Vanilla Bean Banana Bread
Recipe by Blythe Kingcroft
Prep time: 20 minutes. Cooking time: 50-55 mins. Yield: one loaf.
This moist banana bread gets all its good flavour from the fragrant cold-pressed coconut oil and the rich taste of real vanilla bean. If serving as a dessert, it pairs best with whipped vanilla butter, vanilla cashew cream, or vanilla whipped cream (just mix vanilla beans into any of those to make your own!) and fresh, seasonal strawberries.
Gluten-free note: For GF restrictions, I recommend using brown rice flour. It holds the loaf together yet produces a nice crumb, while adding good fibre, protein, and moisture. Our house goes back and forth between all-purpose flour and gf brown rice flour, depending on what’s in our cupboards.
2 large ripe bananas
3/4 c. Level Ground coconut oil
½ c. honey or maple syrup
1 tbsp palm sugar
3 Level Ground vanilla bean pods
¼ c. sour cream or yogurt (dairy-free will work too)
1 c. flour of choice
½ tsp Level Ground Ceylon Cinnamon
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
½ c. lightly roasted walnuts
1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mash bananas in a large mixing bowl and set aside.
3. Slice your vanilla pods down the middle to open. Using a small spoon or butter knife, scrape the beans from each pod and place in banana mixture. Beat with an electric hand mixer until vanilla is well distributed.
4. Add coconut oil and beat on medium speed for 30 seconds to one minute.
5. Add honey or maple syrup, plus one tablespoon of palm sugar. Beat on medium speed for 30 seconds to one minute.
6. Add egg. Beat for one minute.
7. Add sour cream or yogurt. Beat for 30 seconds to one minute.
8. In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients (flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt) and mix with a fork or whisk.
9. Add dry ingredients to batter and beat on low speed for 1-2 minutes, scraping sides with spatula as needed to make sure all the dry ingredients are incorporated into the wet batter. After 2 minutes, your batter should have the consistency of thick cake batter—not too runny but nice and moist.
10. If adding chocolate chips, fold them into your batter with spatula now.
11. Using your spatula, spoon half of your batter into an 8”x5” loaf pan.
12. Gently fold in lightly roasted walnuts. Mix nuts around with a spoon, and cover with your remaining batter. Make sure all walnuts are covered sufficiently with batter, or they may burn in oven.
13. Sprinkle top with a light dusting of cinnamon and a healthy dusting of palm sugar.
14. Bake for 50-55 minutes. Test loaf with a knife at 45 minutes to ensure sure you don’t over bake your loaf, as home ovens vary. But ours always needs 55 minutes!
15. Let cool for 30 minutes before slicing.