ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Healthy, Gluten-Free, Paleo Banana Almond Bread Recipe

Updated on June 10, 2016
Margaret Schindel profile image

Margaret has a passion for cooking, baking and creating recipes to satisfy her cravings for delicious, indulgent and sometimes healthy food.

Healthy, Gluten-free, Paleo-friendly Banana Almond Bread recipe
Healthy, Gluten-free, Paleo-friendly Banana Almond Bread recipe | Source

Banana Bread That's Delicious, Nutritious, Moist and Healthy

Gluten-Free, Clean Eating, Wheat Belly, and Caveman / Paleo Diet Friendly

Many of us love eating really delicious food but have been moving toward healthier eating habits, limiting refined sugar, flour and other "empty" carbs to a minimum and substituting more nutritious raw, unrefined or minimally processed foods. That's how this delicious healthy banana almond bread recipe came about.

My version is adapted from the Almond Banana Bread recipe from Rachel at Bakerita, she says it itself "heavily adapted" from another recipe. I doubled the ingredients to produce a nice, tall loaf in a 9" x 5" loaf pan (Rachel's recipe calls for a 7" x 5" pan). To enhance the flavor, sweetness and moistness, I used very ripe, organic bananas, added an extra banana after doubling the ingredients, and increased the minimal amount of honey in the original recipe. For the crunchy topping, I added organic unsweetened shredded coconut and ground cinnamon to amp up the flavor, substituted unrefined coconut sugar for the optional turbinado sugar (personal preference), and pulsed the whole raw almonds together with the other topping ingredients in a food processor, which was quicker and easier than the previous method. Although the small amount of unrefined sugar is optional, if you aren't following the Wheat Belly or a strict Paleo diet, using it really adds a lot to the topping!

I also boosted the nutritional value and focused on minimally processed or refined ingredients, including raw organic honey, cold-pressed organic virgin coconut oil, organic coconut flour, organic unblanched almond flour, and raw organic almonds.

Pan Toasting in Coconut Oil or Grass-Fed Butter Really Enhances the Flavor

My husband, who isn't fond of baked goods made with unrefined or minimally processed ingredients, enjoys a slice of this nutritious, gluten-free banana almond bread lightly pan toasted in a little melted coconut oil; use grass-fed butter for pan toasting, if you prefer. My new favorite brand is Island Fresh organic virgin coconut oil, which is cold pressed, unrefined, delicious, fresh, and as good as my other favorite, Nutiva organic, but much less expensive ounce for ounce.

Turn This Banana Bread Into a Delicious, "Clean Eating" Dessert

Buy an extra bunch of organic bananas on your next shopping trip and allow them to get very ripe so you can make this recipe, Better yet, buy two bunches and also make my creamy, decadent Vegan Banana Walnut Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream recipe. A slice of this healthy banana almond bread topped with a scoop of vegan banana walnut chocolate chunk ice cream makes a wonderful dessert!

Secrets to Making This Paleo Banana Bread Moist

Bake this bread a few days in advance. If you slice it the same day you bake it, it's likely to be too dry. So wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and let it sit on the counter for a day or two (or three) before cutting it. It will became moist and even more flavorful as it "ripens" inside that wrap. (If you can find a loaf-shaped food storage container with a snug lid, that should be fine, too, and more environmentally friendly than using plastic wrap.)

Honey is a natural humectant that attracts and retains moisture, so that's probably one of the reasons for the increase in moisture. My favorite honey to use for this (and everything else) is unfiltered, unheated, unprocessed organic raw honey from Y.S. Eco Bee Farms. It's also creamy and spreadable, and tastes great smeared on top of a slice of this bread.

Variations: Add Chopped Dates and/or Chopped Toasted Almonds to the Batter

Add Chopped Pitted Dates

The second time I made this banana bread, I decided to try adding 1/2 cup of chopped pitted dates to this bread batter to add moistness and natural sweetness. It was so yummy that I updated my recipe to make the chopped dates a permanent addition!

