[Paleo] Banana Bread

Paleo Update:  We’re in the home stretch!  Only 3 more days of our strict Paleo challenge.  How convenient that February 1st happens to land on a Friday (happy hour, grocery shopping, celebrating). 😉  Ready for some random Paleo insights?

  • When you’re living a Paleo lifestyle, it doesn’t really matter what meal of the day it is.  Let me explain… Traditionally, we think of breakfast as bacon, eggs, cereal, oatmeal, you know, “breakfast foods.”  Lunch may consist of a sandwich and a bag of chips or a salad with some fruit and then dinner is your iconic meat and potatoes with dessert.  Well, on Paleo I’ve come to notice that all of my meals follow similar structures.  Since we’re trying to eat mostly protein with healthy fats and a side of veggies, it doesn’t seem out of place to eat half a chicken breast with a scoop of avocado for breakfast or scrambled eggs with sugar snap peas for lunch.  Sound weird?  I thought so but I’m used to it now.  Plus I like eating leftover salmon or pulled pork for breakfast – so much more satisfying than toast! 😉
  • I admit it – a Paleo lifestyle definitely cuts into your social life.  Just in a single month, Jon and I have had to miss out on so many activities/events we would have normally taken part in.  These included things like a beer fest event, weekly office happy hours, and celebrations in the office.  I mean, we could attend all of these events but we couldn’t take part in the essence of them and where’s the fun in that?  We both definitely miss being able to have a beer or a glass of wine and grabbing a slice of pizza at the office party.  In addition, Paleo makes it more complicated to make lunch/dinner plans with friends.  While there are usually Paleo-friendly options, we have to search menus ahead of time and pre-plan what we’re going to order.  On the bright side, we’ve saved a noticeable amount of money by not eating/going out.

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Like chili recipes, everyone seems to have their own favorite banana bread recipe that they swear by.  Well let me tell you, this is hands down my favorite banana bread.  Considering it’s a Paleo recipe, I think that’s saying a lot.  This bread is unbelievably moist and bursting with luscious banana and flavorful cinnamon.  It’s amazing to me that there’s no wheat flour or refined sugar added.  Gluten-free people this one is for you!

Not to sound like an infomercial but wait, it gets better!  Like my Paleo Pumpkin Bread Bars, this bread batter can be made in a blender!  Incredible, right?  That means no mixer and no bowls.  Just a blender and a spatula!

This is not a light and airy bread – It’s a bit dense but since it’s so moist, it just feels like you’re eating something decadent.  I’m not exaggerating – I’ve made this bread 3 times already and it hasn’t even been a month!  I recommend spreading a little cashew butter on top for an extra indulgence. 😉  For my non-Paleo friends, go crazy and spread some nutella on top!

Another great thing about this recipe is that it’s easily customizable.  Add some chocolate chips, dried cranberries, orange zest, or whatever else you’ve got on hand!  I cut this loaf into 8 (good size!) slices and they come out to roughly 250 calories each – not too bad!

Paleo-Banana-Bread_1

[Paleo] Banana Bread

Inspired by Civilized Caveman Cooking

Makes 8 slices

Ingredients

  • 4 ripe bananas
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup almond butter (or any nut butter)
  • 1.5 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • optional: 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg or all-spice, 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • optional: dried cranberries, orange zest, chocolate chips

What to Do

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F) and lightly grease a loaf pan.
  2. Add the ripe bananas, eggs, almond butter, coconut oil, honey and vanilla extract to your blender.  (Remember, you can melt your coconut oil by placing the jar in a bowl of hot tap water.)
  3. Blend on high for 15-20 seconds, scraping down sides if necessary.
  4. Add the coconut flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and optional ingredients.
  5. Blend on high for 20-30 seconds, scraping down sides if necessary.
  6. Pour batter into your loaf pan.
  7. Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until inserted knife comes out clean.
  8. Allow the loaf to cool slightly then slice and enjoy.

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36 thoughts on “[Paleo] Banana Bread

    • Thank you, Joan. That really means a lot to me! I’m actually thinking about posting a few Paleo updates in February as we transition from our strict Paleo diet to a more normalized (75-80%) Paleo lifestyle. I think it may be interesting to see how “regular” foods affect my Paleo system and if I feel any better or worse.

  1. Leah! a Paleo life seems sacrificial but good! Not sure when I’ll get along to trying a Paleo diet.. but this banana bread recipe looks yummy! I love banana bread – and I haven’t yet come across a banana bread recipe that I do not like!

