What the Heck & Kick Ass Banana Bread!

7 05 2012

Where have I been? It was just before Easter when my last blog entry was done. What happened??
WHELP, Ken and I took a holiday. I call it the down low holiday because we booked one week prior to leaving and it didnt matter where it was, as long as it was in our budget and it fit the Thursday to Thursday we booked off.

We kept it on the down low, with the exception of our cat-sitter Cat, because we felt we needed to slip away and unplug a bit. The two weeks previously I had had a cone biopsy at Sunnybrook, so there has been a cloud hanging over us in anticipation of the results. As well, I needed to “heal” so no gym, no exercise of any kind. I was sort of feeling on the edge by the time we left, as it was 2 weeks and 3 days after my procedure. I managed one workout before I left.
Cuba, specifically Guardavalaca (Guard the cows) an hour north of Holguin was our destination. No discos, regular Cubans go there to sit on the beach, half of our resort were Cubans from Havana on holiday, and the only decision after breakfast was beach or pool?
Today was a beach day

I had been wavering with my eating prior to leaving for Cuba because of utter burn out, so I was hoping Cuba was going to help me re-set my routine. SO INCREDIBLY WRONG. Not sure what brain cell powered down to allow me to make that inference, but in the land of cheap starchy food and sugar cane-rum, I was doomed. The mixture of canned veggie and starch everywhere, had me eating things I don’t normally eat at home, like a scoop of flan, Pringles, puffed corn snacks, and a lot of hamburgers. I came home feeling tres bloated so now I am working it off. Thankfully there was a gym at the resort, so I was able to work out.

So no posting doesn’t mean I haven’t been cooking! Just yesterday I needed to make something with chicken and went to my website to find my primal butter chicken recipe to let this simmer the whole day. I COULDN’T find it because I never posted it. BAD BAD KAT! So I have a week’s worth of recipes sitting on my image card waiting to be uploaded. I will endeavor to clear out this backlog!

I am going to start with banana bread. I love banana bread and grew up in a house where my mother was making loaves of all the time. We didnt really think it was a great thing because, well, you always want what you don’t have. We begged our mom for in-the-box cake..lol

Fast forward to primal me, and I can now appreciate a good baked good, especially when you are trying to get back on track. My re-arranged gut isnt so jazzed about bread, so I have to eat this in moderation as too much bread just feels like a stone in my tummy.

The kick ass components of this banana bread are that it contains no flour (so lower in carbs than other banana breads) and the topping is sublime. Don’t make this bread without the streusel topping. Don’t deny yourself of the awesome.

Kick Ass Banana Bread
from justagudbar

2 cups almond flour
1/4 cup ground flax
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2/3 cup chopped nuts (I used pecans)

4 really ripe bananas (mashed well)
2 tbsp Agave Nectar (I used 1 tbsp splenda, and 10 drops vanilla stevia)
4 Large Eggs
1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract

Streusel Topping
1½ cups Chopped Walnuts (i used pecans)
1/3 cup Almond Flour
3 Tbs Agave Nextar (** I added a handful (1/2 cup) of chopped raisins in lieu of sweetener)
½ Tsp Ground Cinnamon
4 Tbs Butter

Get out two bowls, and pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. I use 3 mini-loaf pans for this recipe, because I can’t or dont want to eat an entire slice of this bread. Once you start, you can’t stop. SO, if I make it in 3 mini-loaf pans, I get 18 slices of goodness for the whole batch (about 6 slices per tin) with the option of freezing the other pans so we aren’t eating banana bread every day for two weeks. This freezes incredibly well!

In one bowl mix all the dry ingredient, almond meal, flax meal, cinnamon, soda, baking powder, and chopped nuts. In the other bowl combine the mashed bananas, sweetener, eggs, and vanilla. A note on the sweetener. I vary my sweetener because I am not a sugar eater, but note that even using brown sugar (2 tbsp) wouldnt be a deal breaker over 18 slices of banana bread. Most of the sweet of this recipe comes from the bananas. Add wet mixture to dry mixture. Pour into pre-sprayed tins.

Wipe out one of the bowls (because getting a new bowl just makes more dishes!), and add some slightly chilled butter cut into cubes, crushed nuts, raisins-sweetener, almond flour and cinnamon. Mix with your hands until you get a grainy texture and sprinkle over the kick ass loaves.

Pop into oven. I set my timer for 30 minutes and check from there. Test to make sure the middle of the loaves are done. I think this is highly dependent on how monstrous your bananas are, but I always seem to bake these for about 40 minutes, and moreso if I was making one giant loaf.

Consume and be in awe of this wonderful recipe. Although it is made with almond flour, there is no graininess or too-dense-it-is-making-me-gag response. When I am feeling truly sassy I smear a bit of almond butter on my slice. Enjoy and it feels good to be posting again 🙂

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