It may come as no surprise to you that I collect cookbooks when I travel. Wherever I am, half the fun of traveling is learning what the local cuisine is and then trying to figure out if I can re-create a healthier version at home.
When my husband and I took our first trip together to New Zealand back in late January, we were blown away by the loads of healthy, gluten-free, Paleo options almost every where we went. It's like Auckland is this little Fat Loss Foodie outpost all the way on the other side of the world, what with its perfectly poached eggs, gluten-free baked goods, fresh veggies, and some of the best coffee I've *ever* had.
Before I left New Zealand, a cookbook was definitely in order. I was killing time at the Auckland airport before we few back to the U.S. when I spotted, "Food for Life" by Australian fitness personality and author Michelle Bridges. I knew who she was before she was uber-famous: she was a guest presenter on a Les Mills BODYPUMP DVD shortly after I became an instructor.
It's taken me a few months, but I'm finally around to trying out some recipes from "Food for Life", and this first one - Raspberry Dark Chocolate Coconut Bread - was a huge winner in my house!
Before you get started, one note:
No flour substitutions. None. Capiche? Coconut and tapioca flours are both grain-free, gluten-free flours - which makes them great for cleaned-up baking. BUT - this recipe is uniquely formulated for these two types of flours, so stick with the plan on this part or you'll wind up with a mess on your hands!
I know - the photo below is going to make you want to bake this RIGHT NOW and you'll scrape up whatever is in your pantry to make it - but cool your jets, sister. Take time to get the right ingredients and your finished product will be just as photo-worthy - and delish.
If you're feeling rebellious, you could omit the raspberries and make this a dark chocolate banana coconut bread. (Woah...you can thank me later for that one.) Either way, as the mashed bananas are the only sweetener in the bread, this loaf is not overly sweet.
A slice of this is perfect alongside your morning omelet with a cup of coffee. It's also beautiful enough to gift to a friend or neighbor!
Special Dietary Needs: Gluten-free, grain free, dairy free (if dairy-free chocolate is used)
Yield: 8-10 slices
1/2 c. coconut flour
1 c. tapioca flour
1 c. shredded unsweetened coconut
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 c. fresh or frozen raspberries
1 c. mashed banana (about 3 small)* or unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp. vanilla extract
4 eggs, whisked
50 g dark chocolate chips (70-80% cocoa)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a metal loaf tin with parchment paper covering the sides and bottom completely.
2. In a large bowl, mix together the coconut flour, tapioca flour, shredded coconut, and baking soda with a wire whisk. Fold in half of the raspberries and stir. (A little messy; the berries will get covered in flour but this will keep them from sinking to the bottom of the loaf!)
3. In a separate bowl, combine the mashed banana, eggs, and vanilla extract. Whisk to combine. Add the dry ingredients to wet and stir until just combined, then immediately spoon into the prepared loaf pan. Smooth out the surface with a spatula, then scatter the remaining berries and dark chocolate on top, pressing them gently into the top of the batter.
4. Bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the loaf comes out clean. Rest in the tin for 15-20 minutes, then transfer to rack to cool. Cut into 8-10 slices and serve.
*BAKER'S NOTE: I used mashed banana instead of applesauce.
Macros per 1/8th of recipe (based on the ingredients I used; yours may vary slightly): 195 calories, 7 g fat, 30 g carbs (6 g fiber), 5 g protein
Can't find some of these ingredients at your local grocery store? Thrive Market has you covered:
Bob's Red Mill Tapioca Flour - $2.95 USD
Organic Coconut Flour - $3.95