We all know I’m nuts about nuts (baha – couldn’t help myself) and pretty much eat them daily in any of their glorious forms (butter, flour, ground in a smoothie or just raw from my hot little mitts!). Almonds in particularly have taken center stage in the health world over the last 10 years, particularly in paleo baking as a flour that can be substituted for traditional grain varieties. And I loved it. So imagine my dismay when 4 years ago I got my food sensitivity test done and almonds came back as a major badie on my list!! And I wasn’t just a little sensitive – like off the charts inflammatory for me. BOOOOOOO!!!!!
I’ve since recovered from my devastation (after all – perspective, right people?) and have moved on to other successful nutty-relationships; most currently entering into a passionate love affair with the classic pecan. Showcased in this week’s delicious recipe – Paleo Pecan Flour Banana Bread!
Now I know I lot of people will say, “but Stephanie – nuts are so FATTENING!” (whispered in the same way that used to be reserved for the other f-word – as if it’s the dirtiest of words). Contrary to what many popular figures may tell you, eating a diet low in dietary fat is actually not very beneficial to you at all. Not only because a diet high in fat helps keep you feeling fuller longer (which means you eat less overall), but because the other, more complex reasons are even more encouraging. For example, healthy fats (like those found in pecans) lower levels of grehlin, a hormone responsible for appetite control. High levels of grehlin in the brain are associated with elevated stress levels and a constant feeling of the “munchies,” or the desire to eat a lot. So – less grehlin = less hungry. Got it?
Furthermore, pecans, like many other foods rich in healthy fats, boast a very high antioxidant load. Because so many environmental and dietary issues promote oxidative damage within your body, it’s important to eat high antioxidant foods to counteract this damage. Damage due to oxidative stress is commonly paired with high incidence rates of cancers, heart disease and many other diseases in which cells mutate.
Anyway I could literally go on and on (and on…) about why I love pecans (and healthy fats in general!), but I know you’re really here to talk about this paleo banana bread!
Pecan flour lends itself to such a rich, deep flavour and beautiful rich colour when baked. And let’s face it – it’s a nice change from the common almond flour-based paleo baked goods we’ve come to know! Plus, as I’ve mentioned before it’s so important not to eat the same foods all the time – not only so we can a good variety of nutrients, but also to avoid ending up with food sensitivities! Eh-hmmm…something I know a little bit about (insert wailing face emoji).
The Natural Blonde
Paleo Pecan Banana Bread
- 3 very overripe bananas, mashed well
- 3 eggs, room temp
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 2 Tbsp. coconut oil melted and cooled to almost room temp
- ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1½ cups pecan flour (can also sub almond)
- ½ cup tapioca flour
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 Tbsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- ¼ tsp. fine grain sea salt
Pre heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a loaf pan with coconut oil and line with a strip of parchment paper (for easy removal – just lift that bad boy out!).
In a small bowl, combine all the dry ingredients. In a large bowl, whisk together all the wet ingredients. Add in the dry ingredients and mix until thoroughly combined.
Pour into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 45-50 minutes or until dark golden brown (the pecan flour means a darker loaf – don’t be alarmed!). When done remove from the oven and allow to cook for at lrast 10 minutes before removing from the pan and transferring to the counter to finish cooling. Slice and enjoy!!! Can last in an airtight container for up to a week.