Paleo Banana Bread

Introduction

Banana bread — hell, bananas in general — is a weakness of mine, so you can only imagine how quickly I jumped on this recipe when I first stumbled across it some months ago. I’m very happy to report that the resulting loafs are delicious, with just the right amount of sweetness and a lovely crumbly texture to boot.

Note the pluralization, though. Unless you pour this into a big bread pan, you’ll probably want two loaf pans to accommodate the volume of mixture it creates. Said volume is dependent in part of the size of the bananas you use, so feel free to use four of them (or the jumbo ones that look a little silly) if you want to up the ante.

And if I may make a recommendation? Butter the slices with pastured butter. You will never be the same.

Ingredients

3 eggs, separated (keep the yolks and whites separate!)
4 or 5 tbsp honey (up to you!)
4 tbsp olive oil
3 mashed bananas (3 small, or 2-3 big)
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 cups almond flour
1 cup pecans or walnuts (optional, and likely broken into smaller pieces if you use them)

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Cream the egg yolks and honey in a large bowl until light and fluffy. I use a hand-held mixer for this. It takes about five minutes.

3. Add the olive oil, vanilla, and mashed banana to the bowl, mixing well.

4. In a smaller separate bowl, mix the cinnamon, baking powder and almond flour and sift well. You don’t have to do this, honestly, before you add it to the big bowl, but an even distribution of the spices and powder never hurts.

5. Add that mixture of spices and powder to the bowl and stir well.

6. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. A hand mixer is champion at this. Stiff peaks are vital.

7. Fold the egg whites into the banana mixture to pull it away from the sides before gradually folding the rest of the egg whites into the mixture.

8. If you’re the nutty type, go ahead and add your cup of pecans or walnuts to the mixture and stir well.

9. Lightly butter 2 foil bread loaf pans and pour the banana mixture in.

10. Place in oven for 40-45 minutes, though I always end up keeping them in for the latter.

The tops of the loaves should be a nice toasty brown by the 45-minute mark. Stick them with a toothpick and make sure it comes out clean. If so, you’re golden — set the loaves out to cool and enjoy!

One thing to consider: the loaf will harden and become more bread-like overnight, so don’t be surprised if it comes out pretty soft in the end. Banana bread always tastes better the next day, and these loaves are definitely no exception.

Misc Tips

Let the three eggs sit out and come to room temperature before separating them. This’ll make the egg whites form stiff peaks much faster than if the eggs were well-chilled in the fridge.

The Final Product

This is the worst possible time to be in the middle of a fast. Take a look:

 

Yes. Enjoy!

29 Comments

  1. Magda says:

    I was about to break down and bake normal banana bread, thinking there would be no paleo alternative, but then before getting my hands dirty, I googled for paleo recipes. Obviously was super extatic to find more than one option, but went for yours after some comparing. It turned out absolutely amazing, and I didn’t have to break paleo guidelines to enjoy it! Althogh I think my guy still doesn’t believe it’s completely paleo, since it’s a delicious baked desert! :D Thanks a lot & greetings from Switzerland

  2. Lisa says:

    Just making this now and the ingredients say baking powder and the directions say baking soda! I was knee-deep in it already so went with soda and I hope that’s right. I will let you know the results.

  3. Craig says:

    Correction:
    The “ingredients’ calls for baking powder, which I used but the cake is pretty much flat as a pancake, i assume it was supposed to be baking soda? Oh well, back to the drawing board (cave wall)

    • Matt Madeiro says:

      Hey Craig!

      That’s a tough one, man — I’ve used baking powder myself in the past and I’ve never had a flat bread, so I’m not sure what went wrong. I’m going to make the recipe again in a few days and try to verify, so I’ll let you know.

      One thing that might prove a stumbling point is the egg whites. They definitely need to be beaten until you get stiff, somewhat foamy peaks, and then you have to fold them in a scoop at a time so that the egg whites get plenty of air as they are added to the batter.

  4. Craig says:

    Thanks, you are exactly right, my egg whites weren’t whipped enough, i made a second batch and the bread was fluffy and perfect. Thanks-
    Second to that, great job on the blog. I’m just a week 1/2 into paleo and am astonished at the wealth of information that people like yourself are putting out there for those of us new to the idea and lifestyle. Much obliged.
    Craig in Cleveland

  5. Kristen says:

    I made this yesterday after craving banana bread for about a week now! We had it with breakfast this morning and it was amazing! It tastes just like real banana bread which was so surprising and exciting. I must have messed up the eggs just like Craig, though. Ours didn’t rise either, but it didn’t matter! I have a feeling I’ll be making it every week! Thanks Matt for sharing it, you saved us!!

