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Stupidly Easy Banana Bread

Stupidly Easy Banana Bread-2

One afternoon late last year, Fergal and I were out on our daily walk when a car pulled over and stopped in front of us. Given we live on a quite country road, you can imagine this made me a bit wary….

I was relieved when a super fit lady got out of the car. She didn’t look too dangerous. Anyway she ran across the road, introduced herself as Heather and asked if we knew about the local play group.

I told her we did and were planning to start going in the new year.

Fast forward a few months and I’m not sure who is loving play group more… Fergal or me.

While he get to explore the swings and sand pit and bikes and trucks, I get to chat with the other mothers about growing veggies, knitting, how to operate a chain saw and of course cooking!

So when Heather said she had the best banana bread recipe, I quickly gave her my email address. When the email came through with the title ‘Stupidly Easy Banana Bread’ I knew it would be a winner.

Trust me it lives up to its name!

But that’s not all.. I’ll let you in on another of its virtues. Yep, it’s sugar-free.

I love how the ripe bananas, cinnamon and coconut oil provide enough sweetness without needing any extra sweetener.

Since I’ve decided to make April my first ever month of going sugar-free, I’m planning on trying out a few of the variations below. Especially the carrot and ginger.

And while we’re talking sugar-free baking… Do you have any delicious sugar-free recipes? Or tips for going sugar-free? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below…

Stupidly Easy Banana Bread-2

Stupidly Easy Banana Bread

Adapted from my lovely neighbour Heather.

I love this ‘bread’ served as a cake for afternoon tea with some double cream. OR it’s also lovely toasted for breakfast smeared with butter or ricotta.

enough for 6-8
takes: 45 minutes

3 ripe bananas
100g (3.5oz) coconut oil, melted
3 eggs
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
220g (8oz) almond meal

1. Preheat your oven to 160C (320F) fan assisted. Line a loaf pan 24cm x 12cm (approx 9.5in x 5in) with baking paper.

2. Mash bananas until smoothish then add coconut oil, eggs, baking powder, cinnamon (if using) and almond meal. Thoroughly mix everything

3. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until the loaf is golden and feels springy when you touch it.

4. Cool in the pan then slice and serve.

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Variations

different spices – Heather uses a combo of nutmeg and cinnamon but I didn’t have any nutmeg so skipped it. Ginger or mixed spice would also be lovely.

no coconut oil – just use melted unsalted butter. Or Heather says she sometimes skips the oil.

less oil – Heather uses 35g (1.25oz) coconut oil but I prefer more to make it super moist and help lower the GI.

coconut oil too hard – just pop your jar in the oven while it preheats. Be careful not to forget about it!

nut-free – you could try replacing the almond meal with flour, I’d probably increase the oil as well.

no fan assist on your oven? – increase the set temp to 180C (350F).

no banana – I did try this with pureed ripe figs and while it was OK, I preferred the banana version. But talking to Heather today she said she was short of bananas and substituted in some grated carrot and cloves and it was a winner. Will be trying that this weekend for some Easter baking. I’m also keen to try substituting in mashed roast sweet potato or roasted pears.

And if you’re following the Jules & David Project, you can read all about menu thirteen: feeling italian (part 2) over here.

Happy Easter!

Big love,
Jules x

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{ 48 comments… add one }
  • Jill 31 March, 2015, 3:06 pm

    Thanks for posting this one Jules, looks really easy and great for the weekend. Do you have any suggestions for keeping it grain free while not using almond meal? The kids are not allowed anything made with nuts at their schools. I’m not that great at converting recipes to coconut flour yet…

    • carol 1 April, 2015, 10:32 am

      Jill: I live in China, so I am not sure what is available where you are, but…..you can probably look on line……I am gluten intolerant so I try a lot of different flours….having said that, I like potato flour-it is very smooth almost like pastery flour but very dense so I usually “fluff it up” with a little fine ground corn meal. We also have “bean flour” – I am not sure what type of bean is used maybe chickpeas, or mung. I doubt soy because that is an export crop. And there is the tapioca root flour-you have to be careful with this because sometimes it seems to make things rubbery and taste a little like a band-aid, depending on the source and batch of flour.
      I think most of the no wheat, no grain flours work best when used mixed not just straight. I feel like I get better texture in the results and less heavy gumminess.
      Happy flour picking :-)

      • jules 1 April, 2015, 12:42 pm

        Thanks for sharing Carol! You’ve reminded me I’ve been playing with a mix of chickpea flour and rice flour and have had some success in sweet pastry… I agree that a blend seems to be better with GF flours :)

    • jules 1 April, 2015, 12:30 pm

      That’s a tough one Jill!
      Sorry I can’t help… I’ve given up on coconut flour too :)
      Jx

      • Ana 4 April, 2015, 8:39 pm

        May I ask why?
        Also, I would love to know the measurements for the carrot substitution.
        Thank you!