    Congrats on sticking to your Paleo diet! 3 more days to celebration!

    felicia

    • Thanks, Felicia! You’re right – I like the phrase “sacrificial but good” as it’s so true! There have been a lot of highs and lows but overall I’m really happy we did it. 🙂 As for this banana bread, you don’t need to go Paleo to try it. It’s so thick and moist that you won’t even think it’s a “diet-approved” food!

  2. Wow! That’s quite the plug for this banana bread–makes me want to try it right now!! Ugh, it would ALMOST fit within my detox qualifications, except for the eggs. I’ll have to wait until next week 🙂 I love that your paleo challenge led you to this unique new banana bread favorite!

    • Ps. I agree with the second comment–I’m going to miss these posts! I’ve developed a fascination with them. But I can’t believe you only have three more days, that’s so exciting!!!

      • I feel like I should say I exaggerated when I described this banana bread but I honestly don’t think I am. This has been the best Paleo “treat” we’ve made this month and Jon and I both absolutely love it… enough to make it 3 weeks in a row! Definitely let me know if you give it a try – maybe we’re biased. 😉

        Seriously, trying new ingredients and cooking in new ways has been one of the best parts about our Paleo challenge! Prior to January, I had never cooked with or tried coconut flour, almond flour, coconut oil, dates, almond butter, cashew butter, etc!

        Honestly, it has kind of become a fascination for me to track and share my experiences too. It’s a great way to catelog the highs and lows of our challenge. I mentioned to Joan that I think I’m going to continue with a few Paleo updates in February as we transition from 100% to 75-80%. So no worries, Paleo updates are here to stay for a few more weeks! I hope your detox is going well – I can’t wait to hear about it!

        I’ve been noticing some changes over your way. I’m super excited to hear all about that too! Sorry I wrote you a book in reply to your comment. Have a great rest of your week. 🙂

  3. Nice recipe! I am so stingy with my nut butter because I like them plain so when I saw half a cup of nut butter I just flashed to my new jar of sunbutter and thought noooooooo.

    • Haha, I get where you’re coming from. Nut butters are fairly expensive! I agree that I like eating them plain but I enjoy baking with them just as much. I’ve never tried sunbutter – is that made from sunflower seeds? How does the taste/consistency compare to other nut butters?

    • Thanks, Heather. It’s been really enlightening and fun for me to share our experience. I definitely think we’ll eat different and be much more conscious of what we are eating. Although January and our challenge is just about over, Jon and I hope to continue to live a 75-80% Paleo lifestyle going forward. We recognize that we’ll have “cheat meals” and indulge in a beer or a piece of chocolate and we’re completely okay with that.

      You’re right – We have gotten used to a lot of the changes. We’re going to keep tracking our calories because it’s actually really surprising how much you’re eating when you’re keeping count. Also, we’ve discovered some seriously great recipes/ingredients that we love and plan to continue using going forward (dates, nut butters, almond/coconut flour, etc).

    • Yay, I’m glad I’ve gotten you to start thinking some Paleo thoughts! 😉 Let me know if you get a chance to pick up that coconut flour and what you choose to make with it! I’m sure you’ll come up with something delicious!

  4. Hi Leah, I can’t believe that this banana bread is paleo friendly! It looks so much like the real thing that I might even get my husband to try going paleo. 🙂 Anyways, great job and thanks for all the paleo friendly recipes that you’ve been posting. I’m really enjoying them.

    • Thank you so much for your feedback – I really appreciate every word of it! This banana bread really surprised us too – I bet if you make it for your husband, he wouldn’t even realize it’s a “diet” gluten-free bread! 😉

  5. I went to yoga tonight and what kind of book did I see sitting behind the receptionist’s desk? Yup! A book about Paleo. My girlfriend who I go to class with new all about it. I had not heard about this movement till I read your blog. Good luck with your change in diet! The recipes look very similar to Tosca Reno’s Clean Eating. ~Thea

    • That’s awesome, Thea! I feel like Paleo is really catching on and gaining a following recently. To me, it’s worth looking into because it’s more than a diet – It truly is a lifestyle and can be sustainable if one chooses. Even if someone doesn’t want to go completely Paleo, there are so many Paleo-friendly options to incorporate in one’s every day life.

