Banana Bread Recipe: Paleo, Grain-Free, Gluten Free, Dairy Free

Doesn't fresh banana bread make everything better? I have always loved banana bread since I can remember… the smell, the texture, the feeling that I'm eating something *kinda* good because it has fruit in it ;)

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When I first started eliminating gluten from my diet years and years ago, I realized that this was something that could still taste pretty normal even with the limited flour options I had access to at the time.

And now that I try to eat an even cleaner diet, my love is cemented by it's continued rock star ability to come out delicious no matter what crazy stuff I throw in the batter. Now, for those of you who are new to GF/Paleo baking, don't expect it to be exactly like your grandmama's recipe... That's like comparing apples to oranges, well maybe clementines to oranges. They're pretty darn close. Just expect it to be delicious. It won't be dry or crumbly like a lot of GF breads. It will be a tad more dense, but not quite the brick loaf you might expect.

Here is the version I made this weekend with my 4 year old daughter (who did most of the work!) It's gluten free, dairy free, and grain free. I still haven't mastered an egg free version that is still grain free, so if you did, please share! You can also certainly make it with or without nuts and change up the mix-ins as you like. Have fun!

2 very ripe bananas (roughly 1 c + 1 tbsp)

2 1/2 T maple syrup (honey is probably the better option, but we were out)

3 1/2 tbsp coconut oil, melted (you can sub butter if you'd like)

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 babyfood packet of pureed prunes (can sub 1/4 c applesauce instead)

4 eggs

3/4 c almond flour (If you use almond meal, you may decrease to 1/2 c and increase coconut flour to 1/2 c)

1/4 c coconut flour

3/4 tsp baking soda

1 small pinch of sea salt

Optional add-ins/toppers:

Flax seed, chia seed, nuts, pumpkin seeds- I used about a tbsp of chia seeds in the mix, and topped with walnuts and pumpkin seeds.

Preheat oven to 340F.

I like to line my loaf pan with parchment paper for easy release, but you could also grease it with a little coconut oil.

In a medium bowl, mash your bananas and then add all wet ingredients.

In another bowl, mix your dry ingredients (except for any add-ins) then combine with the wet ingredients. Then toss in your seeds and/or nuts. I never measure these, but most recipes are 1/4- 1/2c nuts or 1 tbsp or so of chia/flax seeds.

The batter will be runny at this point. Let it set for two minutes for the flours and seeds to absorb some of the liquid which will help with texture.

If it's still really runny, add in almond or coconut flour a teaspoon at a time until a somewhat liquidy, pancake consistency is reached. However, you don't want a thick batter- that'll give you that brick-like loaf, so only do this if it's really thin.

Pour the mixture into your pan. Sprinkle the top with nuts or seeds to taste. (I used pumpkin seeds).

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Bake about 40 minutes, but if it takes up to an hour, don't be surprised. It'll depend on a few factors like your oven, the humidity, and how liquidy your batter was. Using my convection setting, it took my loaf about 45 minutes. If you stick a toothpick or cake tester in the center, it will come out clean when it's ready.

Pro-tip: when you take it out of the oven, turn it on its side while still in the pan to cool. This helps to prevent the post-baking collapse that happens with a lot of GF breads.

Enjoy it plain or with a pat of soy-free, vegan butter... there's no wrong way. You can use muffin tins to make a great on-the-go breakfast, too!

Let me know how yours turns out!

PS- my sister and brother got all the photography skills in the family, so no judgment please ;)

NourishmentErin Collins