When life deals you brown bananas, make banana bread!
There are so many banana bread recipes out there, but this one is gluten-free and cuts back on the sugar. I’m a fan of banana bread because when the sugar is minimized in the recipe, it leaves you with an iron-rich snack, where you can add walnuts for omega-3s and dark chocolate for antioxidant power.
This particular recipe is great because the banana bread results in a golden top while the inside stays moist. When you slice through, the knife comes out chocolatey- but don’t lick the knife kids! Instead of slicing your tongue, spread that chocolate on your banana bread and enjoy the rich addition to your soft (and a little crunchy) snack.
One problem a lot of people have with this is getting the banana bread out of the pan in one piece. I learned a trick while working at a bakery. Use a long sheet of foil or parchment paper to line the bottom and long sides of the loaf pan. It doesn’t have to sit perfectly in the corners, nor does it have to line the short ends of the pan. This is merely used as handles to lift the loaf out once it’s done baking and cooled. If you use this trick, be sure to butter the foil/parchment paper so it doesn’t stick and bake into the bread.
The other challenge is getting the loaf to rise. Remember this is a quick bread- no yeast involved. And with it being gluten-free, it’s not a prime candidate for height. I recommend using at least a half teaspoon of xanthan gum to help it rise a little. However, don’t worry if you have a short bread. I did. But you know what? I still looks good and tastes even better!
It also holds together well, unlike many yeast-based gluten-free breads. This bread is not crumbly. Rather it has a slightly dense, but again moist, texture that is easy to slice and eat with your hands.
In my recipe below, I do include walnuts and chocolate. If you have a nut or chocolate allergy, though, feel free to leave them out. Instead, you can use a ½ cup crunchy peanut butter (if there’s no peanut allergy) and carob chips. Similarly, if you’re vegan, replace the egg with a vegan egg substitute from the grocery store, a chia and water mix, or flax and water mixture. Review vegan egg replacements here.
Finally, I used a 9” loaf pan and the batter filled it a little more than half-way. You can also fit this into 2 mini loaf pans or about 15 muffin cups.
Ok! Let’s get baking!
1 cup all-purpose gluten-free flour
½ tsp xanthan gum
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ cup sugar
1 large egg
¼ cup canola oil
3 very ripe bananas
1 Tbsp Greek yogurt
½ tsp vanilla extract
½ cup walnuts
½ cup dark chocolate morsels
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Line 9” loaf pan with a long sheet of foil or parchment paper so the liner sticks out of the long ends of the pan. This will create handles to pull the bread out once it’s finished baking. (You do not need to have the foil/parchment line the short ends of the pan or fit perfectly into the corners).
Grease the parchment paper/foil and exposed pan sides with butter, plant-based spread, or cooking spray. Set aside.
Combine flour, xanthan gum, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a medium bowl with a whisk. (Flour should be sifted, but if you whisk for about a minute, you can avoid getting the sifter out.)
Using either a hand mixer, stand mixer with paddle attachment, or blender, mix the sugar and egg together until light and airy. While that’s mixing, slowly start pouring the canola oil into the wet ingredients.
Peel and add the bananas in pieces.
While the mixer/blender is still going, add the yogurt and vanilla.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredient bowl and fold the mixture with a rubber spatula. Scrape the remaining wet batter into the bowl with the spatula. Once the ingredients are well combined and no flour is left on the bottom or sides of the bowl, it’s time to add the walnuts and chocolate chips (or your substitutions).
Pour the batter into the loaf pan.
Bake for 50 minutes or until top is golden brown and toothpick comes out clean.
After removing from the oven, let the banana bread cool for 15 minutes. Then, grabbing the ends of your liner, pull the bread out of the pan and let it cool another 10 minutes before slicing into it. Dig in!
Serving Size 1- 110g slice
Calories: 330 Carbs: 43g Fiber 2g Total sugars: 23g Added Sugars: 13g Fat: 19g Sat Fat: 4.5g Cholesterol: 25mg Protein: 4g Sodium: 170mg Ca: 2% D: 0% Iron: 15% Potassium: 4%