Dense & Nutritious Banana Bread

I was at the grocery store the other day and noticed that they were selling dozens of very ripe bananas.  This sparked my desire to try and create a healthier yet dense version of banana bread.  After some experimenting, I was really satisfied with the following recipe and wanted to share it with you.  It uses a combination of nutritious barley and protein-rich almond flour.  Barley is is a low-glycemic grain that’s loaded with vitamins and minerals, as well as hearty amounts soluble and insoluble fiber. You can read more about its health benefits in this blog for blueberry barley muffins.  I substituted pure maple syrup for processed sugar, which made the house smell fantastic and, most of all, tasted great!


  • 1 cup Barley Flour
  • 1 cup Almond Flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 5 tablespoons Coconut Oil or Ghee, at room temperature(or a combination of the two)
  • 2 Eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon Organic Vanilla Extract
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup Grade B or A Maple Syrup (depending on how sweet you want the bread. Interesting note: Grade B syrup has a high mineral content and more flavor than Grade A.)
  • 6-7 medium sized Very Ripe Bananas
  • 1/2 cup of Walnuts or Pecans, coarsely chopped (optional)


  1.  Preheat oven to 350ºF.  Additionally, lightly grease a 4 1/2″ x 8 1/2″ loaf pan with coconut oil, ghee, or grapeseed oil.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, sift or whisk the barley flour, almond flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In another bowl, mash the ripe bananas thoroughly with a potato masher or fork.
  4. Cream the coconut oil and/or ghee until soft in the bowl of a kitchen mixer or by hand (I really enjoyed using a combination of the two in the bread).  Next, gradually pour in the maple syrup.
  5. Add the eggs, one by one, and mix well. Then, mix in the vanilla.
  6. Now you’re ready to add the dry ingredients and mashed bananas. Do so by mixing in a little of the flour mix, and then a bit of the bananas.  Continue alternating until all the ingredients are well incorporated.
  7. If you’re using nuts, gently stir them into the batter.
  8. Pour batter into the loaf pan and bake for about 60 to 70 minutes.  Use a toothpick to determine whether or not the bread is done. Simply insert the toothpick into the center of the loaf.  If the bread is done, the toothpick will come out clean.  If there is any uncooked batter or really moist crumbs on the toothpick, bake the bread a little longer.
  9. Remove from oven and place on a wire cooling rack.  When the bread and pan are cool enough to handle, gently invert the loaf onto the rack and pull away the pan. Turn right side up and cool entirely before enjoying. We recommend storing the bread in the fridge afterwards.  It’s delicious as is, or toasted up with a little ghee.



– Recipe and photos by Sophie Slater