Coconut Flour Banana Bread

So, my best friend Carissa has a gluten sensitivity and has such a hard time staying away from bread (I can’t blame her!). One of the things she loved to surprise me with was banana bread. So, I decided to make her a version that wouldn’t leave her with a tummy ache. Kaleidoscopefied of course: in this instance, that means with chocolate chips and walnuts! What is banana bread without chocolate chips, I mean really?

I originally found this recipe done by Caroline at Gutsy, to check out her recipe click here. I left the recipe base practically unchanged (left out the optional stevia) because, frankly, it was quite perfect! A nice level of sweetness without being too sweet. Coconut flour, which has a good amount of protein and fiber but low in carbs, is known to make baked goods a little dry and dense. Not so with this! Spongy and moist in texture without being soggy, you couldn’t tell it was unglutenized (is that even a word?) freshly baked. I have noticed the coconut flour texture more obviously after the first day, but still a great texture and flavor! You don’t hardly need to spread on some butter. Seriously that good. (Am I weird that I typically enjoy some butter on my banana bread?)

So, can’t wait for the recipe? Here it is!

Coconut Flour Banana Bread
INGREDIENTS:
1 cup coconut flour
1 1/2 cup very ripe bananas (2-3 bananas)
4 eggs
6 tbs melted butter or coconut oil
5 tbs honey
1 tbs vanilla
1/4 tsp sea salt
1tsp-1 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
Optional: 1/3 cup chocolate chips and 1/3 cup chopped walnuts

*Note: Just for kicks, I added 1/2 tsp xantham gum to my last batch to see what it would do to the texture. It helped the bread stick together a lot better, but the texture came out more dense. I think perhaps next time I’ll try 1/4 tsp.

Step 1: Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Grease your loaf pan.
Step 2: In a large bowl, mash up the bananas. Whip in the eggs, butter/oil, honey and vanilla.
Step 3: In a separate bowl, sift together the coconut flour, salt, cinnamon, baking soda and xantham gum.
Step 4: Combine the flour mix with the banana mixture. Should look like this:

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Step 6: Add the chocolate chips and walnuts if using. I like to reserve some walnuts for the top.

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Step 7: Scoop the dough into your prepared pan. Top with remaining walnuts, if using. Bake in the oven for about 1 hour and 15 minutes.

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The top and edges should be browned. Let sit for 15 minutes before removing from the pan. Once cooled enough, slice and serve. Even with some butter if you like. 🙂

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Store in a non-reactive container in the fridge (so basically, don’t store it in metal).

Enjoy!

 

P.S. – Hubby bought me a cookbook to make Peruvian dishes. Totally excited! Had this for dinner last night!

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It’s called Lomo Saltado, a beef stir-fry with Peruvian rice and french fries (I bake mine). So delicious, I want to make it twice a week! 😀

In the glass is Chicha Morada, a typical purple corn drink. Still learning on the Chicha, the recipe apparently used fresh purple corn  and I was using dried corn (it was unspecified). So basically instead of making the regular juice, it was more like the essence of it. Just the spices were a bit out of balance. Still good, just need to tweak it. 🙂

Date Bars!

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So I know you all have been just waiting for my next post! Here it is, finally! I made my first batch of date bars some time ago, back in spring I think. Possibly winter (boy does time fly!). I don’t remember where I originally got the recipe, probably another cool blog that when I find it I’ll link it up. The original recipe called for oats, and since I didn’t have any at the time, I used unsweetened coconut. Totally works!

This recipe is done using a food processor. If you don’t have one, I highly suggest getting one! So much you can do with it (like make your own nut butters!). No need for baking: if you do things right, you could have this decadent healthy-ish treat in about 15 minutes! If you are slow like me, or have little kiddos helping, could be more like 30 minutes.

So, without much more ado, here is the recipe (as I have remembered from the original with a couple of tweaks of my own):

The Crust:
2 cups whole almonds
2 cups coconut (unsweetened)
12 ish medjool pitted dates
2 tbs coconut oil
2 tbs nut butter (I like peanut). If you don’t want to use nut butter can substitute more coconut oil.
1 tsp cinnamon

The filling:
24 ish medjool pitted dates
1/4 ish cup water

Pan 9×11

Put the almonds into the food processor. Run it for a bit so it’s closer to pea size. (You can skip this step I just think it makes the ultimate blending a little easier). Add everything else for the crust. Process it all so it’s crumbly but sticks together when pressed. Press about half the mixture into the pan. (I have used a 9″ cake pan, 8 inch square, and most recently 9×11 with great success. I have also increased the recipe by half for a 9×13). Reserve the other half of the mixture in a bowl for the top. Place in the freezer while making the filling. Helps keep it from peeling up during spreading.

Next, put the dates and water in the food processor (don’t worry about having it cleaned from the crust, blends right in just fine). Blend it all to a spreadable paste (add more water if needed).  Spread onto the crust in the pan. Top with remaining crust and press.

I recommend freezing it for another 10-15 minutes for a cleaner cut before eating. For ease, I used my pizza cutter to slice it up, then used a knife for the edges. With the 9×11 pan, I sliced the pieces rather small, about 1 1/4 ” or so. Just about a perfect size! This gave me 50 pieces. Enough to freeze for a quick sweet treat!

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Bars before cutting.

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Kid approved! Complete with their night-shirts!

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As you can see, I enjoyed mine with some tea!

And that’s it! Enjoy!