Almond Flour Banana Bread

Something that I greatly miss eating since starting Paleo has been banana bread.   This was one of my favorite things to eat as a kid, and I even entered it in the county fair in elementary school.  My mother would have to make mini loaves because I could literally eat a whole loaf in one sitting!  I have tried several Paleo recipes before, but they either didn’t turn out right, or didn’t live up to what I remembered growing up with…….until today!

I found this recipe on Pinterest (credited to http://www.thewac.com) and thought I would give it a try.  It has 8 ingredients, 9 if you include pecans!  (And why would you not include Pecans?  Banana bread is so plain without them!)

Recipe:

  • 3 overly ripe bananas
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 Tbsp Honey (recipe called for 1-2, but I had a feeling that it wasn’t enough, so I added more)
  • 1/4c melted coconut oil
  • 2c almond flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2c chopped pecans

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Take the bananas, eggs, vanilla, honey, and coconut oil and put them in a food processor.  Pulse for about 45 seconds to 1 minute.

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Next, add the almond flour, salt, and baking powder.  Pulse until well combined.

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This is where you can add the pecans.  I stirred in the chopped pecans.

Pour into a well greased bread pan.

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Bake for 50-55 minutes!   Toothpick should come out clean when it is stuck in the middle of the bread.  Let it cool, slice, and enjoy!

Nothing beats fresh warm banana bread!

Nothing beats fresh warm banana bread!

I knew that this was going to be tasty before it even came out of the oven!  The first bite was exactly how I remembered it tasting growing up.

The hard part with fresh out of the oven banana bread, is not eating all of it!  Thank goodness I have learned self restraint!  Or else this would have been gone!  🙂

Opening a Coconut is hard work!

Growing up, I hated coconut.  I would not eat anything that had it on it.  I thought it was the worst thing ever.  Since I started incorporating aspects of the Paleo diet into my lifestyle, I decided to give it another try.   Gradually I began to eat it more and more, and now I eat it practically every day!

Normally I buy the pre-shredded coconut, but a few weeks ago I got the crazy idea that I should just buy a coconut and open it myself.  Well, it sat on the counter and last night (at 8:30 when I should have been making dinner for us….), I decided that I was finally going to open it.   I watched a few YouTube videos, and it didn’t look that hard, so why not?

You first need to drain the water from the coconut.  And to that, you have to make a hole into the coconut.  The easiest way….use a power tool!  Who said cooking and power tools don’t mix?  🙂

 

First step....coconut and a power tool!

First step….coconut and a power tool!

 

Question is….where do I drill this hole?  On the bottom of the coconut, there are three discolored spots.  Find the darkest spot, and that’s where you drill.  This is the “softest” part of the coconut.

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Drill until you go all the way through the shell.  Now pour the water into a separate container.

 

Remember to strain the water before using it!

Remember to strain the water before using it!

Now this is the hard part…..opening up the shell.  The guy in the video made it look SUPER easy.  He took the back of his meat cleaver and just tapped it and the coconut shell cracked and it was done….Well…this did not work for me.   So…..I used this instead!

What could I use this hammer for?!?!

What could I use this hammer for?!?!

Yep….I am going to use this hammer to open up the coconut.  With your non dominant hand hold the coconut.  With your dominant hand, use the hammer to “tap” around the middle of the coconut.  Continue to “tap” all the way around the coconut until it cracks open.  I tried “tapping” it like was suggested by another person, but that didn’t work.  I had to hit this coconut.  It would not open.  There was no being gentle with it.  It was stubborn.  And it took me about 5 minutes to open it.  But finally, it opened!

Victory!!!

Victory!!!

 

You would think that the hardest part is over, and for the most part, you are right.  But this next part proved to be a little difficult too.  To get the meat out of the shell, take a table knife and gently slide it around the meat of the coconut.

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Then you can just “pop” pieces out until you have gotten all of the coconut out.

 

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As you noticed, there was a brown layer to the back of the coconut meat.  I read that you can use a peeler to “shave” it off.  I tried that…and that didn’t work.  I ended up cutting that part off.  I tell you….nothing seemed to be going right with this coconut.

The empty shell....I worked hard to get this!

The empty shell….I worked hard to get this!

At the end of the evening, I had finally gotten all of the meat off.  I have actually never had fresh coconut (since the shredded kind you buy in the store is usually sweetened).  After all the hard work, I finally got to try it….and it was amazing!

Fresh coconut!

Fresh coconut!

I don’t know how many times I will buy a fresh coconut and repeat this process over and over again…..but it is cheaper to buy a coconut and shred it yourself for your recipes.  Plus!  You get fresh coconut water for smoothies.  Anyone can see the benefits of doing it yourself….question is….is the time effort worth it?  I think it depends on you and how much time you have to spend on cooking/baking.  Since I only work 3 days a week, it isn’t hard for me to do this once a month.  But just because I can do it regularly, doesn’t mean I will.  It is a time commitment to do it, but if you have the time, I recommend doing it!