Welcome to my home, firm, sweetly yellow bananas. You’re beautiful. You’re perfectly ripe. I know you holler for me every time I pass the fruit bowl. “Me! Me! I’m perfect! Eat me now!” I hear you. I’m just ignoring you.
But here’s the thing, I have a plan for you. I’m going to reach for the apples and nectarines. That avocado you’re leaned against is very important because it was very expensive. I’ll get to everyone but you and just when you think you’ve aged past grace, I’m going to reach for you. That’s when you’re perfect in my eyes. That’s when you’ll come with me, into the oven to become more delicious than you ever thought possible. K, banana? Trust me… I’ll like you better as bread.
This banana bread is a happy…. I won’t say ‘accident’… but a happy happening. I loosely followed classic banana bread proportions but subbed more healthful ingredients.
This is one of those recipes I stood in front of the pantry (staring down a loose bag of almond flour I discovered) brainstorming and crossing my fingers.
You can do the same, but I’ll give you several hints of what to pull from the pantry:
• almond flour – gluten-free, super nutritious, moist, helps regulate blood sugar – an all around work horse for healthful baking.
• oat flour – I just ground old-fashioned oats in a spice grinder. Oat flour helps with binding.
• flax seed meal – Again I ground whole flax seeds into meal in my spice grinder. Flax seeds add omegas, moisture, and help with binding the bread crumb together.
• spices, baking soda, and salt.
• 3 dead and gone bananas, mashed.
• a bit of honey or maple to sweeten along with eggs, yogurt (you can use dairy-free or buttermilk), and vanilla.
This bread comes together very simply, as banana bread should – whisk together dry ingredients, whisk together wet ingredients, combine the two. Add chocolate because this is a treat!
Allow the banana batter to rest for 10 minutes, helping the flour absorb the moisture from the banana, eggs, and yogurt. You’ll notice that the batter fluffs a bit (thanks baking soda) and thickens a bit as it rests.
Bake, somehow waiting patiently, for a long while. There’s so much moisture in this bread – it bakes for just about an hour. I rotated the pan halfway through baking.
Let the bread cool before transferring the bread from the pan to a wire rack. The bread is still cooking in the pan just out of the oven. This bread will be moist and stay moist. Store it in the refrigerator for constant snacking – the best way to eat bananas. I’m certain.
Almond Flour Banana Bread
- 2 1/2 cups almond flour
- 2 tablespoons oat flour
- 3 tablespoons flax seed meal
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 ripe bananas, mashed
- 3 large eggs
- 1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
- 1/4 cup yogurt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a loaf pan, line it with parchment paper so that two flaps hang over two sides and grease the parchment paper too. If you don’t have parchment paper, maybe foil would work but parchment is best.
- In a medium bowl whisk together all of the dry ingredients.
- In a small bowl, mash bananas, whisk in eggs, honey or maple, yogurt and vanilla.
- Stir the wet ingredients into the dry until thoroughly combined. Fold in the chocolate chips, reserving some for the top. Allow dough to rest for 10 minutes.
- Spoon batter into prepared pan and bake for 50-60 minutes, rotating the pan once during baking. It’s a long bake because the bread is super moist. Use a skewer inserted into the center of the bread to check for doneness – dry or a few moist crumbs means the bread is done – wet batter means the bread needs more time.
- Allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes before running a butter knife around the edges and removing the bread to a wire rack. Cool to room temperature. Wrap individual slices in plastic wrap and freeze or store in the refrigerator for up to five days.