There are usually two main points of focus when I create a recipe. I have to make food that is lower in refined sugar in comparison to other similar recipes, and I have to include a healthy fat. This Perfect Paleo Banana Bread hits both marks. It's made with almond flour, which is a healthy fat, and this particular recipe's source of sugar is from three mashed bananas - that's it.
Why Healthy Fat is So Important in this Paleo Banana Bread, and All Food in General
Not all fats are the same - and I don't mean just from a culinary perspective, but from a health perspective. I see a lot of recipes that call for fats like corn, soybean or canola oil. In fact, if you pick up just about any processed food, you'll seem those fats listed on the ingredient label. Corn, soybean and canola oil are polyunsaturated fats. Not all polyunsaturated fats are bad. Fish oil is a polyunsaturated fat, which can be very good for you. But polyunsaturated fats are very fragile, meaning they "go bad" or oxidize very easily.
When you peel a banana and leave it sitting on the kitchen counter for more than a few minutes, it starts to turn brown. Apples, avocados and a few other fruits or veggies do the same thing. The browning, in this case, is called oxidation. It's caused by exposure to heat, air or light.
Now, forget about bananas for a minute and go back to polyunsaturated fats. Polyunsaturated fats, when exposed to heat, air and light, oxidize very quickly. Making a recipe with a processed polyunsaturated fats is not healthy. When we consume fats that are oxidized, we increase the amount of free radicals in our body. Think of free radical damage similar to what rust does to a car, except from the inside out. We age faster, increase the likelihood of disease and arthritis, and promote inflammation. I wrote about these processed vegetable oils in greater length along with a few other foods you need to avoid, especially if you want to reduce inflammation - right here.
You might like this. If you're shopping on a budget, here are my 20 healthy food recommendations to shop for without blowing the bank.
Paleo Banana Bread Made with Almond Flour + Coconut Oil
The two main fats in this Perfect Paleo Banana Bread recipe come from almond flour and coconut oil. Almond flour has a good amount of protein in it, it's gluten free and is also a great source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. Almonds and almond flour are also a great source of biotin, a nutrient that's been touted for improving hair and skin, too. It's a really great staple ingredient to have in your pantry as it can be used to substitute for wheat-based flours. Coconut oil is a saturated fat that is a great source of medium chain triglyceride, which get converted to energy faster than any type of fat. Together, these two fats are much more stable than a conventional processed vegetable oil and have body benefits that extend far beyond making a recipe taste good.
All in all, this is a really simple and healthy Paleo Banana Bread that tastes absolutely delicious - especially if you're trying to curb the amount of sugar your have in your diet...something we should all do!
- 3 bananas, mashed
- 2 eggs, room temp and lightly whisked
- 1 c almond flour
- 1/2 c arrowroot flour
- 1/3 c walnuts
- 1/4 c coconut oil
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Grease a bread pan with coconut oil, or line with parchment paper.
- Combine mashed bananas, eggs, coconut oil and vanilla in a medium-size bowl. Mix well and set aside.
- Combine almond flour, arrowroot flour, baking soda and salt in a separate larger bowl. Mix well.
- Add the banana mixture to the flour mixture. Mix until batter is smooth an pourable.
- Fold in about half of the walnuts into the mixture.
- Pour the batter into the prepped bread pan.
- Sprinkle remaining walnuts over the top of the batter.
- Bake for 45 minutes, or until the center of the bread is golden brown and firm to touch.
If you'd prefer to leave the walnuts out, they're entirely optional and won't affect the recipe if you choose to omit them.