Add Chopped Almonds For Even More Flavor and Crunch

Adding some chopped, toasted almonds to the batter really enhances the taste and texture.

Tip: If you're not avoiding sugar altogether, make a batch of lightly candied almonds following the directions in my Healthier Candied Pecans or Candied Walnuts Recipe (but substituting the almonds for the other nuts). Then chop them somewhat coarsely (to avoid breaking off the coating) and add them to the them banana bread batter before baking. Awesome!

Healthy, Gluten-Free, Paleo Banana Almond Bread

Healthy, gluten free, Paleo banana almond bread recipe by Margaret Schindel
Healthy, gluten free, Paleo banana almond bread recipe by Margaret Schindel

Cook Time

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: Approximately 1 hour

Serves: Approximately 12 to 16 slices

Ingredients

  • Coconut oil for greasing loaf pan and silicone spatula
  • FOR THE BANANA BREAD BATTER:
  • 5 extremely ripe, medium bananas, preferably organic, peeled and mashed
  • 4 Tbsp. cold-pressed organic virgin coconut oil, melted
  • 3 to 4 Tbsp. raw honey
  • 2 Tbsp. (yes, two tablespoons) pure vanilla extract
  • 6 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 cups (8 oz. by weight) unblanched almond flour
  • 1 cup (4 oz. by weight) organic coconut flour
  • 1 Tbsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon (Penzey's Cinnamon is the best I've ever tasted)
  • 1/2 cup chopped dates (optional but highly recommended)
  • FOR THE CRUNCHY ALMOND-COCONUT-CINNAMON TOPPING:
  • 1/2 c. shelled organic raw almonds, unblanched / with skins
  • 1 1/2 tsp. organic unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • Optional: 1 1/2 tsp. raw / unrefined coconut sugar

Instructions

  1. Start at least 3 days before you want to eat the banana bread. Preheat the oven to 350 °F. Grease a 9" x 5" x 2¾" loaf pan with coconut oil.
  2. Place the peeled bananas into a large mixing bowl and either mash them well with a potato masher or fork or beat them at medium speed with an electric mixer until fairly smooth.
  3. Add the melted coconut oil, raw honey, vanilla extract and eggs to the mashed bananas and stir until thoroughly combined.
  4. In a separate bowl mix together the almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda, salt and 2 teaspoons cinnamon, then stir (do not beat) the dry mixture gradually into the wet banana mixture until combined. Stir in the chopped dates. The batter will be very thick.
  5. Scrape the batter into the greased loaf pan. Grease a silicone spatula with coconut oil and use it to smooth out the top of the batter.
  6. To prepare the crunchy almond-coconut-cinnamon topping, place the almonds, shredded coconut, 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon and the optional coconut sugar, if using, into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the almonds are coarsely chopped and sprinkle the mixture evenly over the top of the loaf. Place a sheet of plastic wrap over the pan and press the topping very firmly into the top of the batter; any topping that does not stick to the raw batter will not stick to the baked banana bread.
  7. Bake for 45 minutes. Insert a long toothpick, cake tester or thin, sharp knife blade into the center of the loaf. It if comes out pretty clean with barely any moist crumbs attached, remove the bread from the oven. If not, bake 5-10 minutes longer and test again (do not reinsert the tester into the previous hole). IMPORTANT: DO NOT OVERBAKE!
  8. Set the loaf pan on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes, then remove the banana bread from the pan and place directly on the wire rack to finish cooling completely.
  9. Wrap the cooled bread tightly in plastic wrap and leave it on the counter at room temperature to "ripen" for three days (or up to five days) before slicing into the loaf.

Like This Recipe? Please Take a Moment to Rate This Healthy Gluten-Free Paleo Banana Almond Bread Recipe - Thanks!

5 stars from 1 rating of Healthy Gluten-Free Paleo Banana Almond Bread

© 2014 Margaret Schindel

What Are Your Favorite Healthy, Gluten-Free or Paleo Baking Recipes?

