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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Grain-free Banana Bread

Update:  March 2016, revised again.  This time I used 2 teaspoons ground ginger, 1 teaspoon butter-flavor extract, 1 teaspoon coconut extract, 1/2 teaspoon banana extract, 1 tablespoon molasses, and 1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut.

Update:  August 2014, I remade this and made some changes that I really liked.  I scrapped all the spices and extract called for and added 2 teaspoons of dried ginger, 1 teaspoon of coconut extract, and 1 teaspoon of Butter Vanilla Bakery Emulsion.

Another foray into a world without wheat or added sugar...  The original recipe calls for maple syrup, but I left out all the sweetening.  I had intended to add a little maple flavoring, but forgot.  I was a little concerned about how well that would mix with the other flavors going on anyway.  The almond/coconut/banana is tropical, while the cardamom is Scandinavian, and the vanilla/cinnamon are traditionally North American.  I balked at those last two -- there's a lot going on already.  Vanilla seemed entirely unnecessary and I just don't think cinnamon does anything for bananas.  I debated, but in the end threw in the cinnamon since it adds a sweet taste.  I've noted my changes within the recipe.

2 cups blanched almond flour
1/3 cup coconut flour
2 teaspoons ground cardamom
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup of mashed ripe banana (approximately 2)
4 large eggs
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup liquefied coconut oil (butter or ghee)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease an 8.5 x 4.5 loaf pan.  Combine dry ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and whisk together until is well mixed and there are no lumps.  Add the wet ingredients and stir until combined.   Pour into loaf pan and smooth the top.  Bake for about 45-55 minutes.  (Banana bread is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.)  Remove loaf from oven, let it cool in the pan for a few minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to continue cooling.  Store in the refrigerator.

Conclusion:  This was okay as it was prepared.  No banana bread that completely eliminates added sugar is going to be great.  There was a slight bitterness that would have easily been masked by the maple syrup -- I don't know what it was from, perhaps the almond skins.  It would be very tasty with the added syrup, although these almond flour breads never quite hit the mark somehow.  (Lacking substance or something.)  The cinnamon was not detectable.

Recipe:  Paleo Banana Cardamom Bread via Paleo Spirit

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