This gluten-free banana bread (with coconut flour) is a delicious blend of whole foods and rarely used secret ingredient. I specially formulated this recipe to be your go-to allergen free treat that can push you out of an afternoon slump and energize you before your next work out.
So, what are the components of a great pre-workout snack? And what is the science behind this dietitian-crafted treat? It isn’t just the perfect ratios of simple and complex carbhydrates, or the perfect balance of electrolytes. I added coffee flour too. But, just enough to stimulate your body to burn fat and access more energy for your workouts.
Pre-Workout Facts: Caffeine and Lipolysis
Caffeine is known to help you conjure the energy for your workout or push you through the final hours of work. But do you know why this stimulant is popular among athletes? Caffeine stimulates lipolysis, allowing our bodies to utilize fat for energy, which is beneficial during exercise. While engaging in physical activity, the body typically uses carbohydrates for energy. Converting fat to energy is a longer process, occurring during rest periods. Consuming moderate amount of caffeine before exercise allows the body to gain access to the energy stored in fat. That is why this gluten-free banana bread with coconut flour boosts stamina and mental focus
Coffee Flour: A Sustainable Solution
That is why I used the ingredient of my obsession: coffee flour. Not only will this give you a jolt of energy and save muscle degradation, but it is also an amazing way to reduce food waste. Coffee flour is essentially made from the byproducts of the coffee making business. Left over coffee fruit can end up in the rivers and land near coffee operations, causing pollution. People have found a way to repurpose this waste by drying the outer layer of the coffee fruit and making it into this amazing, delicious flour that goes great in baked goods. I feel good about using these products to reduce food waste and pollution while also catching a nice caffeine buzz. We tried out the recipe ourselves and the amount of coffee flour in this recipe is certainly enough to give you a nice ZING!
Since I used coconut flour instead of regular flour in this recipe, the carbohydrate content was slightly lower than regular chocolate banana bread. However, it still provides about 38 grams of carbs per slice which is actually the perfect amount for a hiking snack. The bulk of these carbs come from the bananas, chocolate chips and honey. I just happened to be moving out of my house and found a left over bag of coconut flour, but feel free to substitute with regular flour. The ratio for coconut flour to all-purpose flour is 1:3. So in this recipe use approximately 3 cups of all purpose flour to substitute for the 1 cup of coconut flour this recipe calls for.
Certain minerals, known as electrolytes, are essential during exercise because they balance fluids in our bodies and facilitate electric impulses along nerves and cell membranes. This is where the bananas and salt come in handy for this recipe. Bananas provide potassium, while salt provides sodium and chloride. These minerals are essential electrolytes that are often lost through sweat during intense exercise. Such losses can lead to lethargy, muscle spasms and light headedness. Plus, I love the dark chocolate and sea salt combination- YUM!!
Chocolate Chips and Cocoa
The semi-sweet chocolate chips used in this recipe provide some extra sugar. This simple carbohydrate is easy to absorb so that glucose can get into your bloodstream as quick as possible. The cocoa powder, however, has been scientifically studied for its health promoting qualities. Cocoa contains nutrients known as polyphenols, a class of phytonutrients. They have numerous health benefits, such as anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties along with a myriad of other things. Plus, it is delicious. Who doesn’t love chocolate? Adding the sweetness of chocolate chips brings this healthy gluten-free banana bread with coconut flour into balance!
One last note, I did use flax seed instead of egg for this recipe, making it a completely plant-based and gluten-free recipe. This can be easily swapped for 2 eggs. Note: 1 T ground flax mixed with 2.5 T of water will substitute for 1 egg. I love flax, we grow a lot of it here in Montana and it is high in omega-3 fatty acids so it was an obvious substitution for me.
I hope you enjoy these thoughtfully crafted morsels. Feel free to use the substitutions provided in the recipe notes if you do not have coconut flour and/or flax on hand. Let me know what you think in the comments below!
Kasey Hutchinson, RDN
Gluten Free Banana Bread with Coconut Flour
The sweetness of banana and honey, the bitterness of dark chocolate and coffee and the energy from the secret ingredient: this jazzy banana bread has it all!
- 2 tbsp ground flaxseed grind seeds in coffee grinder
- 3 large bananas extra ripe
- 1 tbsp almond butter sub peanut butter if desired
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1 cup coconut flour
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- 2 tbsp coffee flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1.5 tbsp kosher salt divided
- 1/3 cup chocolate chips
Pre-heat oven to 350 F and grease a 8×4 bread pan.
Add ground flax and water in a bowl and whisk thoroughly, creating a slurry. (see notes for substitute)
Add in peanut butter, honey and mashed bananas. Mix thoroughly.
In a separate bowl, mix coconut flour, cocoa powder, coffee flour, baking soda and 1/2 t salt and mix well.
Combine dry ingredients into wet ingredients and fold mixture until it is smooth and uniform.
Pour mixture into bread pan, sprinkle chocolate chips and remaining teaspoon of salt on top.
Place pan in oven and bake for 25-30 minutes. Stick a fork or tooth pick in the center of the bread, if it comes out clean you are ready to eat. Enjoy 🙂
*If you don’t have flax: swap out flax + water slurry for 2 eggs, well beaten.
*If you don’t have coconut flour: swap out the 1 cup of coconut flour for 3 cups of regular, all purpose flour.