  6. Great post. That banana bread looks amazing. I just pinned it for later 🙂
    As far as socializing with a strict diet, yes, it’s really hard. Admittedly I don’t know all details of the Paleo diet but for the last two years I’ve stayed away from gluten, cow-dairy, soy, red meat, and refined sugar. As you know, that cuts out A LOT. But after my strict period of a couple months, I started “vacation meals.” One meal (or day) a week when I can eat or drink whatever I want. It not only allows me to have a life but it also reminds me why I eat the way I do: I inevitably feel like crap the next day.
    If it’s not a vaca day and I still want to go out, I just eat before I attend the event so I’m not tempted (sometimes I even bring my own snacks). If booze is involved, I stick to the hard stuff. Tequila on the rocks or vodka soda. Not only do people think you’re a bad ass for drinking liquor straight but it tends to be cheaper and isn’t loaded with refined sugar.
    🙂

    • I love your feedback and suggestions. Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by and share your thoughts with me! 🙂

      It sounds like our diet/lifestyles have a few similarities. I love the idea of “vacation meals” – I’m fully aware and truthful with myself that I would NEVER be able to live 100% Paleo. The cravings would definitely get the best of me and then I’d go on a binge. I’m really interested to see how these “vacation meals” make me feel afterwards. As you mentioned, I’ve heard that many people often don’t feel so great. I’m thinking maybe it’s all about moderation? We’ll see!

      That’s an absolutely great idea to eat prior to a social event. Sounds so simple and seems so obvious! Haha, love your tips on drinking hard liquor too. Luckily, I’m already a fan of vodka soda and lime! 😉

  7. Leah, this is a perfect banana bread! I absolutely love the ingredients you have blended together; especially the coconut!

    • Thanks, Judy! The coconut flour is great – really high in fiber and the coconut oil is an awesome source of “healthy” fat! Let me know if you bake/cook anything with either of these ingredients!

  8. Just 3 more days left? Woo hoo! I’m so proud of you for sticking to the challenge. I’m curious as to see what your diet will be like once it’s over…Your food preferences may have changed, thoughts about various foods, etc…
    My main focus is to eat a balanced diet, and I know that I don’t consume enough proteins. I love me some carbs! This is problematic since I’m trying to gain some muscle mass. While I can’t follow a strict paleo diet, snacks like these sound perfect! A delicious way to sneak in some protein ;). Oh, I made the pumpkin bread bars, and they were delicious! So easy to make too! I shall be making this soon as well. Come on bananas, ripen!!

    • Thank you, Min! You’re such a sweetheart. 🙂 I’m really interested to see how we feel and think about food after our challenge as well. I think one of my biggest takeaways has been portion control. When I’m tracking my calories, portion control drives everything!

      I know what you mean about carbs – I can’t wait for some rice, quinoa, cous cous, pizza, pasta, french fries, etc. Although I’m REALLY going to have to work to limit myself on all of the above. Surprisingly, I don’t feel like I’ve missed out on bread carbs though – the Paleo muffins and breads I’ve made have definitely satisfied my bread craving even though they were made with gluten-free flours. You’re right – these kinds of “treats” are a GREAT way to sneak in more protein.

      I’m so happy to hear you tried the pumpkin bread bars and that you enjoyed them! See? You’re already incorporating some Paleo-friendly foods into your balanced diet. 😉 Let me know how you feel about the banana bread once your bananas ripen!

    • I know banana breads are a dime a dozen but this one definitely stood out in my mind. I love that it’s Paleo-friendly and SO moist. It’s almost like a pound cake bread. 🙂

  9. Question: Are you actually using a blender or a mixer? I want to make this recipe today and was going to use my mixer. Do you think there is a difference. Thanks for this post! I’ve been getting away from traditional breads that use wheat – and this looks like a great breakfast idea.

    • Hi Sharon – I used an actual blender to make this batter. I don’t think there would be a difference if you used a mixer but I just thought a blender was easier and less mess. Let me know how it goes – I’d love to hear what you think of the bread. 🙂

  10. Reblogged this on Sharon Vincello and commented:
    I tried this recipe and it is phenomenal!!! I will be baking this and bringing it as gifts for friends and family (especially those trying to go gluten-free!) I only had 3 bananas when I went to bake it, so I used 1/2 cup of my homemade applesauce in the place of the fourth banana. It was SO amazing! This bread is decadent, moist … it’s basically like eating cake, but it is healthy! Although one loaf is about 2100 calories … the ingredients make it high quality and packed full of nutrients. Enjoy!!!

    • Yay, Sharon! I’m so happy that you loved this banana bread so much! I love your substitution of some homemade applesauce for one of the bananas – I’ll have to try that next time! You’re right – this bread is so decadent and moist that it does remind me of cake! One loaf does have a lot of calories but we’ve been slicing the loaves into 8 slices so each piece is only about 160 calories – perfect for a snack!

  11. Pingback: Almond Butter Pumpkin Puree Paleo Bread Recipe | Healthy, Happy Living

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