January 15, 2012

Gluten-Free Banana Bread

Hello to anyone who still reads! I haven't been making anything too remarkable lately, which is one of the reasons for my lack of posting, but this just has to be shared.  This banana bread is made with a mix of almond flour and coconut flour and has only 1 tablespoon of sweetener! It's sort of unbelieveable.

I've used coconut flour and almond flour a couple of times before: once for my gluten-free banana bread pancakes and another time for Elana's gluten-free chocolate raspberry hamantaschen, which I never posted about (sorry...).  

"Gluten-Free" has turned into a huge buzz-word over the last year as celiac disease and gluten-sensitivities have become more publicized and, according to some, more prominent.  Like the words "organic" and "vegan," people who aren't too educated about food/health automatically think gluten-free = healthy, but that's not always the case.  While I don't think a gluten-free diet is healthier and I really enjoy eating gluten, I've been having chronic stomach problems lately.  Thus as the new year began, I said goodbye to 90% of the gluten and dairy in my diet.  I'm hoping this isn't going to be permanent, but I'm trying it out to see if I notice any improvements.  Nothing's been conclusive at the doctor's office so I'm trying to do some work on my own.  

How has it been so far? Well, I ate minimal dairy to begin with and I'm not a huge cheese lover so that part's been pretty easy.  The only time I really want dairy is when I'm having coffee.  Cappuccinos and lattes are infinitely comforting and soy milk just doesn't cut it.  Sure, I like black coffee, but not as much.  Steering clear of gluten actually hasn't been that difficult either, except when I go out, which is where the other 10% comes in. I know I don't have celiac disease so if I'm at a restaurant and I'm dead-set on something glutenous (or gluttonous?), chances are I'll probably get it. 

Anyway, that's enough about me.  All I really wanted to say is that this banana bread is awesome.  Almond flour and coconut flour have their own natural sweetness (as do bananas) so you won't miss the usual added sugar at all.  The texture is also very bread-like and not overly dense, so if you're curious about experimenting with alternative flours, this recipe is the way to go.

Gluten-Free Banana Bread
Adapted from Elana's Pantry

3 bananas (about 1 1/2 cups mashed)
3 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 cup ghee or coconut oil, melted (I used a mix)
1 1/2 cups blanched almond flour
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

(All mixing can be done in the food processor, but if you don't have one or hate cleaning it use two bowls as explained here).  In a medium bowl, mix bananas, eggs, vanilla, honey and ghee/coconut oil. In a large bowl, mix flours, sea salt and baking soda.  Add wet mixture and beat until no lumps remain.

Elana suggests using a 7.5" x 3.5" Magic Line Loaf Pan but I didn't have one of these so I divided the batter between three mini loaf pans and it worked perfectly.  If you don't have either, I'm sure you could make these into muffins.

Bake at 350° for 55-65 minutes in the Magic Line Loaf Pan. About 50 minutes in mini loaf pans. Let cool and enjoy!

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