Seriously, who doesn’t like banana bread? It’s easy to make, a great way to use up ripe bananas, healthy-ish (when the right ingredients are involved), and everybody likes it–win-win all around! The sprouted spelt banana bread in the picture is already half gone–only two minutes after this sexy loaf finished his photo shoot. As I write this, my husband shouts, “husband-approved,” and my daughter is covered in crumbs, with our mini-daschund, Ladybug, trailing behind her, which means that this sprouted spelt banana bread, healthy substitutions and all, is a success.
You know how the grocery store sells off ripe bananas in those paper bags for like, 50% off? Well, believe it or not, this recipe actually originated from the side of one of those ripe-banana-bags. I’ve obviously altered the recipe A LOT, but it was a simple base-recipe to start with when learning how to bake. I’m now more confident when substituting ingredients in order to make healthier alternatives–honey for white sugar, coconut oil for vegetable oil, sprouted spelt flour for white flour, a little this, a little that etc. In the banana bread recipe I’m sharing with you today, I used sprouted spelt flour as a substitute for the whole wheat and white flour that the original recipe called for.
A Bit about Spelt Flour…
Spelt flour is in the wheat family, and nutritionally, can be used to substitute whole wheat flour in most recipes. Unlike whole wheat flour, spelt flour doesn’t have that, sometimes overwhelming, “whole wheat taste.” Instead, it has a nutty and slightly sweet flavour that I really enjoy in baking. Spelt flour contains less gluten than whole wheat flour, and those who have sensitivities to gluten may be able to eat spelt flour without the upset. Spelt flour also contains more protein, but on the flip side, less fibre than whole wheat flour.
A Bit About SPROUTED Spelt Flour…
Like fermenting, sprouting grains neutralizes anti-nutrients (phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors), which allows for easier absorption of vitamins and minerals. Sprouting grains also creates and increases vitamins and enzymes, and breaks down the grain so that it’s easier to digest. Also, because the entire composition of the grain is changed during the sprouting process, some people with gluten-intolerances may find sprouted grains easier to digest.
If you haven’t baked with spelt flour before, I think you’ll find it to be a welcome substitution to whole wheat flour. I use the brand in the picture to the right (found at Costco) which is organic and milled semi-locally– I’m really diggin’ it. If you aren’t able to find organic spelt flour, you can order Bob’s Red Mill Organic Spelt Flour here.
- ½ Cup Coconut Oil (semi-liquid)
- ½ Cup Honey (unpasteurized, and preferably local)
- 2 Eggs (room temperature)
- 2 Cups Sprouted Spelt Flour (preferably organic)
- 1 tsp Baking Soda
- ½ tsp Salt
- 3 Large, ripe, mashed Bananas
- 2 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
- ½ Cup Optional Ingredients: walnuts, chocolate ships, pumpkin seeds, carob, raspberries etc. I used ¼ cup organic, dark chocolate chips, and a ¼ cup of unsalted pumpkin seeds, shown in the picture.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and grease a 9x5x3 bread pan (or muffin tins if you want to make banana muffins!)
- Cream the coconut oil and honey together, using a stand mixer or hand mixer for a couple minutes until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, and combine with mixer.
- In a separate bowl, sift together flour baking soda and salt.
- Mix dry and wet ingredients together.
- Add the mashed bananas, vanilla and optional ingredients, and fold together.
- Bake for 55-60 minutes (less for muffins). Cool for 15 minutes before cutting.