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Margaret Schindel profile image
      Author

      Margaret Schindel 2 years ago from Massachusetts

      @Chocolatealchemy, I'm so glad you like my gluten free recipe for Banana Almond Bread! I love cooking with coconut oil as well. Just a reminder to make this bread several days in advance, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and leave it on the counter for a few days before cutting into it. It makes all the difference between a dry loaf and a moist loaf, I promise! Enjoy. :)

    • Chocolatealchemy profile image

      Chocolatealchemy 2 years ago from London, United Kingdom

      Looks so delicious. I'm looking for gluten free recipes so this is perfect. And I'm really glad you use Coconut Oil as it's my most favourite thing.

    • Margaret Schindel profile image
      Author

      Margaret Schindel 2 years ago from Massachusetts

      @Merrci: Thank you so much for your visit and your lovely comment, Merry! It really needs to be made two days in advance, but maybe for breakfast on Sunday? ;)

    • Merrci profile image

      Merry Citarella 2 years ago from Oregon's Southern Coast

      It sounds so good for breakfast tomorrow!

    • Margaret Schindel profile image
      Author

      Margaret Schindel 2 years ago from Massachusetts

      @jc stone: Wonderful! Thanks so much for the great feedback and the pin. :)

    • jc stone profile image

      Jordan 2 years ago

      Yes i do plan on making it that is why i saved it to my recipes to Pinterest.

    • Margaret Schindel profile image
      Author

      Margaret Schindel 2 years ago from Massachusetts

      @ecogranny: Thank you so much, K.! I'm very excited that you chose this recipe as your Recipe of the Day. I hope you love this wholesome banana bread!

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 2 years ago from San Francisco

      Just wanted to let you know this is the Recipe of the Day on Cooking with Whole Grains & Whole Foods on FB. Hope to try it this weekend.

    • Margaret Schindel profile image
      Author

      Margaret Schindel 2 years ago from Massachusetts

      @esmonaco: Sam, you're a hoot! I won't tell if you don't. ;)

    • esmonaco profile image

      Eugene Samuel Monaco 2 years ago from Lakewood New York

      Most times I try to eat healthy, but don't always do so. I find that if I eat in moderation I can eat what I want, this recipe sounds and looks delicious!! Do you think I'll loose all of the benefits if I slap butter all over my slice?? Thanks!!

    • Margaret Schindel profile image
      Author

      Margaret Schindel 2 years ago from Massachusetts

      @ecogranny: Thanks so much for your kind words and for the pins and the future Recipe of the Day! I appreciate it more than I can say. I don't follow a gluten-free or Paleo diet, either, but I am trying to cut down on the amount of wheat and processed foods I consume, so a lot of the recipes I'm using/tweaking/developing fit pretty well for those who are eating gluten-free and/or Paleo. Sounds as though you and I are focused on very similar foods - healthy, unprocessed/minimally processed, whole foods and grains that taste delicious! :)

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 2 years ago from San Francisco

      I admit I am neither gluten-free nor Paleo inclined, but I do like healthy otherwise. I'm currently trying, for the third or fourth time in my life, to learn to make a tender, moist, crunchy-on-the-outside, whole wheat sourdough bread made from wild yeast sourdough starter.

      This banana bread looks really good, though, and I am pinning it on my "Recipes to try" board as well as my "Food: Cooking with whole foods board." You can expect to see this soon as a Recipe of the Day on Cooking with Whole Grains & Whole Foods on FB.

      I'm looking forward to trying it! Maybe you will convert me to the Paleo way of thinking.

    • Margaret Schindel profile image
      Author

      Margaret Schindel 2 years ago from Massachusetts

      @writerkath: My pleasure, Kathy! I was abroad for 2 weeks but now that I'm back I'm planning to make this banana bread again this week. I'm thinking about adding some fresh blueberries this time, and if you like blueberries that addition might make this recipe even more appealing to you and your husband. I hope you love it! :)

    • writerkath profile image

      writerkath 2 years ago

      Wow! And you were so kind to comment on my wheat-free pizza recipe! This looks like it will blow my attempts right out of the water! Even though I'm not a big banana fan, I think that this sounds scrumptious, and I KNOW my hubby would love it. Time to get some bananas - that's the only thing in the house I DON'T have right now! Thanks for a great looking recipe!

