Friday, August 15, 2014

Now THIS is Banana Bread!

Still hot, already sampled!

This is my favorite banana bread I've made yet.  If you've been following my blog, you may have noticed that the ingredients I use for baking have undergone some changes.  I tend to use more gluten free flours and stay away from wheat.  I use more honey and coconut palm sugar instead of agave nectar.  I've stopped using canola oil and use nut and seed oils and coconut oil instead.

So this banana bread recipe compared with the one I posted a few years ago will reflect some of those changes.  This bread uses three very ripe bananas instead of two and brown rice flour in place of the wheat, softened and flavored with a little coconut flour as well.  I love the combination of the banana and blueberry, but my favorite part of this bread is the coarsely chopped nuts and coconut that bake into the top.  This is a delicious, moist bread that is made from healthy ingredients and happens to also be gluten free.  It's delicious warm.  I know this because I couldn't wait to cut into it when it had only been out of the oven for a few minutes!  Try baking it in muffin tins, sprinkling the topping on each individual muffin.  That way you'll have a little portion control.  I tend to keep cutting just one more thin slab to munch on and before long I've eaten the equivalent of three pieces!  I have no will power when it comes to healthy, delicious desserts.

What's great about a recipe like this (and many of my other recipes) is that you can substitute different ingredients to make it your own.  Try another berry or cherries or peaches and make a topping with pistachios or pumpkin seeds, or try different extracts.  Let me know your variations and how they turned out!

Blueberry Banana Bread with Coconut Crunch Topping

1/3 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled (nut oils may be substituted)
1/2 cup coconut palm sugar or raw honey
2 eggs at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
3 overripe bananas, mashed
1 1/2 cups brown rice flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda dissolved in 1/4 cup hot water
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
1/4 cup coarsely chopped nuts such as almonds and pecans
2 T unsweetened coconut

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Butter (or coat with coconut oil) loaf pan and line with parchment paper.  Butter paper.
Whisk together oil and sugar or honey.  Beat in eggs one at a time.  Whisk in bananas and vanilla.  Mix flours and salt together on a piece of parchment paper or in a bowl.  Add to banana mixture and mix on low.  Add dissolved baking soda with a mixing spoon.  Fold in blueberries and pour into prepared pan.
Mix together nuts and coconut and sprinkle over the top of the bread evenly.  Gently press topping down but don't bury it!  Bake for 50-60 minutes or until cake tested-done!  Cool slightly then remove from pan to cool on a wire rack.  If your parchment paper is cut long, this will help to pull the bread out.

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