+ the healthy chef recipes +

Banana and Coconut Bread

One of my favourite breads of all time is banana bread. I bake lots of it in my kitchen and love to vary the ingredients depending on how I feel or the result I want to achieve. I have about 5 purely delicious banana bread recipes and my Banana Chia + Coconut Bread Rocks! I love it because it’s so simple to make and it’s yummy on it’s own or wonderful with all sorts of toppings such as almond butter, ricotta + manuka honey, tahini or smashed banana and organic yoghurt. Perfect with a cup of green tea or Immune boosting green smoothie for breakfast.

What’s great about it

Bananas are a terrific energy food and a great source of potassium, an essential mineral for maintaining normal blood pressure and heart function. They add moisture and sweetness to baked goods, which means you can reduce the amount of sweetener and oil considerably. Coconut flour is packed with soluble fibre that is great for healthy digestion and helping to lower cholesterol. The chia seed pumps up the omega 3 in the bread. Health benefits of omega 3 are helping to lower cholesterol levels, reduce high blood pressure, improves symptoms of arthritis, improves mental health as the brain is 60% fat and needs omega 3 to function properly. I love using  macadamia nut oil when baking, it’s a delicious source of monounsaturated fats that can help support good health and wellbeing.

+ ingredients & methods +

ingredients (1 loaf / 12 slices)

400 g (14 oz) ripe banana
6 organic eggs
4 fresh pitted dates (see notes)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract or 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
60 ml (2 fl oz/ 1/4 cup) macadamia nut oil, coconut oil or cold pressed olive oil
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons gluten free baking powder
70 g (1/2 cup/ 2 1/2 oz) ) coconut flour
20 g (1/4 cup / 1 oz) chia seed (see notes)

method

  1. Preheat your oven to 150 C / 300 F – fan forced.
  2. Combine banana, dates, oil, cinnamon, vanilla, eggs and baking powder into a blender or food processor and blend until creamy and combined  - alternatively you can do this by hand in a large bowl.
  3. Add the coconut flour and chia seeds and mix through.
  4. Rest for 10 minutes to allow the chia and coconut flour to expand.
  5. Lightly oil one loaf tin and then line with baking paper –  The size I used was: 10 1/2 cm wide and 26 cm long.
  6. Spoon batter into the tin – at this stage you can decorate the bread with flaked coconut of sliced banana before baking.
  7. Bake for  50 – 55  minutes (a skewer inserted into the centre should come out dry).
  8. Cover the top with foil if over-browning.
  9. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before turning out the loaf. Enjoy.
+ notes & inspiration +

Serving Suggestions:
Ricotta + Honey
Almond / Macadamia Nut Butter
Sliced banana + manuka honey

I get many emails from people wanting recipe tips on how to bake with coconut flour – The secret is not to add too much of it! Coconut flour sucks up the liquid 3 – 4 times more than other flours you may be used to – this is because of it’s wonderful high fibre content. Eggs need to be added to give the bread structure, lightness and body. Adding chia seed adds the final touch and allows it to stay lovely and moist.

NOTES: 
I love to decorate the top of my banana bread before baking with a light sprinkle of cinnamon and flaked coconut.

If mixing by hand use 1 tbsp organic maple syrup, manuka honey or stevia in place of the dates.

You can purchase coconut flour in most quality health food stores or natural grocers.

To pump up the protein – Add 2 tablespoons of Organic Pea or Pure Native WPI

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