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Bread, Breakfast, Lunchbox, Treats & Snacks, x For Freezer x

Rye Banana Bread with virtuous Nutella

Another recipe from The Extra Virgin Kitchen cookbook my friends …


Rye is traditionally associated with those beautiful Nordic folk. The Danes love it too. As I fancy the arse off both populations, I’ve been playing with rye recipes over the winter in a futile attempt to lure them into my orbit. I think this banana bread will do the trick. You’re welcome.

What makes rye so attractive?

Aside from its ability to lure Danes, this grain is rich in B vitamins, which act as spark plugs for energy ignition. Rye is also thought to have a higher concentration of cancer-protective lignans than any other cereal crop. Studies show that plant lignans can behave like anti-oestrogens in the body, particularly useful in the fight against hormone-related cancers. Winner!

Even more interesting, rye is the grain of choice for body-builders. Its unique amino acid profile can help build muscle mass. But don’t worry – nibbling away on Ryvita won’t leave you looking like a Transformer.

Instead of dairy in this recipe, we use extra virgin coconut oil. Don’t be put off by coconut oil’s saturated fat content. These fats are in the form of Medium-Chain Triglycerides. MCT’s readily convert to energy, in contrast to longer-chain triglycerides such as sunflower oil. This is done through our cell’s mitochondria – the gateway to our body’s fuel. No wonder sporting stars choose this oil over any other. What a shame no one told Lance Armstrong.


(I use British cups, 1 cup=250ml)

For the bread:

Just over 1/4 cup / 25g coconut flour (we used Dr Coy’s)
Just over 1/4 cup / 25g rye* or teff flour (gluten free choice)
Palmfull of dried dates
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt flakes
3 small eggs, beaten
1 cup mashed bananas (about 3 medium bananas)
5 tablespoons melted extra virgin coconut oil
3 tablespoons maple or date syrup
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


*add a handful of oat flakes too if you have them, for extra texture


For the virtuous ‘Nutella’:

1/3 cup hazelnut butter (about half a small jar)
3 tablespoons cacao or cocoa powder
2 tablespoons maple or brown rice syrup


Preheat the oven to 180°C / 160°C fan /350°F. You’ll need a small to medium bread tin, lined and ready.

To make the ‘Nutella’, whip the ingredients together in a cup using a fork.

For the banana bread, get two large bowls. In the first one, stir the flours, dates, cinnamon, baking powder and salt together. In the second bowl, add the remaining ingredients and blend well. However tempted you may be, please don’t add nuts to this particular recipe. The beastly things like to misbehave with the coconut flour.

Using a balloon whisk, beat the wet mix into the dry mix and transfer to your pre-lined loaf tin. If you have banana left over, a few thin slices on top works well. They also turn sweet and squishy in the oven.

Bake for 40 minutes. Remove the bread from its tin and cool on a wire rack for 25 minutes. Smother great big slices with your virtuous Nutella (or reverence). A side of Ricky Martin works equally well.



Here’s how I got into healthy eating …

you can listen to this podcast from Ray D’arcy’s show on Today FM

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  • Reply Mary-Pat March 2, 2014 at 1:10 pm

    We got the book! Sold out twice in Eason’s Galway and Dubray- my husband managed to track down the last copy in Galway! So myself and my 3 year old daughter are making this cake today and another round of that yummy tray-bread- loads of very tempting recipes- we are going to be busy stuffing ourselves!

    • Reply Susan Jane March 2, 2014 at 8:22 pm

      Well done Mary Pat! Wishing you and your kitchen pots indecent amounts of fun xx

      • Reply Mary-Pat March 22, 2014 at 1:46 pm

        Made the cake- another divine recipe- had it for breakfast! Made the banana toffee ice cream last night- holy mother of GOD were my first words upon tasting!! Making the black bread tomorrow and comparing notes with my neighbour who’s going to make the banana & amaranth pudding- we are flying the Susan Jane White flag in Galway- we LOVE you!!! x x x

        • Reply Susan Jane March 22, 2014 at 8:45 pm

          I’m guessing your body is loving you too right now! Let me know if there’s a suitable venue to do a demo for 80. Doesn’t have to be a kitchen – I get by with a few trusty appliances 😉

        • Reply Susan Jane January 5, 2015 at 11:09 pm

          This is the most cheering message to receive thank you!!

