If one of your all-time favourite snacks isn’t banana bread, who are you? Really, though?
I wish I could say that I was an active child and that playing a plethora of sports was part of my afternoon routine as a primary schooler, but the truth is that I was never fond of anything that involved physically moving for the sake of it. All I wanted to do was write stories, read books and teenage magazines (the latter of which I was at least seven years too young for and would secretly buy despite my Mum’s efforts to shield me from sealed sections), listen to my Discman (So Fresh FTW), and attend Spy Club meetings and missions with Mitch, my Top Secret Agent partner, neighbour, and childhood bestie.
But before any of the above, my afternoon snack ritual took place. I’d barge through the front door at 3:45pm, throw four slices of Brumby’s banana bread in the toaster before I’d even put my bag down, then smother them with so much butter and honey that it would all run down my chin and forearms as I took each bite. Portion control wasn’t one of my strong suits as a prepubescent.
I calmed down on the banana bread front as I got a bit older and realised that banana “bread” is technically cake (AKA a treat) and not something I should be eating daily, let alone a quarter of a loaf in one sitting. But my love for this perfectly sugary, buttery, banana-ry American classic remains.
My healthified banana bread might not taste exactly like the sugar laden and mega fluffy (thanks to all the refined flour) one we grew up with, but I can confidently –or borderline smugly– say that it’s still pretty good. Being gluten and grain free, low in FODMAPs, fructose friendly and relatively low in sugar, I love knowing that I can eat it errrrrrry day of the week. It’s also high in fibre, healthy fats, complete proteins, a range of vitamins and minerals, and anti-inflammatory properties that your gut, body and brain will thank you for.
This recipe is great on its own, but I’ll sometimes mix it up and add frozen blueberries, raspberries or dark choc chips.
Bangin’ Banana Bread | Low Fructose, FODMAP Friendly, Gluten Free, Paleo
Makes 12-15 slices
FODMAP friendly serving size: one slice
- 5 (560g)* medium overripe bananas, mashed, plus one firm banana cut lengthways, for topping
- 3 large organic free range eggs (approx 65g each), lightly beaten
- ¼ cup (50g) coconut oil, melted
- 4 tbs (70g) pure maple syrup
- 1 tbs (17g) pure vanilla extract
- 220g buckwheat flour
- ½ cup (30g) unsweetened shredded coconut (optional)
- ¾ cup (80g) pecans or walnuts, roughly chopped, plus extra for topping
- 5 tbs (50g) chia seeds
- 1 tsp baking powder (no aluminium added)
- 2 tsp baking soda (aluminium free)
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground cardamom
- 2 generous pinches Himalayan sea salt
- Preheat oven to 160*C and line a loaf tin with baking paper. My tin is approximately 29cm x 11cm.
- Mash the banana in a large bowl, then add the beaten eggs, coconut oil, vanilla extract and maple syrup.
- In another bowl, combine the buckwheat flour, shredded coconut, chia seeds, chopped nuts, spices and salt. Sift in the baking soda and baking powder to ensure no lumps. Create a well in the middle of the flour mixture and pour the banana mixture into it. Gently fold until just fully combined. Be very careful not to over mix.
- Pour the batter evenly into the prepared loaf tin and smooth with the back of a spoon. Top with halved banana, pecans, and a little drizzle of maple syrup. Place on the middle oven rack and bake for 50 minutes to an hour, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out with moist crumbs on it. Don’t wait until the skewer comes out completely clean because the loaf will be too dry. Cooking times will vary depending on your oven and loaf tin. If the top begins to brown too much while cooking, cover with some foil.
- Remove from the oven and allow to stand in the tin for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days, or slice it up and freeze for up to one month.
- Serve fresh on its own, or toasted with organic salted butter, nut butter, or fresh berries. For something a little more indulgent, serve toasted with organic butter, a drizzle of maple syrup and a sprinkle of dark choc chips.
Info for the irritable
- *Overripe bananas contain excess fructose. Half a medium ripe banana (approx. 56g) is considered safe in terms of fructose content. When this loaf is topped with the extra banana and divided into 12 slices, each slice coincidentally contains 56g of banana, and is thus considered low in fructose. If you’re highly sensitive to fructose, use 4 bananas (450g) instead and reduce the chia seeds to 4 tbs (40g).
- The polyol content from the dried coconut is considered low and safe when one slice is adhered to.
- Can’t find buckwheat flour at your local store? You can use buckwheat grouts instead! Simply process them on high speed for one minute or until a fine flour is formed