Thursday, July 21, 2011

Baked: Homey Grain-Free Banana Bread

Back before I started keeping this blog, this is the way I kept track of recipes I wanted to remember:
I still like this tactile way of keeping up with cooking, like the way I like hand-written, poetic cookbooks, and don't really find a use for overly scientific, technical cooking directions; cooking is a wholly sensory experience. Writing it down gets even more of your body involved. I also like the cute pictures I always drew to illustrate. ;-)

When I smelled that unmistakable pungent fragrance of very ripe bananas from the bowl on the counter, I felt the rush of a longing: for old-fashioned, classic, comforting banana bread like I ate when I was a kid. I didn't want anything exotic or gourmet; just some moist banana bread with a generous layer of melty gooey cream cheese on top. Of course I would use nutrient-dense ingredients instead of the standard white flour and white sugar, but I wanted my rendition to be as reminiscent as possible to the one I ate on a sunny summer afternoon, spread out on the back porch of Mom's kitchen when I was a kid.
My taste for sweet is so sensitive these days that if you are used to eating Standard American sweetened foods, this might not do it for you. But for me and my family, it was perfect. Moist and just juicy enough, with a delicate texture when warm, and the twang of ripe banana-meets-nutmeg. The thing I also like about this wholesome version is that the egg and butter balance out the sweet-sweet banana so that you (and your children!) don't get the sugar spike and subsequent hangover of a usual sweet treat.

For bioavailability, I soaked the organic almonds overnight beforehand by covering with filtered water with a tablespoon of salt. Then I ground them in a few batches in the spice grinder. There were still some big chunks, but mostly a fine meal.

Homey Grain-Free Banana Bread
preheat oven to 350 and butter a breadloaf baking dish.

2 cups soaked but not toasted almond meal
1/2 cup coconut flakes
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

3 pastured eggs from a farm you trust
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup Sucanat/Rapadura
3 overripe bananas, mashed
1/3 cup butter, melted

Mix the first group of ingredients thoroughly. Beat the eggs and mix in the vanilla and Sucanat till combined. Then add the dry to the wet and mix. While stirring, pour the butter in till it's all incorporated. Bake until the center is firm. The outside will get very brown. Let sit for a few minutes before slicing and eat while still warm ~ or toasted ~ with a nice slab of cream cheese on top.

This blog entry is a participant in Food Renegade's Fight Back Friday!

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