gluten-free coconut banana bread

And the doves flew out of her hair! Yes, we know this to be true, because in a strange, topsy-turvy world, she was free of her constant craving. She felt awake, energized and pining to make foods she never thought she’d like (grilled beets, anyone?).

Although it’s only been a week since I’ve gone off dairy, refined flours and sugars, I’ve noticed a marked change in my body. No longer did I experience rapid mood fluctuations from sugary highs (the 3pm cookie craving all but disappeared), and I felt fuller from all the complex carbohydrates and proteins.

I started to feel that I was no longer running through quicksand. Not only did I have enough energy to sustain me through five workouts, but I slept the deep sleep of children. And a funny thing happened — I reverted back to a time in 2004 when I fastidiously trolled clean-eating websites, read books (e.g. Michael Pollan), studied food labels. Fueled by the knowledge of the origin of my meals, I had become hyper-aware about what I put in my body. Over the years I had become a bit lax, and soon cleaved to a simple, boring diet. Yet this week changed all of that. I found myself poring over Kristin of Pastry Affair’s month-long journey toward veganism, and how diet modifications completely altered her relationship with food (in a good way), bringing her to a more mindful, healthful place. I researched ways one could cook lentils, found new ways to make kale go further and farther, and most importantly, discovered new ways to indulge in sweets without breaking my experiment.

Who knew that trying to find the RIGHT recipe for making banana bread would take THREE HOURS. After studying a few standby cookbooks and hours of sifting through gluten-free recipes (yes, apparently nixing white flour and dairy makes me a gluten-free/vegan gal, I guess) to find a recipe that wouldn’t make me cringe in terror.

Enter my newfangled attempt at making a sweet Coconut Banana Bread. And believe me when I say that this bread sings. We’re not going to talk about how I spent ten minutes huffing coconut flour and say we did. And yet, I felt satiated with the two flours, which are rich in fiber Vitamin E and protein, among other nutritional benefits. With the help of a leavening agent (gluten-free flours are tough to rise), I ended up with an uber-moist loaf and a renewed belief that this experiment is pushing me out of my comfort zone.

And we all need to be kicked out of our comfort zone.

3/4 tsp of baking soda
1/2 tsp of sea salt
3/4 cup of almond flour
1/4 cup of coconut flour
1 tbsp of olive oil
1 tbsp pistachio oil
3 large eggs
2 very ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 cup of mashed banana)
1/4 cup of maple syrup
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

Preheat your oven to 350° F/175° C. Using a spatula or wooden spoon, combine all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl until they’re beautifully blended. Lightly brush a 8×5 loaf pan with grapeseed oil.

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the eggs, maple syrup, and oils. With a fork, slowly incorporate the wet ingredients into the dry ones. Then mix in your mashed bananas. Don’t freak out! The dough will be looser then your typical banana bread recipe, but the flours will absorb the wet ingredients and your cake will be BANANAS MOIST.

Bake for 40 minutes, or until browned and a toothpick inserted in the middle of the bread comes out clean. Allow the bread to cool for 10-15 minutes in the pan before turning out onto a rack. I CANNOT EXPRESS ENOUGH THE IMPORTANCE OF THIS STEP. Failure to let the bread set will yield a crumbly mess. Be patient. Read a magazine. Dream of eating the loaf, etc. Once your 10-15 minutes are up, turn onto a rack and cool for another 5 minutes.



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