Summer is here- well, kinda.

It is the end of may, I survived my first year of grad school, landed my first full-time job, all I want to do is enjoy the warmth. But, alas, the unpredictable NYC weather, it is on and off raining, 70 or 50 degrees, and a question everyday of whether a coat is necessary. 

I thought this refined sugar-free recipe was more than appropriate to post today- the day after the FDA announced its new policy of requiring food labels to write the percentages of added sugars to products. For the public health nutrition world, this is huge. I am so interested to see how/if/when consumer behavior will shift due to this new policy implementation.

While I love to bake, I have been on a journey to craft recipes that are naturally sweet and stop using products heavy in refined ingredients. (Although my pound cake recipe and good old chocolate chip cookies need some sugar and butter...) I've been on a journey for better balance and moderation, especially since I have a cookie monster begging for sweet snacks. 

This banana bread is not only free of refined sugar, I have used kefir, instead of the usual sour cream, to give the bread a subtle tartness that is also good for you! But enough of my rambling, excitement over food policies, and whining of where the f*ck the sun is, make this recipe! My office gobbled it up and I am more than sure you will too! 


  • 3 very ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil 
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking power
  • 2 tablespoons orange zest
  • 3 tablespoons hibiscus tea (I brewed mine from dried hibiscus flowers)
  • 1/2 cup plain unsweetened kefir 
  • 1 3/4 cup white whole wheat flour 



Mash 2 1/2 of the bananas in a bowl. Reserve 1 half for the topping decoration. Next, mix in the coconut sugar, maple syrup, and coconut oil. Mix until the coconut sugar has broken down. Then add in the cinnamon and orange zest. Mix in the kefir and hibiscus tea. 

Combine the flour, baking soda, and baking powder in a separate bowl. Slowly add this mixture to the wet ingredients.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

In a greased loaf pan, pour in the batter. Slice the remaining half banana and top in a line on the batter. Bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow the bread to cool in the pan before removing. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool fully.