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This banana bread was yesterday’s gift to me. I made it in between the usual 4-kids-under-4 emergencies and disasters, cuddling a teething, nap-striking baby, and crock-potting a roast chicken for dinner. (Is crock-potting a word? I’m gonna go ahead and declare it one.)
I had some spotty bananas that were begging me to make them into banana bread. I could hear their little banana cries. They were past their youth, their prime bright yellow youth, and they were begging me to not give up on them yet. “We still have plenty to offer the world”, they cried. “We may be elderly, but we aren’t dead yet!” they exclaimed with passion.
Why yes, now that you mention it, I may have been reading a little too much into the situation, given the rapidly approaching death of my twenties (July 5, in case you care. Or wanna send flowers. Or whatever.)
Regardless – I decided to play around and come up with a recipe for banana bread that is not gonna feel like a rock in my gut (sometimes gluten does that to me) and doesn’t use refined sugar (Ain’t nobody need be eatin’ that on a regular basis. And you can be dang sure this is a Regular Basis Kind of Recipe). It is verrrry loosely based off of this recipe (mainly the flour ratios).
It uses rice flour and tapioca starch as the base. I am currently loving tapioca starch in my baking – it’s magical. I also decided to add ground chia seeds to see if it would give it a nice non-crumbly texture, as so many GF baked goods are prone to. It worked perfectly. The texture is amazing – non-crumbly, moist (but not eggy like with coconut flour), and remarkably “normal” tasting if you’re used to the wheat-based baked goods. The spices and ratios I used gave it a fabulous overall flavour, and well, let’s just say this recipe makes two loaves because loaf #1 disappeared in less than 24 hours.
Here you go. If you don’t have the ingredients on hand then I highly suggest you get your butt out to the store to get them, stat. Like, stop reading, and go now. Your taste buds will thank you later.
Child Friendly, Freezable, Pre-preparable, Serve Cold, Serve Hot
Perfect Banana-Pecan Bread (which just so happens to be gluten-free, dairy-free, and refined-sugar-free while still tasting better than the other stuff. awwww yeah, baby!)
2-1/4 cups Mashed very ripe banana
1/3 cup Honey (softened/melted if not already liquid)
1/3 cup Coconut oil (melted)
2 teaspoons Vanilla extract
1/2 cup Coconut palm sugar
2 cups White rice flour
1 cup Tapioca starch
2 teaspoons Ground chia seeds (I use my Vitamix to grind them. You could also use a food processor or a coffee grinder.)
1 teaspoon Baking soda
1 teaspoon Sea salt
2 teaspoons Cinnamon (ground)
1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg (ground)
1/2 teaspoon Cloves (ground)
1 cup Pecans (chopped)
Preheat oven to 350F and grease two loaf pans with coconut oil.
Add first five ingredients to a large bowl (bananas, eggs, coconut oil, honey, vanilla) and mix well (I use an electric hand mixer).
Add the rest of the ingredients (minus the pecans) to another bowl, and stir well to combine.
Add dry ingredients to wet gradually, mixing well to combine.
Stir in the pecans.
Pour batter equally into the two prepared loaf pans (I use glass pans, and it works great. I recommend glass or stoneware, but not "non-stick" as it used toxic chemicals).
Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes. Test for doneness by sticking a very sharp knife into the middle. If there's any wetness, bake for another 2 minutes and re-test.
Let cool for 10 minutes before slicing, then enjoy with a nice slathering of butter (unless you're dairy-free, in which case I feel sorry for you and suggest perhaps, uh, marmalade? It's delicious on its own too, of course!)
If you really want to make this dessert-like, you could swap out the pecans for chocolate chips. I haven't tried it yet, but I'm sure it would be delish!
Beth is the creator and editor here at Red & Honey, a lifestyle blog for the naturally-minded homemaker. She recently began a passionate love affair with coffee and her life will never be the same. She has had three babies in less than four years, is a professional laundry-avoider, and loves to stay up way too late making weird stuff from scratch that normal people tend to just buy in a store. Hence, the coffee.