Damn Good Banana Bread

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There’s a certain sense of comfort and nostalgia that I associate with baking and spending time in the kitchen.  Like warm coffee in the morning and soft pajamas at the end of the day (or at noon) I crave it almost every day.  This banana bread satisfies my cravings for working with my hands to create something delicious to share and nourishes my body and soul.  Banana bread is one of those foods that you can find any time of year at a grocery store, coffee shop pastry case or maybe even your grandmothers kitchen.  Damn good banana bread, however, is hard to come by.

Everyone I’ve met has their own taste for banana bread and its many toppings. You, too? If you ask me, the best banana bread is soft on the inside with rich notes of caramel-y, banana flavor and studded with walnuts.  Oh, and spread generously with almond butter and honey. Yes, please! The trick to making delicious banana bread is to use very dark, overripe bananas when baking. The riper the bananas, the deeper the flavor and the better the bread.  Are you craving banana bread yet? Let’s bake!

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Ingredients: 

Banana Bread: Makes 1 Loaf, 10-12 Servings   

  • 3 large or 4 small overripe bananas (just over 1 cup when mashed)
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 C. maple syrup
  • 1/2 C. coconut oil, melted and cooled
  • 1/4 C. almond butter
  • 1/2 C. coconut sugar*
  • 1/2 C. almond flour
  • 1 C. gluten free flour blend ( I like Arrowhead Mills brand Whole Grain or Trader Joe’s Gluten Free All Purpose Flour )
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 C. chopped walnuts (optional)

*Note: Coconut sugar can be found at most grocery stores in the baking aisle near brown sugar and flour. I love and use this brand, but usually buy what is on sale. You can substitute brown sugar for the coconut sugar, however this recipe will not be refined sugar-free.

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare your 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan by wiping down the inside with 1-2 tsp of coconut oil or spraying with coconut oil spray to create a nonstick surface. You can also line the pan with parchment paper to further prevent sticking and make the loaf easier to lift out of the pan.
  2. In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer with the paddle attachment on low speed, mix the peeled bananas for 1-2 minutes until completely mashed.
  3. Next, add the egg and vanilla extract while the mixer is on low speed followed by the cooled coconut oil and almond butter. Continue to mix until all wet ingredients are well combined.
  4. In a smaller bowl, combine all dry ingredients except for the 1 T. of walnuts and stir together to distribute the salt, baking soda and cinnamon throughout the flour mixture.
  5. A little at a time, add the dry ingredients into the wet mixture and stir until there are no visible lumps of the flour.
  6. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and sprinkle remaining walnuts, if using, over the top to make it look pretty.
  7. Place pan in the center of the oven and bake for approximately 50-60 minutes depending on the heat of your oven. The bread is finished when it is golden brown on top and a knife or toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean with tiny crumbs, not wet batter.
  8. Remove from the oven and let cool for 30-35 minutes on a bakers rack or the counter before slicing.

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Eat it while it’s warm, toast it, refrigerate it and then spread with your favorite toppings like dairy-free butter, almond butter, honey or cinnamon. It doesn’t matter as long as you love every bite!  I hope you make this soon, friends! Might I say, it’s damn good.

If you make this recipe or have any questions, please leave them below.

XX,

D

 

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