Although both of my kids can now eat grains (!!), I still like to make grain-free baked goods as well. Grain-free baked goods have the advantage that they will often contain more eggs and healthy fats, so they are generally more-balanced in terms of fat, protein, and carb content. This is especially advantageous when I'm baking something for my kids to eat for breakfast.
Lately, I've been experimenting with developing baked good recipes that have no added sweeteners, instead relying on the sweetness of whole foods such as fruits. This recipe for Grain-Free Banana Nut Bread is sweetened with only bananas! It is mildly sweet, with lots of banana flavor and the yummy crunch of nuts. The bananas used in this recipe should be quite ripe, with lots of brown spots. That way, their natural sweetness will be able to sweeten the bread sufficiently.
The base for this recipe is a combination of tapioca starch, coconut flour, and arrowroot starch. The tapioca starch gives the bread a nice texture that holds together well like gluten-bread.
Grain-Free Banana Nut Bread (sugar-free)
Makes one loaf
Prep Time: 15-20 minutes
Bake Time: 52-58 minutes
Total Time: about 1 hour and 10 minutes
8 Tb (1 stick) butter, plus more for greasing the baking dish
1/2 cup tapioca starch
1/2 cup coconut flour
3/4 cup arrowroot flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp finely ground Celtic sea salt
4 large (or 5 small) very ripe bananas, to make ~2 cups of mashed bananas
3 large eggs, preferably from pastured hens
1/2 cup milk kefir (or substitute buttermilk)
1 tsp vanilla extract, preferably organic
3/4 cup chopped pecans, preferably prepared as crispy nuts (or substitute your favorite type of nuts)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Chop your nuts. If you're using raw nuts instead of crispy nuts, toast the nuts in a small skillet over medium-low heat for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. This will enhance the flavor of the nuts.
Generously grease your loaf pan with softened butter. I use a Pyrex 9X5 glass loaf pan for this recipe.
Melt 1 stick of butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Set aside and allow to cool a bit.
Combine the tapioca starch, coconut flour, arrowroot flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk it all together until well-mixed.
Mash the bananas in a large bowl. A potato masher works well to mash the bananas.
Add the eggs, kefir, and vanilla to the mashed bananas. Mix together well.
Mix the melted butter into the banana mixture.
Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
Fold in the chopped nuts with a large spoon or silicone spatula.
Pour the bread mixture into the loaf pan. Use a spoon or spatula to smooth out the top of the mixture.
Bake the bread for ~52-58 minutes. It will be done when it is nicely browned and set in the middle (you can lightly touch it, or check to see if a toothpick comes out clean).
Let cool for a few minutes, and then use a spatula or knife to go around the edges of the loaf. Cool until the loaf pan can be handled and then invert the pan to release the bread. Allow to cool completely before slicing.
I like to slice the bread with a Rada bread knife, which works superbly for this type of bread. Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer.
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