Gluten-free Vegan Banana and Coconut Loaf

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Okay so this one is an adaptation of a vegan ‘brownie’ recipe a friend of mine sent me last year.

I lived in London during my first year of university, and whilst I decided to continue my studies back home in the North East, I made some great friends whom I still keep in regular contact with. The Christmas before last, I went down to London to stay with my friend Becca, who lived with her fellow coursemate Cecilia, in a tiny little basement flat on Old Kent Road. I was a little dubious about staying in such close proximity with a girl I had never met before, but Becca told me not to worry, Cecilia and I would get on just fine. And of course, she was completely right. They both made me feel completely at home, and as they are both fellow food lovers, I had so much fun cooking with them. The few days I stayed there were an absolute blast, with the highlight being getting completely wrecked off homemade mulled wine, and covering ourselves in glitter.

Anyway, during the time when I first decided to become vegan, in July last year, I noticed Cecilia had posted a photograph on Instagram of a delicious looking vegan brownie. So naturally, I hounded her for the recipe, which she gave up willingly. I was a little dubious as to how this was going to turn out, as the recipe seemed far too simple, in comparison to many vegan recipes. Nonetheless I gave it a go, and my-oh-my was I pleasantly surprised. I had produced a moist, well risen, and most certainly scrummy, chocolate banana bread! Now, I wouldn’t quite call it a brownie, as I feel it lacked the gooeyness and richness of a traditional brownie, but hey, I definitely wasn’t complaining!

Obviously I needed a second opinion, as you know, I may have just been biased, but I received confirmation from both my fellow foodies and my housemates, that yes, it was indeed delicious. I was so proud of this recipe that I boasted to my granny, who immediately wanted to try out this recipe. I received a text the next day saying it had gone down a treat, and both her and my grandad loved it. Now if that’s not a success, I don’t know what is.

So, even though I loved this tried and tested recipe, I wanted to see if I could tweak it, and make different variations. I’ve had a bag of coconut flour sitting in the back of my baking shelf for a while, unsure as to how best to use it. I’ve been wanting to try it for a while, as it’s gluten free (meaning my Coeliac mam can eat it), but I didn’t fancy making a cake that tasted ‘coconutty’. However when revisiting this recipe recently, I had a bit of a brain wave. Banana and coconut are both tropical, so why not combine them, and attempt to create something magical?

The end product is light, fluffly and melts in the mouth, with the coconut flour giving it a unique texture. It is definitely something I’ll be baking again!

Serves: 10

Calories per portion: 317kcal

Carbs: 22.5g

Protein: 2.8g

Fat: 22.5g

Ingredients

  • 2 ripe bananas (roughly 80-100g each)
  • 170g coconut flour (OR gluten free flour/ plain flour)
  • 115g sugar of your choice (I used granulated)
  • 25g dessicated coconut
  • 200ml sunflower oil
  • 140ml water
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celcius/350 degrees Fahrenheit/ Gas Mark 4, and grease and line a brownie tin, or a small loaf tin.
  2. Using either a fork or potato masher, mash the two bananas in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Sieve flour to remove any lumps and add to the banana, along with the sugar, coconut, oil and water.
  4. In a small bowl, add the bicarbonate of soda and 1 tbsp of water. Mix thoroughly then add to the mixture and gently fold.
  5. Pour into the lined tin, and bake for 50 minutes, or until the loaf has risen. To check it is cooked through, stick a knife through the middle, and if it comes out clean you’re good to go.

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