Last weekend, I had a stall at a local Food Fair, my first venture into making and selling healthy treats for the masses. When I first signed up for the stall, I had no idea how great the event would be - hundreds upon hundreds crowded the tent to sample all the wonderful goods on display. My little table was sandwiched in between a fabulous catering company offering fresh oysters and an independent organic olive oil seller. You couldn't have had a wider variety of stalls - and yet I happened to be the only one with healthy, vegan, wheat-free goodies. The locals loved it!
I spent the week running up to the fair primarily in my kitchen (which was a shame because London experienced quite an unusual heat wave, so the last place I wanted to be was indoors!), making all the components of my menu for the fair. In the end, I made 12 banana breads (8 with coconut, 4 with cacao nibs), 10 bags of granola, 120 raw truffles, 90 raw chocolates (30 plain, 30 dried cherry, 30 rosewater), and 48 everyday cookies (24 orange cinnamon, 24 dried cherry). All in my tiny little apartment kitchen!
My recipes have changed over the years since I started this blog. Where I used to add sugar and flour without a second thought, I now seek substitutes and healthy alternatives. My original "particular" banana bread post shows a recipe that has evolved since then - I no longer use margarine or canola oil in my baking, or egg replacement powder, or agave nectar. Instead, I love coconut oil instead of butter, ground flaxseed mixed with water instead of eggs, and either raw coconut sugar or dates instead of sugar. These ingredients vary depending on the recipe - for instance, if I'm making a raw dessert, dates are almost always involved. If it's a baked good, flaxseed will most likely make an appearance.
I got some great feedback on my banana bread at the food fair. Kids and adults alike seemed to love it, but most preferred the coconut version to the one baked with cacao nibs. Cacao is tricky because it certainly isn't chocolate - the bitterness overwhelms any resemblance to what most people recognize as chocolate. I added the nibs for texture more than taste, but realized that maybe it's not quite right in this recipe.
So here it is, my tried and tested banana bread recipe, which is wheat-free, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free, refined-sugar-free, and contains no artificial flavors or ingredients. Consume to your heart's content!
Particular Banana Bread
- 8 tbsp melted coconut oil
- 2 cups spelt flour, sifted
- 1 tsp Himalayan crystal salt
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 3 very ripe bananas, mashed
- 1/2 tsp vanilla powder
- 1/2 cup raw coconut sugar
- 2 tbsp ground flaxseed
- 6 tbsp non-dairy milk or water
- 3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- Preheat the oven to 350F / gas mark 5. Grease your loaf tin with some solid coconut oil.
- In a large bowl, mix together the flour, salt, sugar, vanilla powder and baking powder. In a small bowl, whisk the flaxseed and milk/water and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine the melted coconut oil with mashed bananas, and thickened flaxseed mixture.
- Stir this into the flour mixture using a wooden spoon until well combined.
- Fold in the coconut and pour into the greased loaf tin.
- Bake for 45-60 minutes, or until golden brown on top. The toothpick test really doesn’t work with banana bread as it stays very gloopy.
- Cool for 10 minutes in the tin, then remove onto a wire rack to cool completely.