Blogroll Recipe Review: Banana Bread (Using Coconut & Almond Flour) by Comfy Belly

A freezer without any baked goods + MANY overripe organic bananas languishing on my counter + an approximate (and hopefully no longer than) 7 hour journey tomorrow up to my cousin’s wedding (necessitating something delightful to snack on during the car ride) = a great excuse to make some delicious homemade banana bread!

If you are like me and won’t touch a banana after the slightly underripe green ends fade away and almost want to gag when you see people eating their decaying, brown-spotted, and overripe bananas, then here is a recipe to put them to good use…to me I think the sweetness that overripe bananas provide to baking is their ONLY redemptive quality!  If you like the overripe ones, make sure you buy enough to save 2 for this recipe!

To me, banana bread is a staple and one of those “easy peasy” recipes that most people I know, regardless of ethnic background, make frequently – it is also so very versatile making a great breakfast or a simple dessert or snack.  Growing up, my mom made the very best banana bread and banana muffins that were loaded with chocolate chips (not h.u.n.n.y.-abiding with her original recipe but I’m SO excited that she h.u.n.n.y.-fied it and I’ll get the recipe to share with you very soon so stay posted as it could have fooled anyone as being the real deal!!!), however I thought this gluten-free banana bread by Comfy Belly would be the perfect recipe to try today as I recently purchased some coconut flour and have been struggling with how to put it to good use as I find the flour VERY heavy.

For anyone who has never heard of or have never used coconut flour, it is made from the coconut meat after most of the oil is extracted for coconut oil and is very high in fibre, low in carbohydrate, is high in protein, and gluten-free.  It can usually be used to replace 10-30% of other flours in recipes.

My review of this recipe is that I thought it was pretty good.  Not quite worthy of a 5-star rating but definitely good and a very solid 4-star rating in my opinion.  In fact I made this recipe twice today – the first time following the recipe exactly minus replacing almond flour with finely ground almond meal as I couldn’t find any organic almond flour (yes, I’m embarassed to admit that I broke my cardinal ‘Blogroll Recipe Review’ rule of following EXACTLY, however it was the best I could do!).  I found the banana bread to be perfectly moist with a great texture while remaining light.  Also was the perfect sweetness but I found it to be too salty…my personal preference is that I want salt to enhance the flavours of sweet breads but I don’t want to be able to taste any savoury notes from it.

The second batch of this banana bread, I halved the sea salt and I am much happier with the flavour…in fact with that minor revision I’d give this recipe 4.5-stars.  One disappointment with this recipe both times I made it is that the centre of my banana bread loaf sunk after removing it from the oven.  That just slightly decreases the aesthetic appeal of this loaf (far less important in my opinion than taste)…in all fairness though it could be because I used finely ground almonds (almond meal) vs. almond flour.  As per the optional use of chopped walnuts, I used them the first time and the second time I chose not to so I could compare – both ways were equally good!  Thanks Comfy Belly for sharing your delicious and creative recipes with the world…I look forward to trying more in the future!

A ‘theHONEYhunny’ Tip (for Storing Overripe Bananas): Rather than garbaging or composting your overripe bananas (if you don’t have time or particularly feel like baking that day), instead throw them into the freezer and store them for a later date.  You don’t need to peel them, just put them in whole as the peel acts as a barrier to prevent freezer burn and to control absorption of unwanted odours.  They only take a few hours to defrost on the counter or in the refrigerator before you bake with them.  I will warn you that the bananas will turn very black and that when you thaw them they will get mushy and will ooze with fluids but the grossness factor is totally worth it for the flavour that they envelop into whatever you are baking.

~ theHONEYhunny

Banana Bread (Using Coconut & Almond Flour)

Recipe Source: Erica from Comfy Belly (Banana Bread (Using Coconut & Almond Flour))

Recipe Serves: Makes one 8″ x 4″ loaf

(Remember to use as many organic ingredients in this recipe as possible.)  

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¾ tsp baking soda

½ tsp sea salt*

*I halved the sea salt to ¼ tsp the second time I made this recipe and am much happier with the result

¾ cup almond flour

¼ cup coconut flour

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 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

3 eggs

2 bananas, very ripe, mashed (approximately 1 cup when mashed)

¼ cup maple syrup (or honey, melted)

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½ cup walnuts, chopped (optional)

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Preheat oven to 350oF .  Grease or line 8″ x 4″ loaf pan.

Using a whisk or fork, blend all the dry ingredients together (baking soda, sea salt, almond flour, and coconut flour).

Add the wet ingredients (olive oil, eggs, bananas, and maple syrup) together, blend well, and then mix them into the dry ingredients.  (Comfy Belly uses a mixer to ensure the batter is well blended.)

If using walnuts, mix into batter by spoon.

Add the batter to loaf pan.

Bake for 40 minutes at 350oF, or until browned and a toothpick inserted in the middle of the bread comes out clean.  Remove loaf from pan to cool on cooling rack.

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