You know what I find incredibly important about establishing in a home space? Aromas and scents. In general, the go-to’s are lavender, orange blossom, rosemary, cherry blossom, eucalyptus, basically anything incredibly symbolic of spring. However, when it comes to the kitchen, nothing beats a sweet smell of a dessert, whether it be pumpkin pie, chocolate chip cookies, sugar cookies, apple pie, vanilla bean, cinnamon spice and obviously, banana bread. Yes, I know, that sounds far too basic, though I’d pass on the horoscope tattoos and the obsession with Tumblr quotes and “stanning” influencers. But I can’t help it–I love autumn. It’s my middle name, after all!
Despite it nearing summer, I am still always in the mood to bake. As of now, banana bread has been calling my name. Bananas overall, but I figured banana bread would catalyze the hype of the baking train ride. Yeah, I have a serious knack for bean cakes and all that jazz, but a girl needs a sweet treat in her life, especially one without the detriments of heavily refined cane sugar, which I am guilty of consuming frequently in certain products.
Vegan ice cream, even the marketed healthy ones.
Lenny and Larry’s cookies.
Those beloved ciabatta rolls that are sold in a basket at my campus market for $1.95. They are actually foodgasmic.
Now, there are massive health risks to overconsumption of sugar in all sorts of areas, including heart disease, diabetes, skin breakouts, growth of cavities, hormonal imbalances, and even cancer. Weight gain is simply a consequence that can lead to these diseases, but yeah, excessive fat stores suck if you’re concerned about physical aesthetics. In certain arguments, sugar is sugar is sugar, but in other cases, some types of sugar are okay. For instance, fruits, grains, legumes, vegetables, and even some sweeteners can have health benefits. Experiment with what works best for you, but it is ideal to reduce as much of the isolated forms that do not provide as many micro-nutrients.
As a side note, this banana bread isn’t sugar free. Reason being, bananas have sugar–it’s a fruit, after all! Having said that, depending on their ripeness, the sugars may be simpler in chemical composition. The greener the banana, the more resistant starch there it has. The spottier and darker the banana, the more simple sugars it contains. Obviously the latter is utilized in this recipe for sweetness and optimal flavor. However, there are no additional forms of sugar in this recipe and alternatively uses Stevia instead of sugar or even maple syrup or honey. Even so, this is an optional addition if you need a sweeter touch beyond the bananas alone. You are more than welcome to use coconut sugar or even cane sugar instead.
Of course, I could not bake this banana bread without including some extra flair. Dark chocolate, because DUH. I used this Dominican Republic 70% cacao bar from Manoa Chocolate in my monthly Kekao box (use my affiliate link for your purchase)! Other phenomenal additions in banana bread include coconut flakes, walnuts, pecans, almonds, blueberries, apples, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds. Let me know what you adore to integrate into your banana bread–exchanging ideas is the best!
But remember: always consume with a generous helping of nut butter. Raw crunchy almond butter has been my current favorite!
- 1 cup almond flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour, can substitute for another cup of almond flour, spelt flour, or gluten free all-purpose flour
- 2 TBSP Stevia or monkfruit (optional depending on the ripeness of your bananas)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 3 large overripe bananas
- 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 2 flax eggs (2 TBSP flaxseed meal + 6 TBSP water), add if using another cup of almond flour
- 2-3 ounces of dairy free dark chocolate (honestly, there’s no limit to chocolate 😉 )
- Optional: coconut flakes, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, pecans, sunflower seeds, blueberries, apples, nutmeg, etc.
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Sift the dry ingredients in a large bowl except for the dark chocolate.
- In a separate mixing bowl, thoroughly mash the bananas in the almond milk until a smooth slurry is formed.
- Carefully whisk in the liquid ingredients into the dry.
- Crush the dark chocolate into chunks or fine pieces. Skip this step if using chocolate chips or pre-crushed chocolate pieces.
- Gently fold in the dark chocolate and other optional ingredients.
- Spray a standard 9 X 5 loaf tin or pie tray with coconut oil or any nonstick spray of choice. Pour in the batter, spreading it evenly throughout the tray. You can sprinkle in more dark chocolate, seeds, nuts, coconut, rolled oats, or even sliced banana on top!
- Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. If baking in a pie tin, the bread may bake more quickly, so keep checking!
- Let cool completely before serving. Store leftovers in the fridge for up to six days or in the freezer for several months (but reheat after freezing. For those of you who eat frozen pastries…I don’t understand you.).
What are your thoughts on sugar consumption? Favorite banana bread mix-ins?