It’s been awhile hasn’t it? I think I’m finding that my baking and cooking runs in anti-bear fashion: hibernate in the summer, out in full force in winter. Well, the days are finally cooling off, the sky is slowly being drained of its color, and the leaves are blooming and littering the narrow sidewalks of my wee little Boston neighborhood, Jamaica Plain. It’s the perfect kind of day to stay indoors and warm your apartment by running the oven and baking something.
Today is a banana bread kind of day. Today is a kind of, “let’s see if we can make it a little bit healthier and flourless” kind of day. Enter: Paleo banana bread. Almond flour replaces wheat flour. Crystallized raw honey replaces refined white sugar. If you are on a paleo diet, have a gluten allergy, or just have a plain old sweet tooth like me, this is a wonderful alternative. It’s lightly sweet (my favorite kind of sweet), uber banana-y, and tantalizingly moist. The almond flour adds a dimension of complementary nuttiness to this banana bread. I also add chopped walnuts and use walnut oil for crunch and an even deeper nutty flavor.
My baking and photography skills have become a little rusty over the summer. That, and I couldn’t slice up this loaf due to it not being for me to greedily consume, but rather for a friend. Trying to meet the learning curve of my new camera has also probably contributed to the decided lack of anything amazing about these photos. Ah well. I have a long couple of months to get back up to snuff.
Paleo Banana Bread
Yield: 1 loaf
3 large eggs, yolks and whites separated
4 Tbs raw, unprocessed, crystallized honey (you need the granules in the honey here)
1.5 Tbs walnut oil
4 ripe bananas, mashed (the browner the bananas, the more banana flavor you’ll have)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 c almond flour
1 c chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
Preheat 350 F.
Grease and line a 9×5″ loaf pan with parchment paper.
Cream together egg yolks and raw honey until light and fluffy. Add walnut oil, vanilla, and mashed bananas, mixing well.
In a separate bowl, combine cinnamon, baking powder, and almond flour.
Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, mixing until just combined.
In a standing mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip egg whites until stiff peaks form.
Gently fold egg whites into batter a third at a time until just combined. Be careful not to destroy the egg foaminess. Fold in nuts if you want them.
Pour batter into pan and bake for 40-45 minutes. Your bread should take on a deeply golden color and when you insert a toothpick or tester into the center of your loaf, it should emerge clean.
Let the loaf cool completely before turning it out. This bread tastes best and has a texture most like banana bread if you let it sit for 24 hours before consuming. Trust me, it is worth the wait.