Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Grain Free Banana Bread

As part of our Gluten-Free January project, I've tried a few (very few) recipes for baked goods that will satisfy our acquired-over-decades taste for something ....well, baked.

I say "few" because one thing you don't want to do in a healthy diet is replace something unhealthy (white flour baked goods) with something grain free (made with almond flour, almond butter, etc.) and eat it in the same amounts as the white flour stuff.

Muffins, breads and pancakes made with almond butter or almond flour are superb, but they contain enough fat to boost your daily fat intake up to even the Primal Diet's 65 percent fairly quickly.  Fortunately, they are also more satisfying and filling!  Because they contain few to no concentrated carbs, they don't set you up for the never-ending, carb-craving cycle.

A slice of this bread for breakfast, with fruit, fits nicely into the overall scheme.  The Smart Palette's recipe called for unsweetened chocolate chips, which I measured out and had standing by.  But I forgot to put them in!  I also forgot to sprinkle the top with date sugar, as called for!

No matter.  A delicately banana-flavored and filling bread this is, indeed.  You will be amazed that it is flour free.
From The Smart Palate, who adapted it from Grain-Free Foodies

2 ripe bananas, mashed
2 large eggs
1 cup unsalted almond butter

2 tablespoons freshly ground flax seeds (I used a blade coffee grinder)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Generous pinch of fine sea salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar or lemon juice

1/3 cup chopped unsweetened dark chocolate or unsweetened dark chocolate chips
1 teaspoon date sugar, for sprinkling on top

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In medium mixing bowl, with electric mixer, combine bananas, eggs, almond butter, flax seeds, cinnamon, vanilla and salt.  Blend very well; mixture should be quite smooth.

Add baking soda and vinegar and mix briefly.  If desired, stir in chocolate.

Spoon batter into a greased (use butter, ghee, or coconut oil) small loaf pan.  I used a small Pyrex loaf pan that measures 7-3/4" by 4-1/2".  If desired, sprinkle date sugar atop batter.

Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of loaf comes out clean.  Cool for 15 minutes on a rack, then gently loosen sides with a thin spatula, turn loaf out onto a cooling rack, and cool completely before slicing.

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