Nutrition, Recipes

The REAL DEAL Banana Bread!

February 5, 2016
chef shine

I use the term ‘real’ because this recipe is really what banana bread should taste like if it were made into actual bread. It wasn’t until I studied to become a Natural Foods Chef last year that I learnt the beloved banana bread I had been devouring for many years was more like banana cake…whoopsies! If you’re someone who likes to enjoy a piece of banana bread on the way to work MINUS a side of inflammation, well, this recipe is for YOU!

Now, before you put me in the ‘no-fun-health-freak’ basket, let me tell you I’m not advocating you cut out good quality, organic, raw, natural sweeteners from your diet (though I recommend you to steer clear of most stevia products for these reasons). I’m simply offering you a more health supportive, ‘cleaner’ version of banana bread – take it, or leave it. My recipe fuses the natural sweetness of over-ripe bananas with cinnamon, nutmeg and raw almonds to produce a bread with more of a subtle sweet flavour.

I use almond meal (a great source of low inflammatory protein) with a little coconut oil (a great source of low inflammatory healthy fat) to ensure you’re eating a more nutritionally-balanced slice of bread. To make it fluffier and much lighter than most gluten free breads on the market, I chose to use buckwheat flour*. I am a HUGE fan of buckwheat-anything to be honest, but my favourite product is its flour which is soft, affordable and flavoursome.

I highly recommend enjoying a slice of this banana bread toasted. Stick to health supportive toppings like: mashed avocado, 100% pasture-raised butter, raw honey, goats cheese chevre (the soft, spreadable kind), 100% raw nut butter, my matcha cashew nut butter, or even a little of my sugar free chia jam, YUM! Just remember anything you add on has to be factored into your overall sugar, fat, carbohydrates and protein intake for the day because it all adds up!

If you are a parent who’s worried this recipe is not sweet enough to entice the kids, add in a few sugar free/oil free/sulphite free dried raisins before baking (as seen in the picture above). This will release a burst of natural sweetness every now and then between bites – just enough to fool the brain into thinking the bread is loaded with sweet things, love it!

The Real Deal Banana Bread

Makes: 1 standard loaf – if you have any mixture leftover, use to make muffins!

You need:

  • 300g overripe banana flesh (approx the flesh of 2 bananas)
  • 40-50g ripe pear (about 1/2 a large pear)
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1 cup buckwheat flour
  • 3 Tablespoons melted coconut oil (you can use pasture-fed butter or ghee)
  • 1-3 Tablespoons cinnamon (I LOVE cinnamon – for it’s anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties, as well as its flavour. If you’re new to it, start with less and increase each time you bake. There are different types of cinnamon also, so use your discretion based on the type you’re using).
  • 1 Tablespoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2.5 teaspoons gluten free/aluminium free baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon organic vanilla bean paste (optional, this is a natural sweetener)
  • 1/2 cup raisins that are oil/sugar/sulphite free (optional)

You do:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180C/350F.
  2. Place banana flesh and pear in a blender or food processor and blend to combine well.  Add in flours, oil, spices and salt and blend again.
  3. Add in baking powder and optional vanilla bean paste, blend to combine.
  4. Fold in optional raisins and pour mixture into a greased loaf tin (I like to grease my baking tins with whatever I’ve used – in this case, I greased my tin with coconut oil before pouring a little buckwheat flour over the top to coat greased areas). 
  5. Place in oven for 20 mins, or until the top of the bread rises and browns and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Remove from oven and let bread cool in tin 5 mins before turning out onto a wire rack to cool further.
  6. Enjoy with a little raw nut butter, coconut oil, pasture-fed butter or my delish sugar free chia jam.

*Side note on buckwheat flour brands: In Australia I buy buckwheat flour from Coles. When I’m in New York, I prefer Bob’s Mill and when I’m chef-ing it up in London, I choose to use Dove’s Farm.

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