Banana Bread – traditional and favorite

paleo banana bread 7-14What could be more traditional than banana bread? Every thrifty cook has her special recipe that makes very good use of the ripe fruit. My old favorite was the Laurel’s Kitchen recipe, because it used the most bananas, and it includes both toasted walnuts and dried apricots – yum!

Nowadays  I rarely bake this kind of cake, for several reasons, but I still acquire bananas that am loath to toss. Last month I cut a few into chunks and froze them, with hopes that someone someday will want to throw them into a smoothie.

But then my Coconut Flour Project loomed. It all started with a humongous bag of coconut flour I bought at Costco, because I love everything coconut and am always trying to cut back on grains. Beyond the flour itself I hadn’t anything to show for my time spent thinking about what to do with what I thought was a great resource.

That’s not exactly true: I saw a recipe for coconut flour bread in Pippin’s files, and she warned me that for her it turned out “kind of dry,” but I eventually tried it. It might as well have been made with sawdust. Lesson learned: don’t use the stuff alone.

I had given up surfing and searching for coconut flour recipes and instead bought an old fridge to use in my garage, in which to keep my bag of coconut flour and other currently neglected semi-perishables, against some misty future when I would suddenly bake a lot again.

THEN Nikkipolani made some banana bread and mentioned it briefly on her blog, and because she said it was grain-free I followed the link to SlimPalate and found a recipe for which I had all the ingredients right here in one refrigerator or another. I even had the cacao nibs, but I didn’t add them, and it doesn’t seem P1100814that nikkipolani did either.

The crumb of this bread is so moist and tender – nothing dry about it. The banana flavor melts into the subtle almond and coconut, with honey and vanilla. I’d like to try it with the cacao nibs next time. I’m not sure this loaf will have enough opportunity to become the New Traditional, but it is now my favorite banana bread.

Update: I bought some bananas for the purpose of making this bread again, which I have now done. I had extra mashed banana so I made a 50% bigger loaf by increasing all the ingredients that much. I used large instead of extra-large eggs this time, so the batter was thicker, but the end result is not much different from the first time, and just as delicious.

11 thoughts on “Banana Bread – traditional and favorite

  1. Oh, I’m so pleased it turned out well for you. This, too, is now my new fave (minus cocoa nibs which I don’t have and don’t think I’d try). However, mini chocolate chips might make their way in next time. I do know what you mean about the dryness of coconut flour. That stuff is seriously hygroscopic and dense-making. And a little goes a long way!

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  2. Since I have been on a banana bread kick and adding into it everything that is in my pantry, I would love to try one with coconut flour. It sounds amazing. I have been trying to use up my nuts and dried fruits and it has been a wonderful addition. I have also been adding zucchini to everything since I am swamped with it. I will try this next. Thanks for the recipe. I never thought about dried apricots, I will put them into it next time as well.

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  3. I love banana bread, especially my mom’s recipe which is my recipe too. Like you, I’ve been trying to reduce wheat products in our diet, but I just can’t mess up the best recipe with odd flours. Glad you found a good recipe to use up your pantry/fridge goods. I have a garage fridge too and it mostly stores cattle vaccines and meds, but also the beer and wine and holiday salads when the occasion arises

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  4. This looks delicious….In the interests of spreading banana information, I just read that if you separate bananas from a bunch to individuals, they keep longer in better shape. But I haven’t tried it myself, just read it…

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  5. wonder how old I’m going to be when I figure out how to use the internet? not sure if my comment was accepted but wanted to say I adore Laurel’s Kitchen cookbooks. all those old veg cookbooks just send me to the moon!

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