        • jules 7 April, 2015, 4:12 pm

          Hi Ana
          I’m going to try about the same amount as the banana so about 400g grated carrot (14oz)… and if it turns out not sweet enough will either add some stevia or just serve it with a drizzle of honey ;)
          Jx

  • Jo 31 March, 2015, 5:27 pm

    I’ve made a very similar recipe with pureed steams sweet potato instead of banana. It was pretty good but had a slightly bitter after taste. Slicing and spreading it with almond butter made it a winner! (from the iquitsugar website)

    • jules 1 April, 2015, 12:31 pm

      Sounds lovely Jo! I’m wondering if some vanilla would help with the bitter taste? Or if you used too much cinnamon?
      Jx

  • Linda 31 March, 2015, 7:59 pm

    That Heather’s a good one! I’d have been worried at the van pulling up next to me too… mainly that I was about to get abducted by a crazy lady and her tribe of kids. ;)

    I have the I Quit Sugar Cookbook if you want to borrow it for inspiration. I’ll bring it to the next PG thing. Sorry I missed you today!

    Linda. x

    • jules 1 April, 2015, 12:32 pm

      Thx Linda! I already have the IQS book… We missed you this week! Jx

      • Heather 1 April, 2015, 2:54 pm

        LOL – you girls! O with his chainsaw and all….

  • Deborah 31 March, 2015, 8:39 pm

    Hi Jules,
    Can’t wait to try the banana bread! In the interest of my colleagues’ health, I decided to de-sugar my Anzacs. As per the recipe I substituted the sugar and golden syrup with rice malt syrup. While there wasn’t really anything wrong with them, they just weren’t right. There are some recipes you really shouldn’t mess with!
    Look forward to more sugar free tips!

    • jules 1 April, 2015, 12:34 pm

      Hi Deborah! Thx for sharing your experience with sugar-free Anzacs… I know what you mean about not being quite right… Jx

  • Mezza 31 March, 2015, 10:17 pm

    Looks delicious! Will definitely give this recipe a go!
    Thanks :-)

    • jules 1 April, 2015, 12:35 pm

      It’s even better than it looks Mezza! xx

  • Jenna 1 April, 2015, 3:08 am

    I find that going sugar free is easiest when I’m not eating any grains or dairy and have something sweet to eat when I have sugar cravings (which die down pretty quickly with no grains and no dairy anyway), like your pecan butter dates, fruit, or some sweet-ish nuts (like walnuts). Also herbal tea, or tea with stevia is nice. Water with apple cider vinegar (preferably raw) with a little stevia is nice too, or water with lemon.

    • jules 1 April, 2015, 12:35 pm

      Thanks Jenna! I’ve stocked up on herbal tea today so great minds :)

  • ceridwen 1 April, 2015, 3:26 am

    I shall watch these sugar-free recipes with interest. I’ve literally not understood for quite some time just why people are still using sugar in anything. The information has been out there for quite some time as to just how unhealthy it is.

    • jules 1 April, 2015, 12:38 pm

      It’s because it’s delicious Ceridwen!
      And more addictive than cocaine… I’ve been telling myself that once or twice a week is ok… But have finally decided to see if cutting it out completely makes a difference… Jx

  • Jos 1 April, 2015, 5:09 am

    Yum. On my list for Easter baking! I make pancakes using banana, egg and coconut flour. So yummy. As for sugar free tips. Def put your stevia to use if you need sweetener. I tend to up the savoury – crowd out sweet as much as possible.

    • jules 1 April, 2015, 12:39 pm

      Great Jos! Have already dried some stevia and finding it lovely to add sweetness to tea.. I like your idea of upping the savoury! Jx

  • carol 1 April, 2015, 10:17 am

    Hi, other easy sugar free sweeteners are applesauce-very subtle usually takes place of some liquid too(cut back on ‘oil’ ingredient);
    honey-usually very sweet so a little goes a long way
    Concentrated white grape juice-similar to honey but with a fruttie flavor
    Love this banana bread recipe it is almost the same as a muffin recipe I use. I am gluten intolerant and my husband is on a very low-fat restricted diet, so imagine this recipe with brown rice/almond flour mix, applesauce instead of coconut oil, and tons of blueberries…..YUM YUM no one feels denied!

