Is there a better and more delicious way of repurposing bananas that have been ripened to within an inch of their lives? I think not.
The bananas shown in the pictures here are not nearly ripe enough – I had to rush out and buy a fresh hand for prop purposes. My banana bread window is from when multiple soft dark spots start to appear on the skin all the way until the bananas have been refrigerated and the peel starts resembling brown paper bags. The banana flavor is so intense at this point and the fruit is softer making them much easier to mash.
I guess what I decided to call this loaf could have you expecting some kind of super sterile, dried out franken-loaf. It’s not. It’s kind of sexy and really quite healthy. I like to keep my banana bread more in the territory of, well, bread rather than dessert but this one is leveled up with so much of the good stuff. My point being this is the healthiest thing that came out of my oven in a long time!
I made two mini loaves but this recipe should be just enough for one 9 x 5 loaf. I used:
1 1/2 cups spelt flour
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1/2 cup unsweetened desiccated coconut
1 1/2 cups mashed banana
1/2 cup virgin coconut oil
1/2 cup muscovado sugar
1 t vanilla extract
2/3 cup toasted walnuts
2 T flaxseed (My mother is obsessed with flaxseed right now and sprinkles them in lieu of sesame seeds when cooking/sneaks them in whenever possible. I thought my fried egg had a weird texture to it one morning and, lo and behold, flaxseed. Mom.)
2 T chia seed
1. Preheat your oven to 160 c/ 320 F. Add spelt flour, baking soda, salt, and desiccated coconut into a medium bowl and mix well with a fork. Set aside. Mash bananas in a large bowl.
2. Add coconut oil, eggs, muscovado sugar, and vanilla extract to mashed bananas and stir or whisk to mix well.
3. Transfer the flour mixture into this bowl and mix well with a spatula until all white traces of flour are gone.
4. Add in toasted walnuts (I like to break mine up a bit before tossing them in), flaxseed, and chia seed.
5. Give everything a final stir and transfer to a loaf pan that’s been greased (coconut oil) and floured. Pop in the oven and bake until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Mine took 35 minutes.
If you’re using a 9 x 5 loaf pan, I would start checking at the 50-minute mark for doneness.
This bread smelled uh-mazing while it was baking. Does anybody make banana bread candles? That could totally be a thing!
When done, let cool on a rack for about 30 minutes. I’m not very good at doing that myself but do try.
This loaf has a hearty crust and a soft, moist crumb. The banana flavor is quite robust with an undercurrent of coconut but because the bread is chock-full of walnut and flaxseed and chia seed it’s also very nutty. The latter three ingredients + desiccated coconut also give this bread a load of texture – it crunches, pops, chews. It feels and tastes…abundant.
Which, hey, is a great word to start the year with! Don’t forget – new year, new you and all that jazz. Or nah, maybe a fabulous new banana bread recipe will do. Happy new year, kids. 😉
Fun Food Fact: Flaxseed is a nutritional powerhouse with the highest omega-3 fatty acid content out of 127 of the world’s healthiest foods. I guess my mom’s onto something after all.