  • Reply Denise March 2, 2014 at 1:43 pm

    Hey susan! I’ve ordered your book and eagerly awaiting it, I took my first trip to health food store and bought a chugful of coconut oil, chia seeds, berries etc (smash and grab, clueless) but getting ready!! .. My husband has psoriasis, I’ve 3 gorgeous children aged 4 and under, healthy, I think, for now, but most likely all my roast dinners, shepherds pies, spaghetti bolognaise etc means too much wheat/saturated fats … I’m jumping on your wagon! Your recipes are fab, fab! why don’t you come to cork to launch your book! Ps any good brand maple syrup? I think some stuff is bad 🙁

    • Reply Susan Jane March 2, 2014 at 8:25 pm

      Delighted to hear Denise! (there’s always a place for shepherds pies and roasts though!) I often get my maple syrup in Aldi for 3.99 😉 and am happy with the quality. Our favourite is the banana toffee ice cream to get you started. Organic honey also in Aldi. Good luck and thanks!

      • Reply Denise March 7, 2014 at 6:13 pm

        I got the book, hurrah, and yes it’s even better than I’d hoped for. So approachable. Licky chicken wings, roast lamb too, Maple syrup q’s answered too page 12, I knew I’d read something about fake corn syrup ones etc. we just made the badass breakfast bars, Jack 5 and George 3 wanted to scoff them raw, smelled that good;) in oven now, yum. thank you, thank you!!

        • Reply Susan Jane March 11, 2014 at 10:47 pm

          So delighted to hear that! Most happy!

  • Reply Catherine Gavin March 10, 2014 at 4:47 pm

    Hi, could you education me in the difference between the many different gluten free flours that are used in recipes. There is coconut flour, buckwheat, rice flour etc. Does it matter if I were to use buckwheat instead of coconut etc. or do they work best in different types of recipes

    • Reply Susan Jane March 11, 2014 at 10:52 pm

      Sure. I will work on a blog post 😉

      • Reply Denise March 12, 2014 at 3:52 pm

        Hi SJ many congrats on 2nd print run. Loving the recipes, granola is never being bought in supermarket again!! Cumin roasted fennel is delish. Babas loving the apple cinnamon cookies! Time must be at a premium for you but I wonder would you consider doing something like on your old website like pictures of your fave brands of certain things. It’s very confusing sometimes in a new store trying to locate flours, good quality coconut milks etc or just what some new stuff looks like …almond butter,goats milk etc. congrats again and thanks

        • Reply Susan Jane March 13, 2014 at 11:20 am

          Great idea! I will endeavor to do this in the Spring, and also a list of excellent books 😉 Many thanks for your comments

  • Reply Rye Banana Bread « The Buckwheat Adventure March 24, 2014 at 4:25 pm

    […] recipe is also on Susan Jane’s website here. She says to use a “small/medium” bread tin. I realised I had lost mine once I had […]

  • Reply Katie Ryan May 27, 2014 at 8:02 pm

    Dear Sarah Jane,

    I just bought your book and I am beyond excited to try all the tempting treats it has in store. My first is definitely going to be those scrumptious praline cupcakes. I have a quick question for you before I begin my adventure…what brand of cocoa powder which would you recommend? I’m a bit lost in that regard.

    Thanks for all the inspiration! 🙂

    • Reply Susan Jane May 28, 2014 at 10:24 am

      Hello Katie. I use Green & Black’s cocoa powder or raw cacao powder. Check what your local health food store stocks, and you won’t go wrong 😉 Best wishes! Susan

  • Reply Isabel August 30, 2014 at 10:33 am

    Hi Susan-Jane,

    I’m a huge fan of all your recipes and am dying to dry this recipe. However, I am not a big fan of bananas, so I wonder would any other fruit (or even ingredient) work to replace them? I love the idea of such a bread without much flour.

    • Reply Susan Jane August 31, 2014 at 4:56 pm

      Hi Isabel. That’s a good question – try mashed sweet potato. You could put in Chinese 5-spice powder too, to mix things up a bit. I’d say it will work beautifully, but I can’t guarantee. Just don’t leave out the dates and you’ll be sorted! The paleo focaccia is divine, and free from any flour …

  • Reply dal January 4, 2015 at 10:56 am

    Hi Susan, made this bread last night, tastes just incredible!! My loaf came out mega moist like almost squidgy in the middle and I wondered how moist it should be and whether I probably undercooked it? Thank you!

    • Reply Susan Jane January 5, 2015 at 11:08 pm

      Oh darn it! A few people have said this. I don’t get it – I tested it today again, and mine came out dry. 95% of feedback is positive, so I just can’t figure out what’s happening the other 5%!!