    • Margaret Schindel profile image
      Author

      Margaret Schindel 2 years ago from Massachusetts

      @GypsyOwl: You're very welcome! I hope you enjoy this gluten-free paleo banana bread recipe as much as my husband and I do. :)

    • GypsyOwl profile image

      Deb Bryan 2 years ago from Chico California

      Thank you for your gluten free paleo banana bread recipe! It sounds remarkable. I'm going to make it and will come back with my results. My favorite was Grandmother's banana bread, but, I'm no longer eating most of the ingredients she used (other than walnuts and bananas). Your recipe sounds like a perfect replacement.

    • Margaret Schindel profile image
      Author

      Margaret Schindel 2 years ago from Massachusetts

      @Deannamay LM: Thanks! I hope you love it.

    • Deannamay LM profile image

      Deannamay LM 2 years ago

      Looks delicious. Plan on trying it.

    • Deannamay LM profile image

      Deannamay LM 2 years ago

      This recipe looks great. Going to try it.

    • Margaret Schindel profile image
      Author

      Margaret Schindel 2 years ago from Massachusetts

      @anonymous: You're welcome! Sorry, I don't know about the calories. I'm focusing on eating delicious food that also is nutritious and largely unprocessed and letting the calories take care of themselves. After eating this way for only 6 weeks I lost 8 lbs, so it's working for me. :-) But there are nutritional data calculators for recipes available online, or you can just look up the calories for each ingredient on the USDA database, add them up, and divide by the number of slices you plan to cut your loaf into. Hope that helps!

    • profile image

      anonymous 2 years ago

      Yummy this is tasty :-) thanks for sharing. Any idea how many calories it had?

    • Margaret Schindel profile image
      Author

      Margaret Schindel 2 years ago from Massachusetts

      @dellgirl: You're very welcome! Obviously I love banana bread, too, and I really hope you enjoy this more nutritious recipe version.

    • profile image

      dellgirl 2 years ago

      This recipe looks absolutely delicious, thanks for sharing it with us. Banana bread is one of my favorites.

    • Margaret Schindel profile image
      Author

      Margaret Schindel 2 years ago from Massachusetts

      @brianvallois lm: You're very welcome, Brian. I hope you love it. :)

    • brianvallois lm profile image

      brianvallois lm 2 years ago

      OMG that looks amazing can't wait to try it, thanks for sharing. :)

    • Margaret Schindel profile image
      Author

      Margaret Schindel 2 years ago from Massachusetts

      @Diaper Bag Blog: I hope you both enjoyed it!

    • Diaper Bag Blog profile image

      Stanley Green 2 years ago from Czech Republic

      My wife has recently started baking breads herself. She was digging on the Internet and came across many delicious recipes. I think she was baking a very similar one like the bread in your recipe.

    • Margaret Schindel profile image
      Author

      Margaret Schindel 2 years ago from Massachusetts

      @MarathonRunning: Thanks! I hope you love it as much as we do. :)

    • MarathonRunning profile image

      Martina 2 years ago from Croatia, Europe

      Looks delicious! Must try this very soon!

    • Margaret Schindel profile image
      Author

      Margaret Schindel 2 years ago from Massachusetts

      @paulahite: Thanks SO much, Paula! I really appreciate it! :)

    • paulahite profile image

      Paula Hite 2 years ago from Virginia

      Fabulous recipe! The photo is awesome as well. I shared your lens on our Tumblr page for this evening.

      http://whats-cooking-at-squidoo.tumblr.com/

    • Margaret Schindel profile image
      Author

      Margaret Schindel 2 years ago from Massachusetts

      @smine27: You're very welcome, Shinichi! I'm so glad my recipe is just what you were looking for. :)

    • Margaret Schindel profile image
      Author

      Margaret Schindel 2 years ago from Massachusetts

      @georgepmoola2: George, you must be a mind reader! I was planning to do that the next time I make this, and maybe add some chopped unsweetened banana chips to the topping. If these additions work out as well as I hope I'll add them to the recipe. Great minds! :)

    • smine27 profile image

      Shinichi Mine 2 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      I absolutely love this recipe. In fact I was just looking for a banana bread recipe that was made with almond flour. Thank you!

