Saturday, April 27, 2013

Flax Meal Banana Bread - Grain Free, Nut Free, Paleo, Sugar Free

Yea, so uhh it's me. Do you remember me? I know, it has been SO long since I have posted. It feels like I went to bed and woke up and BAM it was May. 
Ohh well, what can you do? 
So Of course I have a stack of recipes awaiting to be published!! (so excited). 
TODAY, I was feeling sad. I wanted something warm and kind of sweet, but low carb and of course sugar free, primal etc. 
I have been sticking to my guns and staying on the Primal track. no regrets. Especially when I can go upstairs and open the pantry and make something so delicious like Banana bread.. 
I remember the days when I used to work full time and my favorite treat, was to pour banana bread batter in the bread maker before I went to bed. Only to wait for it to be hat and warm by breakfast, so I could grab a chunk piece of it to take with me to work. 
Yep, those were the days.. I have a special relationship with my bread maker, and though I no longer am able to use it currently, I believe that I will be able to. 
It has not yet made it to my Kijiji List. HA, not sure why??
So, I of course have made Banana Bread already. I was in the mood though for something more simple though, with less ingredients. I haven't made banana bread in almost a year since I made that recipe. I also have a confessions to make, I have been out of almond flour for nearly a month (not by choice).
I buy my almond flour by the Case where it is crazy cheaper and well worth the gas to get there.
One more week without it and I will back to business! Until then, I have been having fun experimenting.
So I stumbled into my Pantry with Banana on my mind, and thought of how I could make banana bread without almond and coconut flour.
I automatically reached for my beloved flax meal.
Flax meal is not only good for you, but with all the fiber the carbohydrate count really becomes minimal.
However, I was also disappointed to notice that I didn't have enough flax meal either.
Then I remembered a bag that I brought home from the bulk store. Golden Flax meal. 
  What's the difference? I don't really know. I remember reading somewhere that Golden was much lighter tasting and could be used in places Flax meal can be overwhelming. (Golden flax on the left) --------------------------------------------->>>
I love flax meal but it can definitely be all you can taste, and if it burns, ugh it's gross. Definitely why in my muffin recipes I combine it with other flours.
PLUS, Flax meal is really quite in expensive. I am really enjoying the golden flax meal, so much so, I am going to make some delicious pancakes with it. MMMmmm.
 So, I took out my coffee grinder and started grinding the whole flax to see how it would grind.
It only took 1 cup of whole seeds to give me 2 Cups of ground flax meal. Quite economical. I ground 1/2 cup at a time for about 3-5 seconds. That's it. 
*Note You can actually ruin your coffee grinder by trying to make it finer and finer. It is very oily and will get stuck and can turn into a paste in your grinder. Not good.
 This Banana bread turned out very well. It rose in a regular size pan, it didn't crumble when it was still hot out of the oven sliced. It didn't get overly dark on top, and cooked in a regular timely fashion. Though, I greased my pan well with coconut oil, I did have a bit of trouble getting the bread to release from the pan bottom until it had cooled for almost 30 min, then it fell right out.
I will say my tastes have really quite changed in the past year. I didn't add any sugar at all to this bread, besides the bananas and the chocolate chips. In my previous recipe, I had used 1/2 cup of date syrup or puree (sub agave nectar). I really enjoyed it not being overly sweet. I wanted to taste the banana, the salty flax, and the walnuts. I plan to eat this bread for breakfast so I am not hoping for it to be a sweet dessert. Feel free to sweeten it for your tastes! 
I read on some reviews on baking with Flax that a lot of people battled with Flax Bread not rising into anything, just a flat sponge. I added in a scoop of whey powder, to lighten up the batter. My beloved whey powder also helps with keeping the bread from being crumbly. If you can't use whey powder, feel free to add extra baking soda, and perhaps beat your egg whites with some cream of tartar, then fold them in. 
I am not sure on how the bread will rise if omitted all together.
This was a delicious Grain Free Banana bread. If you sub in regular flax meal, you may want to add an extra banana to counter the nuttiness.  
Try it out and let me know. 
using pre-ground flax meal will not make a difference. Using whole, will not work.

Banana Bread - Grain Free, Sugar Free, Primal, Nut free*(sub)
In a standing Mixer bowl:
2 C ground Golden flax meal or Regular Flax Meal (if using add 1 extra banana)
1/4 C Sugar Free, Gluten free unflavored/vanilla Whey Powder* (sub beaten egg whites)
1 tbs Organic Cinnamon
1 tsp Aluminum free Baking Soda
1/4 C Organic Dark Chocolate chips
1/4 C Chopped Walnuts* (omit for nut free or sub in extra chocolate, sunflower seeds)
1/2 tsp sea salt* (3/4 tsp if using regular flax meal)

In a glass bowl mix together:
1/4 C melted organic clarified butter, coconut oil, or grapeseed oil
4 organic eggs* (separate and beat whites if you omit whey powder)
1 tbs Organic unfiltered apple cider vinegar
1 tbs real vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean scraped
3 mashed ripe (black) bananas* (use 4 if using regular flax meal)

Beat wet ingredients into dry ingredients with a stand mixer until smooth. Pour batter into a well greased loaf pan. Bake at 350 for 35-45 minutes. Top will be crusty, and middle will be moist (not wet) but set. Bread will become firmer as it cools. Allow to cool before removing from the pan. 

*If you omit whey powder, fold in stiff beaten egg whites just before placing batter in the pan.

If you like your banana bread sweet, like dessert sweet, add in 2-4 tbs of agave nectar, maple syrup, honey, date syrup or Stevia. For best results, taste your batter to determine sweetness before baking.

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