Plain ol’ Banana Bread

What I love most about Paleo–even more than I love the physical changes I’ve seen in my own body over the last year–is it’s promotion of science and self-experimentation in the nutritional world as a means to advance health and wellness.  Maybe it’s the reliance on evolutionary principles or just that so many followers of the Paleo diet and lifestyle are just super nerdy, but it seems like it is constantly being tweaked and refined as we explore more and more of the science behind how food and food culture affects our health.

A couple examples–Vintage Paleo was a relatively high protein, low fat diet.  While that’s an awesome approach for some people, several studies in the last decade have shown us that, in fact, higher fat diets not only don’t make us fat–they can be remarkably good for us.  Ditto for the extremely low-carb dealio.  While benefits of very low-carb diets and intermittent fasting are supported by research and personal experiences, there are some questions now concerning how this approach might affect women…because, well, we’re wired a little differently than men.  Rice and potatoes have been welcomed by some back into the Paleo diet (for very active people!) while others have shunned high-fructose fruits and nuts, former Paleo staples.

We have the privilege of living in an age where not only is there a plethora of nutritional research being conducted, but it is more available to us plebians than ever before.  There is more scrutiny than ever before, too, and we are better able to recognize which studies and research projects are actually legit (i.e. peer reviewed) and which are just bad science.

Obviously, the best approach is the approach that works best for you.  I am a HUGE fan of self-experimentation and by no means have I found my 100% ideal way of living…but I’m closer than ever.  I eat more and work out less than at any point in my 25 years on this earth and I look better, perform better, and feel better.  I wouldn’t keep doing it otherwise.  What I’m getting at is that I honestly believe we have a responsibility to ourselves to keep digging for information, to keep educating ourselves, and to keep asking questions.  Some new study comes out saying that red meat gives you brain tumors?  That gluten is tearing our intestines apart?  Or that all fruit is bad for you?  READ IT and make a decision for yourself.  Google some of the big words.  Read some dissenting and concurring opinions.

OK.  So after all that I’m giving you a new recipe for banana bread.  No, really, I’m going somewhere with this–if you’ve been reading my blog, you may have come across one of the bajillion times I’ve linked back to my very favorite banana bread recipe.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s incredibly delicious and I love it.  However, I’ve begun taking issue with nuts and the excessive use of nut flours and butters in baking.  I’m OK  with eating nuts occasionally despite the omega-6 and phytic acid content, but since a good deal of buzz started going around about the potentially harmful effects of heat on nuts (i.e. roasting nuts or baking with nut flours and butters), I’ve been doing my homework (check here, here, and here).  I’m absolutely guilty of relying heavily on nut-based ingredients at times…like eating my favorite banana bread every day for weeks on end…so I’m giving some of my favorite recipes a makeover.  I’m still fine with raw nuts, nut butters, and the use of them in recipes that don’t require high heat (YES!  Cookie Dough Brownies are safe!!!!), but the baking and frying business makes me wee bit uncomfortable.  It did take some soul searching, but I definitely sleep better at night without cooked nuts.  So there.

As you can see, this banana bread is coconut flour-based–an ingredient I’m much more comfortable with and that is honestly much more nutritious than almond meal, anyway.  It’s moist and banana-y, lightly sweet (with no added sugars besides the bananas!), and delicious on its own or schmeared in butter.  Because we all need a good, go-to recipe for banana bread that won’t oxidize into a trans-fatty mess ;)

INGREDIENTS

1/2 c Coconut Flour

1 t Salt

1 t Baking Soda

2 t Cinnamon

1/2 c Ground Flax

6 Eggs

1 T Vanilla

3 Really Ripe Bananas

INSTRUCTIONS

Mash the bananas and add the eggs and vanilla, whisking together until well combined.

Combine the dry ingredients.  Add to the egg/banana/vanilla mixture by spoonfuls, beating until smooth.  Pour batter into a greased loaf pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

34 thoughts on “Plain ol’ Banana Bread

  1. I cannot tell you how much I <3 this post and recipe make-over. Now to buy some bananas and wait for them to ripen into black spotted deliciousness.

  2. I, like you, am also trying to research and determine what ever works best for me… Leaning Paleo the last 5 months or so has been a positive thing for me. But I snack a lot on nuts and even was baking them/roasting them in the oven with some spices. I also have been using almond meal in most of the limited “baking” I have been doing. I appreciate you sharing the links you have in this post and will be continuing my research. Thank you for the recipe as well. I will be trying it. :)

    • Thanks! I definitely don’t want to be all absolutist about this stuff–especially since new research comes out all the time on a range of issues. This was just one that got me thinking, and I figured I’d rather be safe than sorry, especially since roasted nuts are easy to replace with raw ones much of the time.

  3. I really like this recipe, esp. as I often end up having bananas when my son doesn’t eat them fast enough. But if I don’t have any flax meal, what would you suggest as an alternative? Thanks for yor great recipes…I just got here recently when you syarted the offal series, and am looking forward to seeing more.

  4. Very good article. I too have been concerned about nut flours and went nut flour crazy baking initially. Dropped the weight after staying off nut flours. As a side, could you put a facebook like on your page. It would make it easier to follow you blog. Thanks!

    • Thanks! A lot of people seem to do better off nuts. I still do some raw nuts and nut butters but I think I’m better off without he kind that have been heated and oxidized.

      As for the Facebook Like button, I figured out how to get one at the bottom of each post but can’t seem to figure out how to put one up on the main site. I don’t have a separate TGIPaleo FB page to link to but I agree a standard Like button would help.

      If there’s anyone who knows how to put one on, please let me know! I am mildly/completely computer illiterate after all… :(

    • I’d add another 2 Tablespoons of coconut flour. Or another awesome way to mix it up would be unsweetened shredded coconut instead of flax (use equal amount as the flax).

  5. Made this last night and had for breakfast this morning with bacon. Yum! Thanks for another awesome recipe. When I finish this off, looks like the crock pot apples are next on my list

  6. This recipe is a big hit with my whole family. Made it twice in one week. Love that there is no added sugar! Thanks so much for this amazing recipe for overripe bananas.

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  9. Not sure what happened but it came out mushy. I had to cook it way longer than recipe called for. Flavor is good but texture off. Seemed like too many eggs? I don’t know. Maybe I should use more flour & less eggs. Wonder what it is? Thank you so much for this recipe. I guess I just need to figure out what to do about texture. :)

  10. Came out awesome and not mushy at all! Will helped mix the batter and it was the only thing he wanted to eat for dinner tonight after his two bites of cauliflower mashed potatoes. Thanks!

  11. Made this today. Came out perfect and its so versatile…I put paleo-friendly chocolate chips in mine and I didn’t have a loaf pan so I used and 8X8 baking pan…still came out great. Thanks!

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  18. My banana bread did not turn out =(. I followed the directions and the texture turned out great but the taste was flavorless. I’ll have to try playing around with the spices next time.

  19. Oh. My. Gosh. This was amazing!!! Not very sweet – perhaps my bananas weren’t ripe enough – but my husband just slathered his pieces in butter and honey and was happy. So easy too. I’m definitely going to be making this again and again! Thanks!

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