  6. Micah says:

    Hi Matt, have made this a couple times a week for the last month – its amazing! Added an extra banana, some dates and walnuts and pretty much found the version I will settle on. Have enjoyed your other blog posts as well. Many thanks, Micah

  7. Natasha says:

    Hi, Any idea how many calories/kilojoules would be in each slice – just approximately.

    Thanks

    • Matt Madeiro says:

      I honestly don’t know, Natasha. I don’t count calories, so you’d have to calculate it out using the ingredients listed above.

  8. KL says:

    I’m ready to try making the Paleo Banana Bread recipe but have a question before I begin…At my natural foods co-op I picked up some (bulk) Almond Flour/Meal they called it, and it seemed much more meal-y than flour-y, kind of like coarsely ground almonds. Is this the way it’s supposed to be? Our co-op has a pretty extensive selection of flours, both bulk and packaged, and that’s all they had for ‘almond’ flour. Now I’m wondering if it’s the right thing to use.

    Also it was incredibly expensive, with the bulk price being $8.65 a lb, When recipes call for ‘cups’ of it, baking with this will get pretty pricey – whereas even organic coconut flour is much more affordable at $3.29 per lb.

    So, does this ‘almond flour/meal’ I found sound like the right stuff… And do you know of a good online source for good quality but affordable almond flour?

    Thanks for your input, and I can’t wait to try the bread recipe! :)

    • Matt Madeiro says:

      Hi, KL!

      As far as I can tell, almond flour/meal runs the gamut between coarse and slightly-less-coarse, so I wouldn’t worry too much about it. I’m not too sure of online varieties, but I’d look into Bob’s Red Mill or see what Amazon has to offer. Coconut flour bakes a little differently than Almond flour, but I don’t see the harm in trying it — just expect to have to tweak a little to make it work. :)

      And for what it’s worth, the price of the flour might work in your favor. Treats like Paleo banana bread should be just that: treats, and not something you make on a weekly basis. I make it only rare myself, so any expense involved seems pretty reasonable for the occasional indulgence. :)

  9. Mushi says:

    Making it now! It looks amazing in the oven and the batter that accidentally slipped from the bowl into my mouth, taste amazing as well! Can’t wait for it to come out of the oven and I can take it to work tomorrow!

    Much appreciated!

  10. Matt says:

    This stuff is AWESOME!!! I add an extra bananna for stronger flavor.

  11. Anna says:

    I tried this yesterday – Oh. My. God. It made me instantly very popular at home and as a beginner at paleo baking I was overjoyed with the result! Fluffy peak-eggwhites are indeed KEY. THANK YOU for putting this out there for us beginners. You rock!

  12. natalie says:

    Followed the directions to a T! Did not rise. However, it is delicious :) Thought that because it did not rise that it would be really dense. Not at all! The beaten egg whites gave it a very light texture and I love it!

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  14. Ashley says:

    Made this today. Amazing. Didn’t have a loaf tin so used a square cake tin and only cooked for 30 mins. Delish. …… Now to just stop eating it…….

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  16. Crystal says:

    Just made it!! Omg!!! Ill be making this all the time. My four year old loved it! I used 12 packets of stevia instead of the honey. And it was perfect!! Thanks for this recipe!!

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  18. Ariel says:

    Do you think I could use half coconut flour, half almond flour? Coconut flour is my favorite thing right now! Thanks!

  19. Ariel says:

    This response is for KL — if you have a Trader Joe’s near you they have Almond Meal/flour at around $5.50 / lb. Coconut flour is awesome but even more pricey, at least where I live!

  20. candace says:

    If anyone was curious to know the nutrition facts on this I have them. If you break this into 10 servings, the count is as follows:
    Calories 204
    Total Fat 13.2g
    Sat. Fat 1.7g
    Cholest. 63.5mg
    Sodium 70.6mg
    Carb. 19.8g
    Fiber 2.4g
    Sugars 13.5g
    Protein 4.9g

  21. Debbie says:

    Fabulous recipe – I have tried many different versions and the key is those fluffy egg whites. Having them at room temperature makes all the difference and the bread turned out perfect!

  22. Katie says:

    So, by the time I got everything whipped together, I found myself with an extremely dry looking batter, although I wouldn’t have called it a batter. Adding the whipped egg whites didn’t help… Is that what is supposed to look like pre-baked?? The reviews from this say it’s amazing, so I am sure I did something wrong. Poo. I added some coconut milk, water and apple sauce to moisten it up. I also wanted to see what it might do in other forms, so I put some in the form of cookies, and some in cupcake tins for muffins. I am about 20 minutes into baking and so far it smells amazing, but they look exactly like they did going in. Suggestions for next time, or is the dryer batter what we want??
    Thanks so much:)

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  24. Maria says:

    Have you tried these in muffin tins? I’d like to try them that way, but wasn’t sure if they would turn out.