The biggest mistake you can make, in my opinion, is adding artificial banana flavor. You can tell instantly if a loaf of banana bread is not au naturel. I don’t see why you would want to add a synthetic flavor when bananas themselves have such a wonderful, strong flavor profile and aroma! According to some sources, banana flavoring is based on a variety of bananas that is highly flavorful (unlike our common grocery bananas today) and it is no longer being cultivated, hence the discrepancy in flavor of what we know as “real” bananas and banana flavoring. Whether that is true or not, I say – stick to genuine bananas; even “natural” flavors do not measure up to the real deal.
Another biggie is getting the texture right. It’s not as simple as it would seem, especially if you are working with grain free flours in your paleo kitchen. Bananas are mushy which needs to be countered with a solid flour mixture or else you end up with a pile of mush rather than a tasty, moist loaf of banana bread.
Above all, though, I think banana bread can be a bit dull and boring. I know lots of people who would object right here; perhaps it’s my short attention span but I had to try and spice things up a little! So, chocolate was added… lots of it! I used a generous portion of raw cacao in this recipe, and so should you! Be mindful that the less expensive cocoa does not have the same quality and health benefits as raw cacao.
Raw cacao is the purest form of chocolate you can get; it is loaded with antioxidants and magnesium. Cacao is an excellent source of nutrients and far less processed than cocoa, which is exposed to high heat during processing. If given the choice, I always pick cacao over cocoa but to be fair, plain cocoa still contains a considerable amount of nutrients but it is oftentimes mixed with other ingredients (e.g. sugar) which makes it less appealing. If you don’t want to spend the extra bucks for the more expensive cacao, be sure to buy plain cocoa!
If you don’t have access to paleo friendly chocolate chips, simply cut up a bar of your favorite, unsweetened chocolate. The darker, the better!
This banana bread stays fresh for several days – if you can abstain from eating the entire loaf in one sitting (oh, I’m always tempted!); I keep my banana bread refrigerated but it will also keep fresh in an airtight container on the kitchen counter.
- 3 medium-ripe bananas
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon nut butter (e.g. almond butter)
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup almond flour
- 1/3 cup coconut flour
- 1/2 cup raw cacao powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 cup paleo-friendly chocolate chips or coarsely chopped paleo-friendly chocolate
- Preheat oven to 350F and line a 8” x 4” bread pan with parchment paper or spray with a nonstick cooking spray.
- Combine bananas, eggs, nut butter and vanilla extract in a food processor or blender and process until smooth.
- In a medium bowl, combine almond flour, coconut flour, cacao powder, baking soda and sea salt and whisk together until well combined.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until well incorporated, then fold in chocolate chips.
- Pour dough into your bread pan and bake for 22-25 minutes.