    • carol 1 April, 2015, 10:37 am

      Oops…..meant to clarify…egg whites not whole eggs.

    • jules 1 April, 2015, 12:40 pm

      Love the idea of adding blueberries Carol! They’re Fergals favourites xx

  • Angela 1 April, 2015, 10:41 am

    Looking forward to trying this. I have almond flour I’ve been meaning to use. Is there a way to print just the recipe? I find that easier than trying to look at my computer screen when cooking, and I don’t want to print the entire article. Thanks.

    • jules 1 April, 2015, 12:44 pm

      Yes Angela, there’s a ‘Print Friendly’ button at the bottom of the blog post which helps you choose which parts to print :)

      • Angela 2 April, 2015, 9:08 am

        Thank you from a “tech impaired” person!

  • Cherie 1 April, 2015, 11:15 am

    I just popped this bad boy in the oven. Perfect for our road trip for the Easter weekend tomorrow (if it lasts that long!) So simple Jules – thanks for the post.

  • Julie Zervos 2 April, 2015, 8:08 pm

    I just made this and it is just so yummy. I have to say that I have tried making quite a few grain free breads and this is the best one I have every made. Thanks so much Jules.

  • Marthe 2 April, 2015, 10:59 pm

    Any idea if this works egg free? I’m tempted to try it with vegan egg replacer…

    • jules 7 April, 2015, 4:07 pm

      I’m not really familiar with egg-free baking Im afraid Marthe… but it should work if you have a good substitute
      Jx

  • Mark 3 April, 2015, 8:42 pm

    Coconut rough Balls are really simple, sugar free and my 17 year old son will eat them.

    In a food processor put 1 cup of desiccated coconut, 10 fresh pitted dates, ( the recipe I first saw said Medjool dates but I found some picked from the fronds making them more moist rather than the semi dried and falling to the ground medjool), 1 tablespoon cacao powder and some coconut milk or cream drizzled into the food processor as the dates are broken up. I roll teaspoon and a half into balls and into the fridge to firm up. I never make this quantity anymore, I double or triple the quantities.

  • Sarah 4 April, 2015, 11:24 am

    I’ve been Diabetic since I was a kid. My mom always subbed applesauce for the sugar. I never noticed a difference. Now I don’t eat much for grains and I’m a terrible baker but I have a muffin recipe that calls for smashed yam or pumpkin and applesauce. They are very sweet and delicious!

    • jules 7 April, 2015, 4:05 pm

      Thanks for Sharing Sarah!
      Your mom was very clever :)

  • Liz 7 April, 2015, 10:20 pm

    Hi I’d just like to say if your going sugar free and you want the benifits of not having any sugar cravings as in zero sugar cravings, be careful using sugar substitutes such as dates, rice malt syrup, honey etc because if you have a serious sugar addiction going on, these “healthy” substitutes will trigger sugar cravings.

    • jules 14 April, 2015, 9:39 am

      Thx Liz! I actually count all those as sugar so won’t have them during my sugar-free month Jx

  • Karin 14 May, 2015, 1:12 am

    Just made this for the first time today. Tastes very good with some butter on it… And really easy! Next time I will add half a teaspoon of salt as well – I think it will bring out the yummy flavours even more.

  • Steffi 7 October, 2015, 2:24 am

    Hi! Thanks for this lovely recipe, it turned out perfect even though I didn’t have enough almond meal and substituted whole grain flour and oats…looking forward to breakfast already :)

  • Bridget 18 October, 2015, 10:35 am

    Hi,
    My daughter is also diabetic, diagnosed when she was 6 1/2 years old but is now 20. I always loved finding good diabetic cookbooks and the most common link between them was using natural substitutes such as sweetening with banana as above, adding a bit of sultanas etc.
    I wouldn’t substitute with the same amount of honey as this would also raise the BSL (blood sugar) levels but my general rule of thumb when baking was to use half the amount of sugar that is suggested for each recipe. I found we adjusted quite easily and often if I’d used the amount of sugar from the original recipe suggestion I/we would would have found it way too sweet anyway!

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