Banana bread was always a favourite of mine — soft, sweet and nutty, plus the addition of warming spices like cinnamon or ginger. I love me some warming spices.
Raw banana bread, on the other hand, was always dense, dry and crunchy. It was, indeed, not banana bread. The amount of times I attempted to re-created this old time classic as raw, would require more fingers than I have to count on.
The cool thing about perfecting a craft is that you never cease to learn new ideas, concepts and techniques. New ingredients emerge that allow you to achieve a result that once was impossible, you grow as a person and therefore expand your mind to allow space for potential and possibility. It’s a practice. And a practice, takes practice. Funny that.
The new ingredient that came to light, in the past 5 years or so, is psyllium husk. It’s brilliant in replicating what gluten achieves which is a springy lightness and a slight aeration. It’s by no means exactly like gluten, but it comes close enough to make a wonderful raw banana bread.
I wasn’t sure it would work, but this bread is aromatic with the scent and flavour of ripe bananas, moist and springy, and has a lovely nuttiness that rounds out the sweetness. Childhood memories come rushing back with each delicious bite.
The hazelnut spread is entirely optional. You could use butter, coconut butter or, get super crazy, and use peanut butter. Any way you slice it, this bread is a winner.
Banana Hazelnut Bread
125g ( ¾ cup ) buckwheat – soaked 1 hour and sprouted 10-12
50g ( 1/4 cup ) hazelnut butter
125g ( 1 cup sliced) courgette, peeled and chopped
125g ( 1 large ) ripe banana
100g ( ½ cup ) water
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
60g ( ¼ cup ) honey or maple syrup
45g ( ¼ cup ) cold pressed sesame oil or hazelnut oil
35g ( ½ cup ) psyllium husk
30g activated or candied hazelnuts
100g ( ¾ cup ) almonds ground
20g ( 1 ½ tbsp ) coconut flour
50g ( ½ cup ) candied hazelnuts, follow link for a basic candied nut recipe, process into a crumb consistency
- In a high speed blender combine the first set of ingredients and blend on high until smooth.
- Add the psyllium and activated nuts (optional, but recommended for texture) and pulse in the blender just to break the nuts down a bit and mix through the psyllium.
- In a bowl, mix together the ground almonds and coconut flour with your hands.
- Add the contents of the blender to the mixing bowl with the flours and mix well with your hands to combine.
- Allow the bread to sit 2-5 minutes, during this time it will firm up as the psyllium and coconut flour absorb moisture.
- Dampen your hands and form the dough into a loaf on a teflex sheet or waxed paper.
- Scatter the crumbed candied hazelnuts over the bread and around it, press them into the bread and roll the bread in the excess crumb to coat the top and sides of the bread.
- Place on a mesh dehydrator tray and dry for 8-10 hours at 115f, or until the bread is crisp outside and soft inside.
- Slice the bread and, either eat straight away, or place back in the dehydrator to dry the inside some more, if you prefer it less soft.
- Store the bread in an airtight container in the fridge and dehydrate slices for 30 mins – 1 hour before eating – this will make the bread warm and also crisp the outside again.
Hazelnut Cream Spread
50g ( ¼ cup ) hazelnut butter
50g ( ¼ cup ) maple or honey
50g ( ¼ cup ) coconut butter
50g ( ¼ cup ) warm water
- In a mixing bowl combine the nut butter, coconut butter and honey and whisk to combine.
- Whisk in the warm water.
- Transfer the spread to a jar and store in the fridge for up to 5 days.
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