While it’s inarguable that all baked goods are decidedly better fresh and warm, with respect to this banana bread, a small slice of it is enough to make an excellent case for the best things for breakfast being straight out of the oven and slathered with butter.
Despite the fact that this quick bread is dairy, gluten/grain and refined sugar free, it has a surprisingly delicate crumb and crunchy crust. While it’s perhaps not as texturally dense as your usual café banana bread fare, it has a rich mouth feel from the ground almonds and coconut oil that make it vastly more satiating throughout the morning. Because of this, it doesn’t beg for butter on top so much as appreciates its presence if it happens to be there. The addition of a little cocoa and cinnamon help add to its depth of flavour without being predominating.
I sliced my loaf into around ten even pieces to be stored in the freezer, right next to my container of frozen, over-ripe bananas. While these have been an absolute staple for me this summer in nice cream and green smoothies, it’s nice to have a use for them that carries all the comforts of something freshly baked after mere minutes of warming in the microwave.
I’m well aware serving this banana bread with butter goes against everything I’ve done with titling this as paleo – but the name is really only for convenience in conveying that its ingredients are deliciously natural. The best thing to do if serving this to particularly vehement naysayers of fad diets is to simply say nothing at all – I doubt anyone will miss the refined flour on taking a bite.
Paleo is a diet I find particularly interesting, as by virtue of it being grain free, all of the recipes I can eat myself without modification. If you get your head around it, the food is often simple, healthy and delicious – and in spite of its label, the diet is really centred around using foods that don’t have plastic labels themselves. That being said, I don’t follow the diet, (nor any beyond being gluten free); rather I simply use the fad for inspiration for experimentation with food. It’s not so much that I seek out recipes that are paleo, rather if I see an opportunity to tweak a recipe to be such, I’ll absolutely give it a go. It’s lovely to be able to turn weekend café cabinet food into an everyday breakfast treat that feels great to eat.
paleo banana bread
- 3 very ripe bananas, mashed
- 120g extra virgin coconut oil – at room temperature if soft, or warmed slightly if too cold and solidified
- 1/4 cup/50g rice malt/maple syrup
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tbsp cocoa/cacao powder
- 80g almond meal
- 40g coconut flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup/100g walnuts/nuts of choice
- Preheat oven to 180C/375F bake setting. Grease and line a loaf tin with nonstick paper.
- In a large bowl, beat the coconut oil, syrup and eggs at high speed until combined.
- Add the bananas, vanilla essence, cinnamon and cocoa powder, beating further until mixed through.
- Sift in the almond meal, coconut flour, baking powder and salt. Fold through the wet mixture. Pour the batter into the loaf tin.
- Bake for 45-50 minutes, until the top has formed a crunchy crust and the loaf springs back when pressed.
- Cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes before removing from the tin. Cut slices while still warm and serve on its own (ideally alongside a cup of tea), or slathered in butter.
- Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days, or in the freezer for up to a month. Best served warm.