"The people who give you their food give you their heart" - Cesar Chavez

Monday, June 13, 2011

Healthy Banana Bread with Flax Meal

I had no idea banana bread was so versatile until I started really experimenting with it. This whole health-ifying baked goods was inspired by my roommate, Nichole's, compost muffins. Learning how to properly incorporate flax meal and understand flour substitutions has opened many doors in the realm of baked goods and quick breads. One flour I have recently enjoyed experimenting with is coconut flour. It has more fiber than enriched white flour and it is gluten free if you are ever cooking for people with gluten allergies. I always loved banana bread but it is easily made too sweet and more of a dessert than a solid feel-good breakfast. This banana bread tastes delicious and can be a dessert, however, more importantly, it can be a great start to your morning. My two good friends, Natalie and Maxine, and I recently went to the Carnival festival in the Mission. We picked up some plantains on our way home and made it a night of banana bread and plantains. Basically we love bananas. I was out of eggs and the quick-mart under my apartment was closed so I went to the bar downstairs and they gave me two eggs in exchange for a promise of warm banana bread upon completion. I followed through on the promise and now I never need to worry about not having eggs! Here is a picture of Natalie, Maxine and I on a stoop at the festival before banana bread time:
Healthy Banana Bread with Flax Meal
(Makes 2 loaves)

1/3 cup coconut flour
2/3 cup plus 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup flax seed - meal
3/4 cup oat bran
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tsp + 1 pinch baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
2 ripe bananas
1/3 cup almond butter
2 apples, shredded
1 cup craisins
1 cup Brazil nuts, chopped
3/4 cup soy milk
2 eggs
1/4 tsp almond extract
1/3 cup pumpkin seeds

1. Preheat the over to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly butter two loaf baking pans.
2. In a large bowl mix together the flours, flax meal, oat bran, brown sugar, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
3. In a separate bowl mash the bananas and add the shredded apple, soy milk, eggs and almond extract. Whisk until the eggs are beaten. Add in the almond butter  and mix until incorporated.
4. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Add in the chopped nuts and craisins and incorporate.
5. Pour mixture into two loaf pans. Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds. Bake for 35-45 minutes. Enjoy!

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