Delicious, Indulgent Banana Bread! Gluten-Free and Organic!

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There are moments in time when you get something in your mind and simply can’t let go.  It comes back over and over again, like neighbor kids who want you to come out and play.  But you’re not sure you can.  For me, in this case, it was particularly because my friendly visitor was banana bread and, well, we have a gluten-free home.

See, I do still make breads, desserts, and treats.  Lately I feel like I’m getting a great handle on GF baking, even a little gourmet you might say.  At least I do.  But when it comes to most-loved indulgences like savory, moist banana bread, I become gun-shy.  So many times when I try to convert a recipe from glutenous to gluten-free it takes at least a few tries to actually get it right, which I wasn’t sure I had the patience to endure.  Because I wanted to have my banana bread and guiltlessly, deliciously indulge in it too the very moment the loaf came out of the oven.  Last night I gave into my daydreaming and decided to take the plunge…

Voila!  Absolutely delicious banana bread!  Better yet, I feel even more guilt-free eating it because it was gluten-free and organic!  I had two thick pieces by myself last night after it had cooled.  Then another this morning for breakfast with the family.  Oh, and another with my mom when she stopped by this afternoon.  Indulgent eating always feels justified when you do it socially.

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The following recipe was given to me by my mom when I moved out of my parent’s home and off to college.  I’ve tweaked it now to meet our dietary wishes, but the bones of the recipe remain.  This recipe is super-moist, very much like zucchini or pumpkin bread.  I can’t guarantee that your recipe will turn out exactly the same if you happen to swap out any of the sweetener or flours, however if you’re familiar with gluten-free flour and feel confident in switching starches and the weight of various flours, then I say go for it!  I’m fairly certain the bread won’t be as moist if you use a granular sugar instead of a liquid one, so if you don’t have agave nectar on hand it would probably be wise to use honey (or maybe pure maple syrup – but be careful because syrup is sweeter!).  Also, you can assume that everything used in this recipe was organic in our home.  I know what tastes I enjoy in my baking now, so this recipe is based on our family’s personal preference.

For those who eat regular flour, you can simply use 1 ¾ C. All Purpose or Whole Wheat Flour in lieu of all of the ones I have listed.  However, you may want to leave some oatmeal and flax in your recipe for depth of flavor.  Also, leave out the xanthan gum or you’ll end up with a super chewy bread.  Not in a good way.

So, finally, here is my new favorite recipe!
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Best Ever Banana Bread  (Originally from the kitchen of Melody Slachter, converted and tweaked by me)

  • ½ C. oatmeal
  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tbsp. sweetener of choice
  • 1-2 tsp. cinnamon

In a small bowl, combine all above ingredients and set aside.  This is optional, but who doesn’t love a sweet topping on banana bread!

  • ½ C. brown rice flour
  • ¼ C. ground flax seeds
  • ¼ C. garbanzo/fava flour (don’t leave this out!  Garbanzo/fava flour tastes terrible when a recipe is in dough form, however it is one of the best flours to use in baked goods, for the consistency of the bread, and you won’t even taste it in the final product)
  • ¼ C. sorghum flour
  • ¼ C. tapioca starch
  • ¼ C. arrowroot starch
  • ¼ C. old-fashioned oats
  • 1 ½ tsp. xanthan gum
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • 1-2 tsp. cinnamon (optional)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 C. mashed ripe bananas (2-3 medium.  I used three)
  • ¾ C. agave nectar (honey or granular sugar would work too)
  • ½ C. extra virgin olive or coconut oil (melt the coconut oil prior to using)
  • ¼ C. PLUS 1 tbsp. buttermilk (you can add 1 tsp lemon juice to the milk to substitute for buttermilk.  This is what I always do – put it together before you start the recipe so it can sit for at least five minutes and curdle)
  • 1 ½ tsp. pure vanilla extract

In a large bowl, stir together flours, starches, flax, xanthan gum, oatmeal, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.  In another bowl, combine eggs, bananas, oil, buttermilk and vanilla.  Add the wet mixture to the flour mixture, stirring with a rubber spatula until moistened.  Pour into a 9x5x3 loaf pan, greased with coconut oil.  Sprinkle the top of the loaf with the oatmeal mixture you put together earlier.  Bake @ 325* for 1 hour 20 minutes, or until bread tests done.  Cool for 10 minutes in the pan prior to removing and indulging.

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