    • georgepmoola2 profile image

      georgepmoola2 2 years ago

      What a fab recipe!! Have you tried mixing chopped dates and walnuts in as well?

    • Margaret Schindel profile image
      Author

      Margaret Schindel 2 years ago from Massachusetts

      @Brite-Ideas: Thanks so much for your wonderful words and for the Pin, Barbara! You know how much I adore delicious food (and how resistant I am to feeling deprived, ha ha), so I'm really thrilled to be able to find ways to nourish my body and indulge my love of sweet baked goods at the same time. :)

    • Margaret Schindel profile image
      Author

      Margaret Schindel 2 years ago from Massachusetts

      @sybil watson: What a wonderful comment, Sybil! I'm so glad you feel that way. Thanks very much and please let me know how you like the bread!

    • Brite-Ideas profile image

      Barbara Tremblay Cipak 2 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      This looks and sounds amazing! Margaret, another one directly to my recipe board on Pinterest!

    • profile image

      sybil watson 2 years ago

      This whole lens is just a feast for the eyes! What a fabulous recipe - can't wait to try it.

    • Margaret Schindel profile image
      Author

      Margaret Schindel 2 years ago from Massachusetts

      @Diana Wenzel: Thanks so much, Diana! I think it's satisfying to bring our creativity to whatever we do - something I know you do as well. And I'm loving the idea of being a "kitchen artisan"!

    • Margaret Schindel profile image
      Author

      Margaret Schindel 2 years ago from Massachusetts

      @Susan Zutautas: That sounds awesome, Susan! I'm looking forward to getting your strawberry bread recipe, my friend. :)

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 2 years ago from Colorado

      Sounds really fantastic. I will definitely treat myself to your recipe. So now you're also a kitchen artisan. I'm loving that.

    • Susan Zutautas profile image

      Susan Zutautas 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Oh wow this sounds so delicious! I'll have to share my strawberry bread one with you that is made with almond flour. But yours sounds so much better.

    • Margaret Schindel profile image
      Author

      Margaret Schindel 2 years ago from Massachusetts

      @Nancy Hardin: Nancy, actually this was my first paleo friendly baking endeavor. My husband and I don't follow a strictly paleo approach to food, neither of us is gluten-intolerant and nothing is totally off-limits for us. But we've started eating more fresh and wholesome foods and fewer refined and processed foods, and both of us have been looking and feeling a lot better since we started. Since we both really love delicious food, have sweet tooths (sweet teeth?) and adore baked goods the only way to make this change work for us has been to find, tweak or create recipes that taste as good as they are nutritious. This one also happens to be gluten-free and paleo friendly, so I'm hoping it will open new, yummy possibilities for others whose diets are restricted either for medical reasons or by choice. :)

    • Nancy Hardin profile image

      Nancy Carol Brown Hardin 2 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      I guess I'm just old-fashioned, but I've never made any paleo recipes. However, that's not to say old dogs can't learn new tricks and maybe I'll try this recipe, because it sounds delicious.

    • Margaret Schindel profile image
      Author

      Margaret Schindel 2 years ago from Massachusetts

      @Heidi Vincent: Thanks very much! I wish I could give you one. I hope you get a chance to make a loaf for yourself so you can try it. :)

    • Heidi Vincent profile image

      Heidi Vincent 2 years ago from GRENADA

      This looks delicious, MSchindel! I could do with a piece right now :)

    Click to Rate This Article