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Luscious Banana Bread

Posted Sep 22 2008 10:23am

My in-laws came to visit, leaving me with an overabundance of bananas. Later that day, a friend gave me a jar of orange blossom honey, with the theory that since I bake so much, surely I’d use it. Well, I rarely bake with honey, most of it goes to DH’s tea. But honey has such a lovely flavor, and as I eyed the bananas and honey sitting side by side, I thought, bring on the banana bread!

This is a particularly dessert-y banana bread, and sweeter than many of my baked goods. It’s quite different of my very favorite banana creations, my Nana Skillet bread, which has a much more mellow flavor. I was actually surprised at how it came out because there was a pretty modest amount of sweetener, but a little honey goes a long way! Especially if you’re using super ripe bananas, the chocolate chips are totally optional. As impossible as it sounds, I think I put in too many! Next time I’d likely leave them out all together or only use 1/4 a cup (I used 1/2 cup). Like all of my creations, this is delightfully gluten, dairy, egg, soy and corn free, and can easily be vegan by using agave and cane sugar free by eliminating the chips or using cacao nibs. It’ll thrill your honey for sure. Both loaves and the cake were devoured and enjoyed by gluten eaters and non gluten eaters alike.

I favor mini cakes and loaves in general because they’re so darn cute, and I can also gift them to different people. Rather than doing a big loaf, I used 2 mini loaf pans and a mini bundt (2 mini loaves and 2 mini muffins would also have worked quite well). I assume a standard loaf pan would work, too.

I used the GF flours I had on hand. I used almond meal because I wanted to use healthy fats from real food, like the flax and almond, rather than butter or oils. I’m sure any mix of whole grain gf flours would work, and would suspect wheat flour would work, too.

And just so you’re forewarned, the honey turns the bread a deep yummy brown. Don’t be afraid, though, it didn’t burn.

1/2 cup almond meal
1/4 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup teff flour
1 rounded tablespoon mesquite flour(optional, or add carob or more almond meal instead)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of cinnamon
pinch of fine sea salt
2 overripe bananas
1 rounded tablespoon ground flax
1/3 cup sparkling water
1/2 cup honey
1/3 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350. Line pans with parchment for ease of serving and cleanup. Stir flax into the sparkling water and set aside for a few minutes. Mix dry ingredients thoroughly. Mash the banana until you’ve got mush. Combine it with the honey, add the flax mix and stir thoroughly. Briefly combine dry ingredients and honey mixture and add in chopped nuts, mix until just combined.

Put into preheated oven. Bake for 30 minutes at 350, then cover with foil and turn down to 325. A mini bundt was done in 30 total, but the small loaves took close to an hour.

This is my submission for Weekly Herb Blogging. It may sound like this wouldn’t fit, because Kalyn’s rules for WHB state unusual fruits or veggies, and bananas are certainly run of the mill! But did you know that bananas are technically herbs, and not fruit? Well, they’re really the fruit of an herb, so that should count.

Our host is Gretchen from Canela & Comino, who has quite a range of global dishes in her recipe section. I must say, I spent far too long looking through the archive!

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