Gluten-free banana, date and walnut loaf

October 20, 2013 at 1:38 pm (Breakfast/Brunch, Dessert, Recipes) (, , , , )

I’ve recently been experimenting with coconut flour, a gluten-free flour made from the dried coconut meat left over from coconut milk production.  Before putting on your cynic’s hat, hear me out.  I’m not particularly crazy about gluten-free baking (I’ll enjoy those delicious, fluffy cakes and muffins – yes, made with that nasty white flour that has become the enemy of the healthy-eating movement – while I still can).  However, I find that coconut flour gives baked goods a very interesting flavour and, while it does produce a very dense result, you can still achieve a pleasing texture by following a couple of simple rules.  According to Nourished Kitchen:

  • For 1 cup grain-based flour, you can substitute 1/3 cup coconut flour
  • Coconut flour is dry and crumbly, so you will need more liquid and binders; for 1 cup coconut flour, add 6 beaten eggs and 1 cup liquid as a general rule of thumb

Of course, there are many health benefits from baking with coconut flour; high in fibre and protein, it will keep you fuller for longer, it’s rich in healthy fats for improving skin health, including lauric acid, which is thought to be an immune booster, and the natural sweetness of coconut also makes it a good option if you’re looking at reducing sugar.

This banana, date and walnut loaf is exceptionally easy to prepare and can be kept kept in the fridge/freezer before heating up to serve.  A great option for a quick and easy breakfast, it contains no added sugar or butter and can also be made dairy-free.  My favourite way of serving this is warm and thickly spread with natural, crunchy peanut butter.

Gluten-free banana date coconut loaf

Gluten-free banana date coconut loaf 2

Ingredients

  • 3 large ripe bananas, mashed
  • 10 pitted dates, chopped
  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup whole natural yoghurt
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 6 large eggs, beaten
  • 2tsp vanilla extract
  • large handful of walnuts, roughly chopped

(For a dairy-free loaf, replace the yoghurt and milk with 3/4 cup coconut oil)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180degC fan-forced and line a rectangular loaf pan with baking paper.
  2. Place all the ingredients apart from the chopped walnuts into a large mixing bowl and combine well.  The lumps can be broken up easily by stirring vigorously with a fork.  Alternatively, throw everything into a food processor and blitz until smooth.
  3. Pour the mixture into the lined loaf pan, scatter over the chopped walnuts and bake for 35 mins or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.  Turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.  For storing in the fridge/freezer, pre-slice and wrap tightly in cling film.
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