I never argue with a naturally sweetened bread that’s also rich in gluten-free whole grains and packs great flavor from strained yogurt and a crisp turbinado sugar crust.
This bread in particular is the perfect textural combination of soft, sweet, oh-so-moist cake and salty, crunchy pecans.
The sweet banana, honey and pure maple syrup are a lovely complement to the spicy cardamom, warm cinnamon and earthy, tropical coconut shavings.
Our family has made four loaves of this bread in a week. Seriously. The kids and I eat it for breakfast every morning, drizzled with rich, floral honey.
For extra decadence, Mom toasts two slices and smears on luxurious, silky goat butter: the low-fat cake is elevated to new heights.
Lets be honest, though – with or without the extra pat (or five) of butter, this nutritious cake didn’t taste “healthy” to begin with! 🙂
Spiced Banana Pecan Bread (GF, VEG, LF)
Makes two, standard loaves; 32 slices total.
4 large, overly ripe bananas
4 regular eggs – or flax eggs for an extra nutritional boost
4 teaspoons good quality, pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup organic, expeller pressed safflower oil, plus extra to grease the pans (I used Spectrum Naturals)
1/2 cup strained “Greek style” yogurt (cow, goat or sheep varieties all work)
2/3 cup good quality, grade A pure maple syrup (I used Ben’s Sugar Shack)
1/3 cup good quality, raw unfiltered honey (I used L.R. Rice) + 1 tsp lemon juice
4 cups gluten-free baking mix (I used Pamela’s)
1 cup roasted, whole pecans (I use Georgia pecans)
1 cup unsweetened, shaved dried coconut (I used O Organics)
1/2 teaspoon of each spice: cardamom, ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon
1 teaspoon fine salt
2 teaspoons gluten-free baking soda
2 Tablespoons sugar in the raw, to top the batter
- Preheat oven to 350•F.
- Use a paper towel to grease two standard-sized loaf pans with a generous amount of oil. Grease very well to prevent the loaves from sticking.
- Combine the wet ingredients in a food processor. Process the mixture until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed.
- Add the flour, spices, salt and baking soda. Process until the mixture is smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. Avoid over-processing.
- Add the coconut and pecans. Pulse about ten times, until the pecans and coconut are incorporated and the pecans are “chopped,” but not overly processed. You still want nice chunks of nuts and coconut.
- Divide the batter evenly between the two pans. Sprinkle each loaf with about one tablespoon of sugar in the raw.
- Bake the loaves for 50-60 minutes, until they are light gold on top and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out completely clean. Gluten-free loaves may take longer to bake than conventional quick breads.
- Allow to cool in the loaf pans for twenty minutes on wire racks.
- Tap the loaves firmly on the counter and run a sharp knife completely around the rim of each loaf.
- Remove the loaves from the pans and allow to cool completely on wire racks.
- Serve individual slices lightly toasted, preferable with a slather of goat butter and a generous drizzle of raw, unfiltered honey.
©Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward, shannaward.com (2013-2015), unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without expressed and written permission from this blog’s author, Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward, and/or owner is strictly and completely prohibited.