Healthy-ish Banana Bread

This banana bread recipe is the reason I purchased The Ranch at Live Oak Cookbook. This recipe was a little daunting at first, with its 55-minute bake time, but baking it on a Sunday night, made that a non-issue.  Sure, I may have stayed up a little too late between the bake time and cool time, but it was worth it.  Everyone in our house loves it – and with 12 servings for the loaf, looks like we’ll be enjoying it all week.  The best part is that there’s no sugar in the recipe, so it’s definitely a healthier alternative to a typical breakfast pastry, and just as good (according to my husband, since I don’t eat the typical ones!)

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GLUTEN-AND SUGAR-FREE BANANA BREAD

Makes 1 loaf (serves 12)

Adapted recipe from The Ranch at Live Oak Cookbook

INGREDIENTS

1/3 cup refined (or unrefined) coconut oil, melted and cooled slightly, plus more for brushing

3 very ripe large bananas

7 large moist dates, pitted  (recipe calls for 6 Mejdools, but I couldn’t find them so I added one more since they were smaller)

1 large egg

1 1/3 cup gluten-free flour (I like King Arthur)

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

1 tbsp. unfiltered apple cider vinegar

DIRECTIONS

Position an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 350.  Lightly brush an 8 1/2 by 4 1/2 by 4 1/2 loaf pan with coconut oil.

In the bowl of a food processor with the metal blade attachment, puree the bananas and dates until smooth.  Add the egg and coconut oil and pulse until combined. Mix in the flour, baking soda, and salt, and then mix in 3 tbsp of water and the vinegar; the batter will be thick yet pourable.  Transfer the batter to the prepared pan.

Bake until the bread is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 55 minutes.  Cool the bread in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then turn the loaf out onto the rack and cool completely.  (The bread can be prepared up to 3 days ahead.  Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and keep in a cool place.)

SERVING SUGGESTION: Make an open-faced almond butter and banana sandwich, with about 1/2 tbsp of almond butter and a few slices of bananas.

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