      Here’s a few things that might be happening. Your oven temperature is misbehaving (have you got an oven thermometer independent of your actual oven?) Also, the bananas are best weighed (some have forgoten to weigh the bananas, and ended up using massive ones for the recipe). Lastly, the eggs you are using may be too large? (3 large are equivalent to 4 medium).

      Hope this helps. Alternatively, you could add a few extra tablespoons of brown rice flour to soak up excess moisture, or a handful of oat flakes?

      Good luck! Please let me know won’t you?! SJ

      • Reply dal January 6, 2015 at 12:43 pm

        Thank you heaps for these tips!  I will make another loaf and let you know. Been meaning to buy an oven thermometer for ages, as I’ve had a few wee probs with things and that could be the culprit. Yes, used a cup of bananas and medium eggs.

        The cake tasted even  better the next day and shared with friends who loved it so no harm done! I wonder if I’ve got the right sized spoon too for a tablespoon?  Sounds silly but when I looked up tablespoon on the net there’s several different sizes!  

        • Reply Susan Jane January 7, 2015 at 8:51 pm

          Good point!!

          The most common one / standard one is 15ml. Hope this helps! Last thing I thought of today – take the bread out of the tin to cool on a wire rack – if it stays in the tin it will turn damp.

          Good luck!

        • Reply Susan Jane January 8, 2015 at 12:21 pm

          Also, if you are using American cups, it will be soggier (mine are British cups. 1 cup = 250ml. 1 tablespoon = 15ml)

      • Reply dal January 17, 2015 at 8:43 pm

        Hi SJ, success!!!  Followed all your tips – thank you very much for these. Made a delicious loaf tonight, no sogginess or mushiness at all! Dry!   Used an oven thermometer (think was definitely part of the issue) and the right size table spoon, may have used too much coconut oil last time. Very happy!  Thanks again. 

        • Reply Susan Jane January 18, 2015 at 3:34 pm

          Deadly! So glad I could help.

  • Reply Falling in Love with January... - Dal Kular January 18, 2015 at 1:41 pm

    […] bliss of baking. For ridiculously delicious and healthy alternatives try Susan Jane White’s Banana Loaf. Especially good baked whilst listening to The Craig Charles Funk and Soul […]

  • Reply dal June 26, 2015 at 9:12 am

    Hi SJ, just making this again this morning and have a potentially stupid question that dawned on me! When you say 5 tablespoons melted coconut oil – do we measure 5 tablespoons of solid coconut oil and then melt it or do we melt the coconut oil and add 5 tablespoons of it melted?  As 5 solid tablespoons melt in to more than 5 liquid ones.  Sorry for the geekiness! Have pre-ordered new cookbook!

    • Reply Susan Jane July 1, 2015 at 7:10 pm

      Brill question, but luckily in this case it won’t matter. I have an even BETTER banana bread recipe coming soon, using buckwheat. I have to keep it nut free for my children’s lunchboxes, which includes quarantining coconut (gah!). But it turned out a treat. A binetot! SJW

      • Reply dal July 4, 2015 at 5:10 am

        Thanks for the advice.  The new recipe is very exciting news indeed and now experiencing mouthwatering in anticipation! 

  • Reply dal July 4, 2015 at 5:12 am

    ps. this banana bread freezes really well.

  • Reply Elaine July 29, 2015 at 10:34 pm

    I know you posted this recipe ages ago, but I just made this recipe tonight from your cookbook and I had to comment! The banana bread was very delicious, and as for the virtuous nutella….OMG it is utterly utterly divine!!! I\’m lactose intolerant and this has just changed my life….I\’m so happy!! Even my sugar loving chocoholic husband loved it and couldn\’t believe what it was made with. Amazing Susan! Thanks a mil! x

    • Reply Susan Jane July 30, 2015 at 10:09 am

      Elaine thank you – that made my day! I have another banana bread recipe coming up. And it’s even better. Just perfecting it now with buckwheat and coconut sugar. Onwards! x

  • Reply Anna November 25, 2018 at 5:35 am

    Thank you for the recipe! I made this bread with almond flour instead of coconut flour, and that was gooood:) I love the idea of using so little flour. Delicious!

    • Reply Susan Jane March 14, 2019 at 11:52 am

      Oh I bet that tasted even better! I’m doing the vegan one (also on my site) all the time now, as my eldest son has gone vegan. ALl the non vegans in our life prefer this one too! Score!

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