It’s been almost 2 years ago since I stumbled upon the book Wheat Belly, and quit grains and added sugar overnight! (Read my full story HERE). Everything that I was reading made sense, but I wondered how I could ever completely go without a piece of bread or cake again. I tried a few recipes with coconut flour and they were HORRIBLE! I guess I am grateful because that got me in the kitchen, recreating my favorite Southern Recipes! I wasn’t going to eat something that didn’t taste good, just because it was “healthy.” So for a while, I just stuck to meat and veggies, but I wanted comfort foods, I wanted bread!
Melissa’s Tips for Success
As you can tell from reading my blog and trying my recipes, I have pretty much got grain-free eating down pat. Over the past 2 years, I have created over 400 recipes. 150 recipe are on the blog and an additional 150 recipes are in my first cookbook. There will be another 100 NEW recipes in my upcoming book due out next month!
I admit, the first month was a challenge. I missed certain foods. I wanted a sandwich. I wanted variety. Now that I have recreated so many recipes, I don’t really miss anything. I have tried to think of one food that I used to eat that I have not yet recreated. (Except maybe tortillas but I didn’t really eat them much.) Cheesecake, got it. Ice cream, got it. Lasagna, GOT IT! Biscuits, GOT IT! Fresh veggies and steak, got it and got it! Now tell me how I am deprived?!?!? I often get asked for tips and advise. Here are some pointers that have helped me succeed over the past 2 years.
- PLAN, PLAN, PLAN! Those who fail to plan, plan to fail, period! The right foods will not just appear in your fridge or in your mouth, but the WRONG foods always seem to, especially if they are in your fridge!
- Get the junk food out of the house, PERIOD!
- Keep healthy meals in the freezer. I make double batches of Gumbo, Lasagna, Taco Soup, Tomato Basil Soup, etc. and freeze them for a rainy day, or when I don’t want to cook. Yes, that happens sometimes, even to Wonder Woman! 😉
- I always have Homemade Mayo, Taco Seasoning, Chili Seasoning (recipe in the cookbook), and Ranch Dressing on hand. You can do a lot with these yummy condiments.
- I have a stocked freezer. We have a processed grass-fed cow in our freezer. All I have to do is thaw ground beef in the morning and I can thow together a hamburger (with or without a bun) or Taco Salad in a skinny minute!
- I keep whole chickens in the freezer. They are ready to throw in the slow cooker (I LOVE this slow cooker) for delicious Homemade Chicken Stock and soups. I like using the meat from the chicken for yummy chicken salad. (Check out the cookbook for over 10 Slow Cooker recipes.)
- I prefer fresh veggies, but I keep frozen veggies in the freezer like broccoli, mixed veggies, green beans and even brussels sprouts. Steamed veggies with butter makes for an easy side dish that even my 2-year-old loves!
- I keep a cabbage in the fridge at ALL TIMES! It takes 5-10 minutes to make Braised Cabbage!
- If I am in a pinch, I will make one of my shakes using Great Lakes gelatin for a meal or snack. I also keep frozen strawberries in the freezer. I try to stock up during berry season. I always have virgin coconut oil too. I do prefer to chew my meals, but when I just don’t have time to cook, these shakes taste WONDERFUL and are packed with plenty of nutrition. I also feel good about feeding these shakes to my son.
- I also keep grain-free buns and biscuits in the fridge or freezer. These are great when I need a quick meal.
- I keep grain-free granola and cereal in the pantry. This helps for when I get the munchies, or if I am headed out the door, and I need to pack a snack. My son loves the granola too!
- When I make grain-free waffles, I make extras and freeze them. All I have to do is just pop them into our wide mouth toaster to reheat! Delicious!
- Boiled eggs are always in the fridge. They are instant protein, and when they come from pastured chickens, they are SO healthy!
- When I am real busy (or lazy), I get my hubby to throw a steak or burger on the grill along with some veggies like squash, zucchini and asparagus for a quick (and no dirty dishes) meal! My favorite meal. I don’t have to cook or clean!
- I also keep grain-free treats on hand like this Banana Nut Bread!
- I keep coconut cream concentrate close by so I can whip together a 60-Second Chocolate Shot when I need a Chocolate fix!
- To make your life easier, recreate your family’s favorite foods! Get them hooked! This will make eating without grains MUCH easier if everyone is on board and enjoying the food!
My last bit of advise. If you are going to treat yourself, choose a grain-free recipe. How you will feel the next day, mentally and/or physically, just isn’t worth it to me. I don’t splurge on a Krispy Cream Donuts or a box of Girl Scout Cookies. I just don’t. I reach for the grain-free version. If wheat and sugar stimulates the appetite, why would I torture myself by eating these foods??? The longer I eat grain-free, the easier it gets to make the right food choices. Now I don’t even think twice about what I should eat or what I should avoid.
I encourage you to continue to educate yourself. If you are still having issues committing to giving up certain foods to improve your health, reassess what your goals are. Sometimes we need to take a step back and look at the big picture. Remember, your health is WAY more important than any food! If you fall down, get back up. I hope these tips help you along the way! Now, on to the Banana Bread Recipe!
I’m pretty excited about this recipe! How can something that is grain-free, nut-free, dairy-free & low-carb taste so good???? I must have a magic stove because it’s delicious! But don’t worry, this recipe is SO easy, you can easily duplicate my results in your kitchen!
I think you will LOVE the texture of this bread. It’s not heavy like most coconut flour recipes I have tried in the past. It’s hearty but moist! It’s perfect!
