My social media is currently full of beautiful recipes for banana bread. Given that I’m grain, sugar and dairy free, I thought I’d share with you my healthier version.
Made without flour, my favourite sugar substitute and with two or three bananas that are looking a little sad in the fruit bowl, this healthy banana bread is a little different from the norm, but just wait until you taste it. Moist, sweet and oh so moreish, I’d be very impressed if you could resist eating it all in one sitting. I usually cut it in half and put half in the freezer as it wouldn’t last more than a couple of days in this house (if that) otherwise.
Before you begin
Make sure you’ve got all your utensils, appliances and ingredients ready before you start. It just makes life easier.
Preheat your oven.
For this particular recipe you’ll need to preheat the oven as follows:
Gas Mark 6/180c
What you will need
A mixer (I don’t have one, but I’d love a Kenwood – hint, hint hubby!) or, in my case, a large mixing bowl
Scales, measuring cups, measuring spoons (I’ve cooked this so many times, I go by eye)
Zester or grater
*Optional extra ingredients
3 large ripe bananas
50g honey (2.5 tbsp) (but I use Xylitol)
200g ground almonds (2 cups)
50g coconut oil (1/4 cup)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch of ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda (I use gf variety)
Zest of 1/2 large orange*
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (I use alcohol free and sugar free variety)
3 tbsp desiccated coconut*
1/8 cup of raw cocoa nibs
Preheat the oven as above and line a medium sized loaf tin with baking parchment. The baking parchment is so important for easy removal of the banana bread later. You’ll be so glad you did this!
Grab your large bowl for the mixing of the ingredients and peel and slice the ripe bananas. Now using a fork, mash the bananas until you reach a thick paste like consistency.
Once the bananas are mashed add the honey or Xylitol, coconut oil, nutmeg, cinnamon, bicarbonate of soda, vanilla extract, cocoa nibs and orange zest to the bowl. If you can’t have/or don’t want these additional items, then free to leave them out. Mix all the ingredients well by hand or if using a stand mixture transfer all the ingredients into the appropriate bowl (I personally didn’t want to mash the bananas in my metal bowl with a fork) and off you go!
Next add the eggs to the mixture and mix until incorporated. If you’re using a stand mixture, ensure you don’t put your mixer on too high a setting. Or, like me, use those muscles to mix and get rid of those bingo wings in the process!
Now add the ground almonds and again mix well until incorporated.
Once the mixture is relatively smooth and all the ingredients are mixed well, spoon the mixture into your lined loaf tin.
Before the banana bread mixture heads into the oven, it’s time to add the finish touches. Sprinkle the mixture with desiccated coconut and a few extra raw cocoa nibs for an even more lovely toasty topping.
Place into the middle of the preheated oven and bake for around 50 minutes or until you can insert a skewer/toothpick into the centre of the bread, and it comes out dry. Once the centre of the banana bread is baked, remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for 20 minutes. Then you can use the baking parchment to help turn the bread out onto a wire rack to continue to cool.
Serve and enjoy! You can add a spread of peanut button, chocolate spread, honey, or a topping of your choosing. I either eat mine straight or with a spread of almond butter. Yum!
If you do have any left, you can store it for up to 4-5 days in an airtight container. Or, like me, as I mentioned earlier, I cut the loaf in half and put one half in the freezer.
Editor (and part-time baker)
Below is what it looked like before it went into the oven. Why I’m showing you this I have no idea. No one cares. Just want to see the finished article. Money saving tip: bake two or three together and freeze for later.
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