Banana, Chocolate and Pecan Bread

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Mmmm Banana Bread – Yum! One of my all time favourites and one of those sweet treats that fools you into thinking you’re eating something healthy. I always had an inkling in the back of my mind that banana bread is perhaps just as loaded with sugar as a slice of chocolate cake. This – combined with so many of my friends having intolerances to gluten or dairy – inspired me to experiment in the kitchen and come up with this concoction . . . A banana (and chocolate) bread that is dairy free, gluten free, grain free and refined sugar free.
In my quest for the super banana bread I have come across coconut flour – my new love (see below image). A flour that adds flavour (not too strong) and produces lighter and fluffier results. This wonder ingredient has another partner in crime in this recipe . . . Coconut oil.
Coconut oil, you may have heard, is a brilliant oil to use in cooking and I am an absolute convert. I have been told numerous times and read in various texts that the traditionally used olive oil produces carcinogens (those nasty things that go hand in hand with some cancers) when heated to cooking point. Coconut oil on the other hand is loaded with ‘good’ fats, has an awesome neutral flavour and so far, hasn’t been found to produce nasties when heated.
**Don’t get me wrong – I’m all for the gooey chocolate mud cake at the best of times, but if you want to feel nice and healthy while getting your sweet chocolate fix – this is your snack!

3 eggs
1/2 cup coconut oil (melted)
3 bananas
6 dates, finely chopped
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup almond meal
1/4 cup cocoa
small pinch sea salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp gluten free baking powder (or use normal if you’re not opposed to gluten)
1 cup chopped pecans

Pre-heat oven to 180 celsius. Grease and line an 18cm x 18cm square cake tin or a loaf tin (cooking times may vary with loaf tin).
In a food processor combine eggs, coconut oil, bananas and dates. Blend until combined (the dates will still be in little chunks) and poor into mixing bowl. Sift in all dry ingredients and fold in along with pecans. Pour mixture into prepared tin and bake for 30 minutes, rotating once.
Your yummy bread is ready when a skewer comes out clean and the top springs back when touched lightly. Cool on wire rack and serve topped with fresh banana.

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