There has been a growing interest in nut-free recipes. Recipes that are safe for children with nut allergies as well as those cutting back on nuts, like myself. It’s easy to go overboard with all the grain-free treats, trust me, I’ve done it. Or over consuming dairy, I’ve done that too. A few months ago I decided to give up nuts and all forms of dairy for 3 weeks. It was great! I realized how much nut butter, grain-free bread and cheese I was eating. These are not necessarily bad foods, but they can be over consumed. Even nuts and seeds can cause inflammation for those with certain autoimmune conditions. My system NEEDED the break and I needed to break my bad habits!
My 3 week “fast” of nuts and dairy really helped motivate me to create more nut-free recipes, which before, I had no desire to work on. I am so glad I took the time! I have been pleasantly surprised at the results. I am very happy that there will be a handful of nut-free desserts and breads in the new cookbook due out at the end of next month!
For 2 years I have been DEATHLY afraid of coconut flour based desserts or breads. I usually use coconut flour along with almond flour to create the perfect texture, but NEVER just coconut flour, until now! Coconut flour is very fibrous. I wouldn’t suggest eating 3 or 4 slices of this bread at a time unless you would like to make trips to the bathroom. 😉 Coconut flour soaks up moisture and usually requires more eggs than an almond flour recipes. DO NOT substitute any other flour when a recipe calls for coconut flour. It doesn’t have any of the properties of almond flour or a seed flour. If you are just starting to work with coconut flour, I would find “tried and true” recipes because there is a large room for error. Luckily, like with this Banana Bread, I have done all the trial and error work for you!
Brand of Coconut Flour that I recommend
Unlike almond flour, coconut flour tends to be more consistent brand to brand. I only use Honeyville’s blanched almond flour but I have used 3-4 different brands of coconut flour with similar results. Many times it depends on which I can get for a better price. I have purchased Anthony’s Coconut Flour through Amazon and it works well and is a GREAT PRICE. I also like Tropical Tradition’s coconut flour when I can catch on sale and free shipping. I have also used Coconut Secret brand that purchased in a pinch at our local health food store.
Easy, Easy, Easy
This is actually a VERY easy recipe! You only need 1 bowl. There are no eggs to separate or butter to melt. I didn’t even use my mixer, just a whisk. EASY!! Just be sure you stir the batter twice as described in the recipe. This makes sure that all the coconut flour gets absorbed. Also, be sure to taste your batter. If the batter doesn’t taste good before it is baked, it won’t taste any better after coming out of the oven.
This is a great recipe to use up “old” bananas. Don’t throw those brown bananas away. Instead, peel them and freeze. When you are ready to make this recipe, you can simply thaw, mash, measure and use.
Dairy-Free: Instead of butter, feel free to use coconut oil. I would opt for expeller pressed coconut oil so that there is no coconut flavor unless you want coconut bread. You can also use ghee, which is basically butter with all the milk fats removed.
Nuts: If you are allowed, feel free to add 1 cup of chopped and toasted nuts. Pecans and walnuts work best.
Extra Banana: Want more banana flavor?? Feel free to add up to 1/4 cup extra mashed banana. This is about 1 small banana. I baked this recipe a few times and using anywhere from 3/4 cup to 1 cup didn’t seem to affect the bread’s texture.
Sweeteners: I used Stevia Select Stevia as always as my primary sweetener. I added the extra tablespoon of honey to add just a little bit extra sweetness. TASTE YOUR BATTER and use your sweetener of choice. If using other sweeteners, it could change the consistency of the batter.
Bundt Pan: Every Southern Cook (or wannabe) MUST have a Bundt Pan! The shape gives you a B-E-A-UTIFUL cake, every time! Just be sure you oil all the ridges very well to prevent sticking.
Brownie Pan: Make this bread in your brownie pan for the perfect portion size!
Muffins: Try these silicon muffin cups for yummy muffins to pack in your child’s lunch box!
Serves 16; Per Serving: 110 calories, 8 grams of fat, 4 net carbs, 2 grams fiber, 3 grams protein*
- 3/4 cup coconut flour (I used Anthony's Organic or Bob's Red Mill)
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4th plus 1/8th tsp Stevia Select Stevia or sweetener or choice (to taste)
- 1/8th tsp salt
- 2-3 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp fresh nutmeg
- 1 tsp raw apple cider vinegar
- 6 pastured eggs
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp milk (cows, coconut or almond)***
- 1 tbsp raw honey, optional
- 1/2 tbsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter (preferably grass-fed), room temperature (see notes above for dairy-free)
- 3/4- 1 cup mashed bananas (approximately 2-3 medium)
- Butter or coconut oil for oiling pan
*1-2 tbsp coconut sugar for pan, optional
*** Omit milk if using 3 bananas unless batter is very stiff.
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat Bundt pan or 2 loaf pans generously with butter or coconut oil. Line loaf pans with parchment to help from sticking. * Optional: After coating pans with butter or oil, sprinkle coconut sugar into pans.
Add dry ingredients to medium bowl. Sift ingredients to insure there are no lumps and that ingredients are well mixed. Add remaining ingredients and then whisk until well incorporated. Taste for sweetness and adjust if needed. Let batter sit for 2 minutes then stir again.
Divide batter between 2 loaf pans or pour batter into a large Bundt pan and spread evenly. Bake Bunt for 40-45 minutes or 30 minutes for loaf pans or brownie pans or until tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Do NOT over bake! Cool for 5-10 minutes on wire rack before CAREFULLY removing bread from pan.
Also makes 16 regular size muffins. Bake muffins for 22-25 minutes.
Nutritional information calculated at http://caloriecount.about.com
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