I’m willing to bet many of you have a bag of coconut flour lurking somewhere in the back of your pantry, long-forgotten and possibly never opened.
I understand. Coconut flour suddenly became trendy a few years ago, and it seemed like it could be the cure to all your life’s problems (insert extreme sarcasm here). But then you realized it’s not a flour that you can just swap in for all-purpose and call it a day. It’s a tricky, super absorptive, gluten-free (which is a problem if you are looking to add any structure to your baked goods), complicated flour.
So you bought the flour, maybe tried it out once or twice, realized it needs more research and dedication than you’re willing to give to a flour, and immediately forgot about it.
Which brings us to 2018, when I’m sharing a recipe for banana bread made with coconut flour.
Just a few weeks (months?) ago one of my sisters gifted me a four pound bag of coconut flour that she bought for herself nearly a year ago and never once opened.
She figured if anyone was going to make use of it, I would.
I’ve succumb to the coconut flour trend over the past few years and experimented here and there, always coming to the conclusion that, while a fun new product to play around in my kitchen with, it would never yield a loaf of Crusty No-Knead Bread or replace my traditional gluten-filled favorites, and is a little too high-maintenance to have a permanent place in my kitchen.
But, I have a four-pound bag of the stuff. So here we are.
And I’m here to report that this Chocolate Chunk Coconut Flour Banana Bread might just give me a reason to keep that finicky flour around. The texture is a little different from my go-to banana bread recipe; a little spongy, but in a pleasant way. The subtle coconut flavor pairs perfectly with banana and chocolate, and adds a little something special to this loaf.
Is it any healthier than the loaves of banana bread I make with whole wheat flour? I don’t know; ‘healthy’ is a fluid term, defined differently based on social norms, science, personal preference, and individual dietary needs. For me, something that’s healthy is made with simple, all-natural ingredients. It’s not low-anything or something-free; it’s just food made from quality ingredients that makes your body feel great.
And today, my definition of healthy has yielded us a gluten-free, grain-free, paleo-approved, refined sugar-free (er, except for the chocolate chips) loaf of Banana Bread. None of those labels are particularly meaningful to me, but if they are to you, know that this recipe will check all those boxes for you. And if they aren’t, know that this bread is tender, moist, full of banana flavor, subtly coconut-y, and loaded with alllll the melty chocolate chips.
So, dig that errant bag of coconut flour out of the depths of your pantry, and let’s bake banana bread!
If you make this recipe, let me know how it turns out! Leave a comment below or take a picture and share it with me on Instagram! I’d love to know your thoughts on coconut flour!
- 3 large, very ripe bananas*
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 4 eggs**
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup coconut flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips, divided
- 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a standard loaf pan with parchment paper and set aside. If you're out of parchment, just grease the pan very well; this bread tends to stick more heavily than traditional banana bread.
- 2. Peel the bananas and add them to a large bowl with the maple syrup, olive oil, eggs, and vanilla. Use a potato masher to completely mash the bananas and combine the wet ingredients together. Add all remaining ingredients to the wet mixture, including half of the chocolate chips, and stir again to combine (I kept using my potato masher, but you could switch out to a rubber spatula or spoon at this point).
- 3. Scrape the batter into the loaf pan, top with remaining chocolate chips, and bake for 45+ minutes, or until deeply golden brown and no longer jiggly in the middle.
- 4. Let banana bread cool 10-15 minutes before lifting it out of the pan and: 1. cutting slices and serving, or 2. letting cool completely and storing in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.
- *The riper, the better. If your bananas don't at least have several brown spots on them, wait another day or two before baking! If your bananas are on the tiny side, go ahead and use 4. Otherwise, 3 bananas should be perfect.
- **Yes, really. Since coconut flour is 1. Gluten Free, 2. Grain Free, and 3. Weird, it absorbs tons of liquid but doesn't provide much structure to the banana bread. Without all these eggs, it would be a gooey mess. Trust me. Most of my recipes can be made vegan by subbing a flax or chia egg, but this bread becomes a gummy mess without eggs; if you're vegan or allergic to eggs I suggest sticking with one of the wheat flour banana bread recipes on my site, which all yield beautiful egg-free loaves!