Coconut Flour Banana Bread

by Heidi on September 2, 2012

ripe bananas for coconut flour banana bread

Not Bread Yet

I’ve been on the look out for a good coconut flour banana bread or banana muffin recipe for a long time.  I’ve tried at least a dozen recipes with mixed results.  Coconut flour breads tend to be dense, eggy affairs that may or may not cook all the way through.  Most recipes have been tasty, but the texture was often too gooey or dense and some tasted more like coconut flour than bananas.  Last week, however, I found a recipe that’s not just “good enough” to share–it’s down-right yummy!  This banana bread wasn’t eggy at all.  It tasted like bananas, not coconut, and  it had a pleasant, moist texture.  Score!  Most important it passed my boys’ harsh “coconut flour” test.  It’s one of the first coconut flour treats I’ve gotten them to eat!  In fact, they gobbled it down and wanted to immediately make more.

This recipe for grain-free banana bread comes from Leanne Vogel @ Healthful Pursuits.  I invite you to check out her fabulous whole foods blog – it’s gorgeous!  Leanne understands food photography in a way that will make you drool.  She’s also a creative cook with plenty of great gluten-free recipes — most of which are medium to high oxalate but could be easily modified with a simple substitution or a left-out ingredient.  After you’ve drooled over Leanne’s stunning pictures of coconut flour banana bread, take a peek at her recipe.  You’ll see I’ve only made two low oxalate modifications.  I used coconut milk instead of almond milk and cinnamon extract or oil instead of cinnamon (or leave the cinnamon flavor out entirely – it’s good both ways) .  Simple right?

Coconut Flour Banana Bread
Modified by Heidi Stallman from a recipe by Leanne Vogel.

4 eggs
3/4 cup mashed banana (2-3 fresh or frozen bananas)
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup low oxalate coconut milk (I use Natural Value coconut milk)
2 tbsp unpasteurized honey (or a dropper full of liquid Stevia)
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp cinnamon extract or cinnamon oil* (optional – please see low oxalate info below)
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 tsp gluten-free baking soda

Coconut Flour Banana Bread

Coconut Flour Banana Bread

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line an 8 x 4-inch loaf pan with parchment paper across both sides for easy lifting OR  grease pan well (I use coconut oil spray). Set aside. Combine eggs, bananas, coconut milk, oil, honey, vanilla extract and cinnamon extract in a large bowl with an electric mixer (using a mixer gives this bread an airier texture than mixing by hand). Whisk coconut flour and baking soda in a small bowl. Once mixed, slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and mix until smooth (Warning: if you add it all at once you might get “coconut flour cement!”) Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and bake in preheated oven for 40-45 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Remove from pan and allow to cool on a cooling rack for 20 -4o minutes before slicing and serving.  My family likes to eat this bread warm with butter, but you might also like it plain or topped with coconut oil or sunflower seed butter.

Makes 10 – 12 slices.

*Low Oxalate Info:  All ingredients in coconut flour banana bread are low oxalate or very low oxalate, except please note that cinnamon oil has not been tested for oxalate content.  All tested oils so far have been low oxalate or very low oxalate, even oils from seeds or plants that are high oxalate (e.g. sesame oil has 0.4 mg. per tablespoon, while sesame seeds have a whopping 196 mg. per tablespoon!).  It is highly likely that cinnamon oil is also low oxalate or very low oxalate.  I personally use small amounts of cinnamon oil (a drop or two per serving), but you may not want to do this if you are new to the low oxalate diet or you are heavily restricting your oxalate intake at this time.  Coconut flour banana bread has about 1.6 mg. oxalate per slice if you leave out the cinnamon oil and choose an oxalate-free coconut milk (like Chaokoh) or substitute cow’s milk (based on 12 slices per loaf).
Substitutions: You may use cow or goat milk (whole works best) or half in half in place of the coconut milk with only a tiny change in oxalate content.

Other Diets: Coconut flour banana bread may also be appropriate for gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian, Paleo, Primal, GFCF, GAPS and SCD diets.  If you follow the SCD or GAPS diets, please be sure to choose natural coconut products.  You may also leave out the vanilla and the cinnamon extracts without changing the texture of the finished bread.

Photo credit goes to jasleen_kaur for Not Bread Yet.

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Leona September 2, 2012 at 9:52 pm

Can this banana bread be made without eggs? Or at least an egg substitute? Thank you.

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Heidi September 3, 2012 at 6:27 am

I’ve never tried this bread with an egg substitute, but coconut flour is a very tricky flour. It’s extremely dry and it has a tendency to not “get done” when you don’t add enough egg (or add too much of an ingredient like bananas). Every time I’ve tried to make a coconut flour baked good with an egg substitute I’ve baked and baked and baked it until it’s too brown or even burned and the inside is still a big gooey mess. If anyone has learned the secret of egg-free coconut flour cooking, please share! Otherwise, stay tuned. I’ve started to experiment with black-eyed pea flour and you can make some egg-free baked goods like pancakes with it. Hopefully, one of those recipes will be ready to share soon!

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Rachael September 28, 2012 at 2:54 am

Applesauce works really well as a binding agent with coconut flour in my experience. It’s also delicious!

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Heidi October 1, 2012 at 7:20 am

Thanks, Rachael. I’ve used it as a sweetner, but not as the binder. I’ll have to give it a try!

