How to Make Paleo-Friendly and Gluten-Free Banana Bread
If you're reading this, chances are you're looking for either a paleo or at least a gluten-free recipe for banana bread. It may be the first recipe that you've clicked on, or you may have looked at several already and decided against them for one reason or another. Worse still, you may be getting frustrated at having to scroll down several pages of 'filler' text to get to the part that you actually want: the list of ingredients and the cooking instructions!
Well, look no further, as this is the recipe for you and, better still, I'm going to get straight down to business and get right into the ingredients that you'll need and the steps to take to make your very own delicious walnut and banana loaf. So, are you ready? Then let's go!
Just before we dive into the instructions, however, I think it's worth pointing out right off the bat that I'm writing this recipe from the UK. I know from experience, and I'm sure that you will too, that when it comes to finding recipes online, there is a whole host of different units of measurements, temperatures, terminologies, etc.
If you're a US reader, you may need to have a conversion tool open in another tab, as this recipe uses the metric system. Happy baking!
- 2 ripe bananas
- 3 eggs
- 100 grams ground almonds
- 10 grams coconut flour
- 2 tablespoons raw honey (or regular honey, if you don't have raw)
- 10 grams coconut sugar (optional)
- 70 grams chopped walnuts
- Coconut oil, for greasing
- 1/2 teaspon baking powder
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit) and use the coconut oil to lightly grease baking paper to line a loaf tin of approximately 20 cm x 12.5 cm. You can use a non-stick loaf tin and skip the paper, but I find it comes out easier with the paper. There's nothing worse than the bottom of the loaf sticking to the tin when it comes time to let it cool.
- Take a large flat-bottomed bowl and mash your ripe bananas using a fork. Keep mashing until you have a fairly smooth paste and most of the lumps are out.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs and add the honey.
- Weigh out the ground almonds (sometimes referred to as almond flour), coconut flour, baking powder, chia seeds (if using) and coconut sugar (again, if using; I find it sweet enough without the sugar, but sometimes I'll add it if I want it a little sweeter). If you can't find ground almonds, then buy flaked almonds, which are almost always available in any supermarket with the baking products. To get ground almonds, you will need to grind them in a food processor or a coffee grinder if you have one. Mix the dry ingredients together well.
- Add the dry ingredients to the eggs and combine thoroughly before stirring in the mashed bananas and then finally the chopped walnuts.
- Pour the mixture into your loaf tin and place into the centre of the oven. Bake for between 25 and 30 minutes. You can check that the loaf is cooked through by inserting a thin skewer into the centre and checking that it comes out clean.
- Remove the loaf from the oven and allow it to stand in the tin for about 5 minutes before removing from the tin and leaving to cool on a wire rack. Slice and store in an airtight container. It will stay good for a few days, but you will likely eat it within a couple of days!
Flexibility in the Recipe
The beauty of this simple recipe is that it is very flexible and can be easily modified depending on what ingredients you have or haven't got at home.
Start by baking the bread using the non-optional ingredients that I have listed. If the bread is too dry for your liking, use less coconut flour and more ground almonds. I've tried this before by using 110 grams of ground almonds and no coconut flour, but I found the bread to be far too moist and a little soggy. Coconut flour is very absorbent, so a little can go a long way.
I also suggested that a little coconut sugar could be used. I'd suggest you make your first loaf without it and see if it is sweet enough for you from the bananas and the honey alone.
If you are following the paleo diet to the absolute letter, you should use raw honey. It's not always easily available (and it costs a lot more), so I just use regular honey as it's only a small amount.
I have also suggested chia seeds. I add a small amount to my bread for the extra health benefits, but if I don't have any, then it wouldn't stop me from making the bread. Chia seeds are also quite absorbent, so don't use too many or your bread may end up dry.
I tend to make this recipe about once a week and, having made it so many times, I no longer bother to weigh out the ingredients as I can tell just by looking at them how much to use. The results can vary sometimes if I've been sloppy and I'm way off, but if you follow this recipe, I can guarantee that you will get an excellent loaf of walnut and banana bread every single time.
You will feel no heaviness due to the lack of sticky gluten, no guilt due to the lack of added sugar and low natural sugar content, and best of all, you've found a use for those brown bananas before the pesky fruit flies appear!
I hope you found this recipe to your liking. Please feel free to leave a comment below.