Do you have a gluten allergy? Are you celiac? I get this question from friends when they see posts or see me avoiding the so loved “gluten” containing foods. So to answer the question: No, I am not but I choose for the most part to avoid grains, not only the ones that contain gluten but grains in general. The grains that are around nowadays are not the same ones that our ancestors used to eat 500 years ago. They are highly processed and genetically modified so our bodies have a hard time processing it (even if you are not celiac). All grains are rich in carbohydrates so every time you consume them it raises your glycemic index, which then makes your body raise its insulin levels…the higher you keep your insulin levels the harder it is to lose weight so our body tends to “accumulate” the fat (which by the way is not there because we eat foods that contain “fat” but rather from the excess of simple carbohydrates we consume) . What do we feed our chickens and cows to make them fat and meaty? Grains…mainly soy and corn (unless they are pasture raised and free range). Don’t get me wrong! I love some good pizza (Chicago Deep dish yummm), pasta and meatballs and freshly baked bread! How can I not? I just choose the right occasion to eat those. I don’t have to eat it everyday or week but I do when I feel like it. Everything in moderation 🙂
A few books I read about this subject that I highly reccomend are: The Brain Grain, Good Calories Bad Calories and the Blue Zones Solution (not necessarily about ditching the grains but eating less processed foods).
So like the good foodie that I am, I always try to recreate my favorite dishes into a healthier version. I swap regular flour for almond or coconut flour. Dark chocolate chips instead of milk chocolate chips and so on. I AVOID at all times vegetable oils (canola, soy, safflower, corn, etc). They are full of trans-fat, heavily processed and filled with Omega 6 fatty acids which are highly inflammatory. If you want to read more about it please click this link http://drhyman.com/blog/2016/01/29/why-oil-is-bad-for-you/
Instead I cook with butter, ghee, coconut, avocado, grape seed and olive oils. I have all of those in my pantry/fridge at all times 🙂
Okay…and now to the main star of this post – the banana bread! This is the the first time I make this recipe and it turned out pretty good. I am sure as I make it more and try different things I will come up with a better version, and as I do so I will update the post. This bread is a good on the go breakfast option. Josh took a piece with him to work everyday this week and he loved it. The dark chocolate chips give it just the right amount of sweetness and the walnuts a good crunch.
3 ripe bananas
1/2 cup of coconut oil
1 cup of a natural sweetener (I used erythritol)
1/4 cup of milk (coconut or almond milk work too)
1 tsp of vanilla
2 cups of almond flour (or a mix of coconut and almond flour)
2 tsp of baking soda
1/2 cup of chopped toasted walnuts
1/2 cup of dark chocolate chips (I may have used a bit more than 1/2 cup whoopsie!)
- Heat the oven to 350 degrees and spray the inside of a 8×5-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray. I also lined the pan with parchment paper (not sure if it makes a difference or not).
- Peel and mash the ripe bananas in a bowl (you can choose if you want smooth or chunky bananas. I mashed mine until smooth).
- Melt the coconut oil in the microwave (30 secs).
- In a different bowl, combine the sweetener and the melted coconut oil and whisk until combined
- Add the eggs to the bowl and whisk until combined and smooth
- Add the milk and vanilla and mix well
- Add the batter to the mashed bananas and whisk them together
- Add the flour, baking soda and salt and mix everything gently with a spatula.
- Add the chocolate chips and walnuts and fold into the batter.
- Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 55-60 minutes. Let it cool for at least 10 minutes before removing it from pan and another 10 minutes before slicing it. (I know, it is hard to wait…it smells so gooooood…but you can do it!)
Let me know if you make this recipe and how you like it! I am open to any suggestions too 🙂
Have a good Sunday and a great week, everyone!