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Kathryn September 3, 2012 at 9:32 pm

HELP! The recipe calls for baking soda, but when you click on the baking soda, it takes you to a link for baking POWDER. Confused. :P

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Heidi September 3, 2012 at 11:48 pm

Sorry, Kathyrn! Thanks for pointing out my mistake. It is baking soda. I’ve fixed the link. . . Actually, I made this with baking powder once accidentally and it worked okay. The most important thing is to actually measure the bananas and not just guess that three bananas is okay. Coconut flour is really picky when it comes to how much and what kind of moisture is added to the bread.

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Ryan September 10, 2012 at 1:14 am

I was reading the part where you talked about oils from seeds being low oxalate. Do you know if grapeseed oil is low oxalate and have you ever used it? A friend was talking about it and I was thinking about trying it. Thanks!

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Heidi September 10, 2012 at 8:56 am

Hi, Ryan. Grape seed oil has not been tested, although grape seed extract is low and grape leaves are medium. I have never used grape seed oil, although I know some cooks who swear by it. I am really partial to butter and coconut oil for cooking and baking, lard and bacon fat for high heat cooking and roasting, and olive oil for salads and low heat cooking. I also like avocado oil but it’s a little pricey for my budget this year.

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Michelle January 1, 2013 at 6:46 am

Thanks! Just ordered the coconut secret flour. Can’t wait to try this. I never use coconut oil, I am very msg reactive and (as explained on coconut secret website) it seems that how coconut (and many other things) are processed can aggravate ppl with this issue, so I have been hesitant to try coconut products due to past issues with it. DO you know if a canola oil would work ok, or maybe butter or is that really messing with the recipe?

Michelle

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Heidi January 2, 2013 at 4:11 am

I would try softened or melted butter or ghee in place of the coconut oil. Butter has similar properties to coconut oil and should be interchangeable in this recipe. In fact, it will probably be really tasty. Keep in mind if you use salted butter that this will increase the amount of salt in the recipe.

Canola oil should also work as far as the recipe goes, but I wouldn’t recommend it. Canola oil oxidizes at high temperatures which leads to inflammation and other oxidation issues in the body. Since most people with oxalate issues are already under oxidative stress, I wouldn’t add to it by using canola oil (or any other highly processed vegetable oil). You could try a very light- tasting olive oil, however. I’ve had olive oil cake before and it was really tasty.

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Michelle January 4, 2013 at 11:23 am

Thanks for sharing in regards to Canola oil. I did some googling and I guess I should have known, but I didn’t realize how bad canola oil and other oils are for us. For the most part I avoid margarine but never thought much about the oils. It’s quite disgusting how they “create” them. I am trying to figure out how I can know that a coconut oil is safe for someone with msg issues, I am assuming GMO free should cover that problem. Anyways, I will do the butter first and then down the road maybe I will try coconut oil. MSG reactions cause terribe pelvic pain for me, thus why I am very cautious.

Thank you for this recipe and the spiced sunbutter bread. I make it slightly different, but that recipe is a staple and something I always have in my freezer. You are a life saver! And my kids love it, they call it “green cake”! I recently used that recipe to make a non-sweet bread, turned out reasonable and was nice with soup.

Michelle

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bhopali April 19, 2013 at 6:41 am

I just made this while the coconut banana bread is in the oven. I had to use the coconut milk leftover from the bread! This is so delicious! :-)

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syd October 26, 2013 at 6:52 am

Could you make pumpkin bread my substituting the same amount of pumpkin for bananas?? Similar consistency!

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Heidi October 28, 2013 at 7:05 pm

Hi, Syd.
I’ve tried this and it worked out okay, but not as well as I would have liked. I think the key is using a bit more pumpkin and a bit less milk, but I haven’t gotten back to trying it again. If you do, let us know what you did please! I’ve been developing a low oxalate pumpkin pie spice blend that would be fabulous is a pumpkin bread!

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Danielle December 30, 2013 at 11:40 pm

Hi Heidi,
I tried this banana bread this morning. Yum. Thanks. Next time, I think I’ll try muffins or mini-muffins.
Danielle

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Heidi January 1, 2014 at 6:10 am

Thanks, Danielle. This recipe continues to be my standby low oxalate treat. I absolutely love it! Glad you liked it, too.

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Anne in IL March 17, 2014 at 6:52 pm

I made it early this morning (dumping insomnia…. Last time I neglect to take an Epsom bath in a while, I hope!), and it turned out great. Only after enjoying it with my family for breakfast did I recall I’d forgotten the coconut oil. It tasted marvelous and was plenty moist without it! Next time I’m going to try it with stevia drops or maple syrup, since my son has probable fructose issues, and all the banana plus the honey gave him a belly ache (if he’s to be believed… He’s four and changed his story a couple times!) So simple and delicious.

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Heidi March 18, 2014 at 3:29 am

Glad you liked it, Anne. This is still our family favorite. Once you get used to the batter consistency needed for the bread to work out right, you can definitely experiment with leaving out the honey. I rarely use honey anymore in favor of more banana and some Stevia. Sometimes I add extra banana and reduce the oil or coconut milk, too, which gives a flatter but still yummy bread. Coconut flour can be tricky, though, so I’d only switch out one ingredient at a time as you experiment until you think you’ve really got a feel for the batter consistency.

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