Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Paleo Coconut Pecan Banana Bread

One day before Christmas I was looking for something healthy I could make to nibble on that my family might also enjoy. And, I’ve been having a serious sweet tooth since I’ve been instructed by my naturopath to go sugar-free. Well what’s a girl to do on a holiday with tons of chocolate, cookies, pies and cakes floating around in front of her?

Even if this has a little bit of added sugar to it, it’s still much better than wolfing down iced sugar cookies or the cream puffs my grandmother brought. Arrgh!

But it’s okay. I can honestly say that this gluten/dairy/sugar free diet I’m on has been a great learning experience in terms of learning to listen to my body as well as nutritional health. Its also been fun experimenting with new foods and recipes. Just last night, my boyfriend said he has really enjoyed all of the new meals I’ve been making. And here I’ve been worried that he will feel that they are too boring! But I can eat well on this diet; it’s just a matter of research and preparation. This is something I find really saves me and keeps me on track. (I will save this topic for another blog soon).

So…. What to make? I wanted something sweet but with minimal refined sugar. I LOVE bananas and haven’t had them in so long since I can’t really eat them on their own due to excess sugar (fructose affects me, too). I Googled “gluten free” and “paleo” banana bread, and found a few recipes that inspired me. I kinda morphed two recipes together: one from Paleo Effect and Three New Leaves. I liked that the Paleo Effect recipe combined coconut and almond flours together, as I thought just almond flour might be too light. A bit of coconut flour makes it more moist and dense. But, you need to add more moisture when using coconut flour, so keep that in mind. And Matt on his site Three New Leaves, he separates his yolks and whites, to beat the egg whites until stiff to fold in at the last step, giving the bread more “lift.” He also adds pecans – and I love nuts in everything from breads, cookies and even crusted on my pork loin I made last night.  And since I also love coconut, I decided to add this to the top to give it a different spin.



½ C raw unsweetened shredded coconut

¼ C raw brown sugar or other sugar you prefer

¼ C organic butter, cut into small cubes

¼ C raw chopped pecan pieces

Make this first and then set in fridge. Combine ingredients in a small bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until resembling a crumbly appearance.

Paleo Banana Coconut Pecan Bread

3 Jumbo Organic Grass Fed Eggs, yolks and white separated (I like Omega 3 eggs from Trader Joes)

¼ C raw brown sugar

1/2 C Coconut oil or butter, melted

3-4 extra-ripe mashed bananas

1 T gluten free vanilla extract

1 ½ C Almond meal or flour (I like meal since it has more fiber with skins on)

½ C Raw organic coconut flour

1 C crushed pecans - save ¼ C for topping

2 t cinnamon

1 t baking soda

1 t baking powder

Pinch of Pink Himalayan sea salt

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease a loaf pan. Mix the egg yolks and next 4 ingredients together in a small bowl. Next, mix together dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add the wet to the dry. In the small bowl now empty, beat egg whites on high until stiff peaks form, about 4-5 minutes. Carefully fold whites into the batter. Pour batter into the greased loaf pan. Grab the topping out of the fridge and sprinkle on top. Bake in oven for about 35-45 minutes.

Tip: You may want to cover the bread with foil halfway through if it starts to brown too much. Then take off about 5-10 minutes before done - you will know when a knife or toothpick comes out of the center clean. 

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