Are you nuts about banana bread and following a special diet? If you follow a paleo, primal, or natural foods diet and your diet excludes wheat, gluten, grain, casein, or dairy, here’s a ready-to-use recipe just for you.
I didn’t create it. Kelly Brozyna of The Spunky Coconut blog created the recipe. I thought it looked interesting and forwarded it to Anne, one of cooking assistants. She made the recipe and gave me part of the loaf. I really liked it and wanted to make more.
My first two attempts flopped
I baked the first batchin my convection toaster oven; however, due to the size of the oven, the pan was very close to the heating element, which made the top brown prematurely, giving the impression that the loaf was done when it wasn’t. The toothpick came out clean but after I cooled and turned the loaf onto a cutting board, I discovered that the bottom was soggy and had stuck to the bottom of the pan despite my greasing it well.
The second time, I baked the bread in three well-oiled, supposedly non-stick mini loaf pans in my full size oven. It passed the toothpick test but when I turned the pans upside down, the bread stuck to the bottom of the pan and it was soggy except for the crust. Ugh!
Kelly’s recipe didn’t say what size eggs to use. Many bakers assume that readers will be using large eggs. Sometimes people have large, extra-large or jumbo eggs on hand. Using oversized eggs could throw the liquid to dry ratio off in some recipes. That may have contributed to my two failed attempts at making Kelly’s recipe despite the fact that she had a lot of comments on her blog from readers who made and loved the recipe.
Kelly’s recipe didn’t say whether she used a glass or metal loaf pan nor did it say anything about lining the pan. (Some of her other recipes have suggested doing that though.) The type of pan coan make a big different in baking time. Some experts recommend dropping the oven temperature 25 degrees when using a glass rather than metal baking pan because of the way glass conducts heat. This will prevent overcooking the bottom while waiting for the top to brown. I used metal pans the first two times.
Read more about Glass Vs. Metal Baking Pans on eHow.com
Another culprit could have been the brand of coconut flour. If you’ve been following my blog regularly, you might have seen my coconut flour post on 5-24-11 where I mentioned that I have four brands of coconut flour in my fridge: Coconut Secret, Wilderness Family Naturals, Coconut On Line, and Tropical Traditions. They varied in texture. When I spooned and leveled each of them into a half cup measure, the weight ranged from 45 to 59 grams. A different of 11 to 14 grams of flour could make a significant difference in the texture of a recipe that calls for a relatively small amount of flour (1/2 cupful). It could make an even bigger difference in a recipe that calls for more coconut flour.
Kelly’s recipes don’t say what brand of coconut flour she uses. When I emailed her about a different recipe that I had trouble with, I found out she has used Bob's Red Mill and Tropical Tradition’s coconut flours. I did not use those brand for the recipes that turned out gooey. I did, however, use Tropical Traditions coconut flour for the next two batches and they came out great.
I suspect that my two failed attempts were caused by a combination of all of the factors listed above.
The third and fourth times I had success with the recipe. What did I do differently? Since I had extra large eggs and jumbo eggs on hand, I reduced the number of eggs from four to three. Since my previous batches stuck to the oiled pans, I lined the bottom and sides of the pan with parchment paper and greased the top of the parchment as well. I used a glass baking pan and I used Tropical Traditions coconut flour.
For one of the good batches I used mashed banana. For the other I used baked, peeled, and mashed white sweet potato (it has a texture and look that’s remarkably similar to banana). For the sweet potato batch I also added two tablespoons of tapioca starch to see what the recipe would be like with a bit more flour. Both loaves came out well. The one with more flour was denser and a bit drier but not so dry as to be unpleasant. I plan to freeze part of each loaf.
The recipe would also work with winter squash (which I use in place of pumpkin in many recipes if the fall and winter) for a pumpkin-bread facsimile. I’ve taken other pumpkin muffin recipes and subbed mashed banana cup for cup. Using a sweet winter squash (such as baked Kabocha) in place of canned or freshly baked bland pumpkin will allow you to create a sweet loaf with less sweetener since winter squashes are generally sweeter than pumpkin.
Gluten-Free, Casein-Free, Grain-Free Banana Bread
Prep: 20 minutes Cooking: 50 to 60 minutes Yield: 1 loaf pan; 12 slices
This recipe comes from Kelly Brozyna’s blog, The Spunky Coconut. Kelly wanted to recreate her mother's banana bread, making it gluten-free, grain-free, and naturally sweetened. This gluten-free, dairy-free, casein-free recipe uses coconut flour although it doesn’t takes of coconut. It may sound like a small amount of flour for banana bread but bear in mind that coconut flour is super absorbent and cannot be used cup for cup to replace grain-based flours; you need to use much less of it and use considerably more eggs. I tweaked Kelly’s recipe making a few modifications to both the ingredients and the instructions.
Note: I found that 3 large bananas when mashed = 1 cupful. One large and one medium banana when mashed = 1 scant cupful.
Note: I just remembered to tell you that this recipe makes a very sweet bread (from my perspective). If you like desserts that are mildly sweet as opposed to strongly sweet, you may want to replace the honey with maple syrup in the recipe below. Maple syrup has a lower sugar content than honey.
2 mashed, ripe bananas (1 cupful or 1 cupful minus 1 to 2 tablespoons)
4 beaten eggs (use only 3 eggs if they are extra large or jumbo)
1/2 cup honey; use maple syrup if you like less sweet treats
3 tablespoons liquified coconut oil, avocado oil or palm shortening, at room temperature (If you tolerate dairy products, see variations below)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla creme liquid stevia or Nu Naturals Vanilla stevia (reduce by 1/2 the next time if you find the loaf too sweet)
1/2 teaspoon finely ground, unrefined sea salt
1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 cup tapioca flour
1/2 cup coconut flour, sifted
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon guar gum, optional (my addition)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (pecans also work well)
- Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch glass loaf pan. Line the bottom and sides with parchment paper and oil the top of the paper as well. If using a metal loaf pan, you may want to raise the oven temperature to 375˚ F.
- Combine the wet ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine.
- Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and whisk to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl to remove any lumps of flour. Scrape the mixture into a prepared pan and smooth the top.
- Bake for 50 to 60 minutes until firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool before slicing. Cover and refrigerate within 48 hours.
- Sweet Potato Bread: Replace banana with mashed white sweet potato or red garnet or jewel yam (do not use the skin).
- Squash/Pumpkin Bread: Replace banana with baked, mashed butternut, delicat, honey delight or kabocha squash (do not use the skin). You might want to call it Pumpkin Bread because that sounds more familiar to most people than squash bread.
- For a denser, less sticky loaf: Use a total of 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons tapioca starch in the master recipe and variations above.
- If you tolerate dairy products: Replace the oil with butter softened at room temperature. If you follow a casein-free diet, you can use ghee, softened at room temp or melted and then cooled.
- TO ORDER Tropical Traditions Coconut flour and/or oil, click here or click one of the produce images below and you will receive a free copy of the book, VIrgin Coconut Oil with your first order.