only extremely simple to make with clean ingredients; it’s also incredibly delicious. JUST LIKE MAMA MADE (ha).
I went into making this recipe as a complete experiment with my pessimistic side saying “this is probably going to turn out too dry, too mushy, too sweet, etc.” Needless to say, while this bread was baking away in the oven, the aroma of classic fresh baked banana bread filled my entire house (who needs air freshener when theres baked goods?). When I pulled the bread out of the oven, sliced in and took a bite- it.was.heaven. I laughed out loud and said, “Wow, I can pull off baking?”
You see, I’m not much of a baker. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love baked eats, but when it comes to developing baking recipes from scratch, that’s not my forte. Cooking is where I find my creativity pouring out of me, it’s where I can add a little of this, a dash of that and voila, a simple masterpiece! Baking requires much more measuring and skill using the ingredients in the right proportions (I feel it’s the chemistry department of the culinary world for type A’s). I have tremendous respect for the bakers of this world, especially ones in my family and close friends (you know who you are) who have taught me the basics.
Before going into the oven- I sprinkle extra cinnamon on everything…
Back to the bread. You’ll find in this recipe I use a couple grain-free flours of choice, coconut flour and almond flour. What are these flours and where can you find them? Coconut flour is simply dried and ground coconut meat. It’s one of my favorite flours to use as it’s extremely versatile, nutrient dense, lightweight in texture, and has a sweet and nutty flavor. Coconut flour has a couple unique properties compared to most other flours; it’s similar to a sponge as it loves to soak up the moisture around it, which is perfect for moisture retention in baking because no one wants to bite into a dry piece of banana bread. A couple of my favorite brands to use are: Bob’s Red Mill, Tropical Organics, Benefit Your Life, and Alhola Nu Coconut Flour.
Almond flour shares a similar story, it’s highly nutritious, has a slightly sweet and nutty taste with a moist texture. Almond flour is a little more hearty than the lighter coconut flour which makes it great to use when you want to add more density to your baked goods. You may see two different types of almond “flour”; almond meal, which is the whole almond containing the skin ground into a flour consistency and almond flour, which is blanched almonds (without the skin) ground into a flour consistency. Honestly, I find using both interchangeably hasn’t changed the outcome of my recipes. A couple of my favorite almond flour brands to use are: Trader Joe’s, Honeyville or Bob’s Red Mill. Since coconut flour and almond flour are naturally sweet, these both are perfect for baked goods without needing to add extra sugar.
Nutrition Stripped breakdown of these flours:
- Coconut flour | Per 2 Tbs. | 10g of carbohydrates 9g from fiber (1g net carbohydrates!), 2g of protein, 1.5g of fat (1g from saturated fat in the form of medium chain triglycerides a.k.a. MCT’s).
- Almond flour | Per 1/4 cup | 5g of carbohydrates 3g from fiber (2g net carbohydrates), 15g of fat (mostly monounsaturated), and 7g of protein. Minerals such as copper, magnesium, vitamin E, and potassium.
You can purchase both coconut and almond flour at health food stores such as Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, local co-ops, local health food stores, and online. After the first use of these flours, I suggest storing them in a tightly closed glass or mason jar in the refrigerator or freezer to keep the natural oils from oxidizing or becoming rancid.
Grain-free banana bread fresh out of the oven with raw walnuts.
This recipe results in a slightly sweet, very moist bread with a hint of banana. I love how this recipe isn’t so sweet, but for those of you who would enjoy a banana bread with more sweetness or eaten as a “dessert”, feel free to add in stevia or sugar, honey, etc. (I haven’t tested this with added sugar, but you can try and let me know how it goes!). The cinnamon cashew butter pictured below adds a perfect sweetly spiced, nutty, and creamy addition to the banana bread. This is one of my favorite combinations for banana bread!
- 4 bananas, fairly ripe
- 4 whole eggs (or flax “eggs” 4 Tbs. flax seed + 12 Tbs. water/Egg-replacer for my vegan friends out there)
- ½ cup + 2 Tbs. of coconut flour
- ¼ cup + 2 Tbs. of almond flour
- 4 Tbs. of cold pressed organic coconut oil (or you may use grass-fed butter), melted
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 Tbs. (heaping) of ground cinnamon
- Pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
- Pinch of sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Grease (with coconut oil/butter) a bread loaf pan (or you could use muffin tin for muffins).
- Combine all the wet ingredients (vanilla, eggs, coconut oil/butter, bananas) into a bowl with a hand mixer (or of course your trusty Vitamix).
- Combine all dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl (coconut flour, almond flour, baking soda and powder, salt, cinnamon).
- Pour the mixed wet ingredients into the large bowl of dry ingredients.
- Mix well with a wooden spoon until the batter has come together.
- Pour the dough into your lightly greased pan.
- Bake at 350 for 35-45 minutes (depending on your oven settings, mine took about 45min.). Check after 30 minutes.
- Let set and cool (this is the hard part!).
- Slice and serve with a spread of coconut oil, grass-fed butter, peanut butter, almond butter, jam… the possibilities are endless!
- 1 cup soaked raw, unsalted cashews
- 1 heaping tsp. of ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp. of stevia or stevia extract (depending on the brand- 1 serving size)
- a dash of sea sealt
- Soak cashews overnight OR at least 2 hours. This will help soften them a bit.
- Combine all ingredients into a high speed blender (such as Vitamix).
- Start by gently pulsing the cashews and breaking them apart.
- Increase the speed to high (don’t worry if your Vitamix sounds like it’s about to blow-up).
- Scrap the sides of the blender and stir the cashews manually to redistribute.
- Keep the blender on high until it forms a creamy texture, continually scraping the sides as needed.
- Store into a tight glass jar or mason jar in the refrigerator.
- Serve on your favorite dishes!
What’s your favorite way to top banana bread? Are you a baker, a cook, or both?
Happy baking beauties!