The Paleo diet is defined by the idea of eating as our ancestors did during the Paleolithic era.
It was originally developed in 1975 by gastroenterologist Walter Voegtlin, and brought into the spotlight by Loren Cordain in 2002.
It puts an emphasis on eating vegetables, fruits, nuts, and meats as well as unprocessed, whole foods that could be found easily by hunter-gatherers.
It also suggests the exclusion of dairy products, grains, sugars, alcohol, and processed foods.
While the idea of making bread might seem a little contradictory to the hunter-gatherer ways of the Paleo, by sticking to fruits, nuts, natural sweeteners, and some eggs, we can still make a pretty darn good loaf of banana bread.
Before we get to the recipe, let’s cover some basics.
How Is Paleo Banana Bread Different From Normal Banana Bread?
One of the biggest differences in this recipe, from the typical banana bread most people make, is the type of flour you’ll use.
While wheat flour is the most common, flour made from nuts is much healthier, as it contains more fiber and protein than wheat.
Almond flour is by far the most common, but any nut can be made into flour so long as you have a food processor and an ample supply of your favorite nuts.
Things to Watch Out for In Your Flour
A small technicality means that nuts with their skin on is actually a “meal,” rather than a flour. For a flour, purchase blanched nuts.
When processing the nuts into a meal or flour, do half a cup of nuts at a time or you’ll run the risk of an inconsistent final product.
Be wary of your choice in nuts, as they all have different flavors. For instance, using walnuts may make baked goods run on the bitter side.
Almond flour is very popular due to the fact that it doesn’t have much of an almond taste afterwards.
How’s Paleo Banana Bread Going to Taste?
There are no artificial sweeteners in the Paleo diet and you won’t find any in this banana bread either!
Unlike your average banana bread that uses sugar to add an extra punch of sweetness, we add no extras. Bananas are sweet enough on their own!
If your tastes run a bit on the sweet side, you can include a teaspoon or two of maple syrup so long as it’s 100% pure maple syrup.
Often, paleo recipes may suggest the use of honey. While it’s a suitable contender, it has a habit of sinking to the bottom of a dish, as it’s a rather heavy liquid.
In some recipes, it’s easy to dispel by giving it an extra stir before you put it in the oven, but in the use of less wet recipes, such as bread dough, it’s hard to avoid.
How Do We Make Paleo Banana Bread Rise?
For those that intend to strictly adhere to the Paleo diet, you will want to exclude the baking powder or make your own at home.
Commercial baking powder contains chemicals and grain products like cornstarch, gluten, and aluminum.
Excluding it will make your bread dense, but if you have baking soda and cream of tartar on hand, you can make a Paleo-friendly baking powder.
For 1 tablespoon of baking powder, mix 1 teaspoon of baking soda with 2 teaspoons of cream of tartar.
Paleo Banana Bread Recipe!
- 1 ½ cups mashed bananas
- 2 cups almond or coconut flour
- 2 eggs
- 1 tbs baking powder
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 F (degrees) and lightly grease a loaf pan (8 ½ inches x 4 ½ inches) with coconut oil.
- Mix your wet ingredients (bananas, eggs, vanilla) in one bowl and your dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon) into another bowl. Mix well by hand.
- Add half of the dry mixture into the wet mixture’s bowl and stir until slightly lumpy. Then take the other half and repeat. The combined mixture should be lumpy, but so long as they aren’t clumps of the dry mixture, you’re fine.
- Pour your combined mixture into the pan and bake for 40-50 minutes. Insert a fork into the bread. If it removes clean, it’s done baking.
- Once cooled, cut bread into 1-inch slices and enjoy!
Here’s a video showing another way to make paleo banana bread.
Variations of the Paleo Banana Bread Recipe
Have fun with your banana bread! One fun place to start is adding bits of dried fruit to your mix.
Try unsweetened raisins or cranberries, and be sure to mix them in well so they don’t sink to the bottom of the bread.
Add some chocolate! Yes, most chocolate is not Paleo as they contain dairy and sugar, but you can make your own chocolate at home super easily.
Most recipes for Paleo chocolate will contain coconut oil, cocoa or cacao powder, and a natural sweetener such as honey or maple syrup.
Grab and Go!
Make them to go by pouring them into muffin tins instead of a loaf pan, and reduce the baking time to 20 minutes or until the fork test comes out clean.
Have you tried making your own paleo banana bread?