Banana Bread recipe (Gluten-Free & Vegan) – My go-to in lockdown

banana bread cake slice
Bea’s go-to banana bread – baked in a round pan as that’s what I had in my nomad nest in Italy 🙂

If you’ve been baking a fair share during these Corona-times, you *need* to add this recipe to your repertoire. This banana bread is an absolute hit when I make it (we don’t ever manage to keep some for the next day!). I’m hoping you’ll love making – and eating 😉 – this vegan banana bread too.

Banana Bread Recipe: Why Make This

This banana bread recipe isn’t without a story.

As a nomadic writer, you know I have a nose for a good story!

In my social butterfly days, I’ve baked banana choc-chip muffins for friends and family. Mostly because they (the muffins) were fail-proof and a crowd-pleaser. Later on, I sold these muffins to coworkers when I became a part-time artisan baker. It’s this golden recipe I modified to obtain my delicious (I do say so myself 😅) banana bread. I’ve spent almost three years perfecting it. I tried and tested this banana bread recipe in several of my travel destinations, including my three lockdown periods.

banana bread slice
Moist, not overly sweet, and so indulgent with a cuppa

Here’s why you need to give this banana bread recipe a go:

  1. People-pleaser: this banana bread recipe loves to please people of all ages, including the fussiest of eaters. It’ll be hard to find someone who’ll resist. Except if they’re die-hard banana bread haters!
  2. Minimal mess: it’s a one-bowl banana bread recipe. Less mess, more joy. While it’s baking in the oven, tidy up so you can savour your slice elegantly afterwards.
  3. Versatile: at the end of this post, I provide a few variations allowing you to swap out ingredients. This banana bread can be vegan, or only gluten free, or with dairy – it’s that versatile. It’s by a nomad, for nomads and wanderers (literally and figuratively).
  4. Seize it now: one of my dreams is to serve this banana bread to my B&B guests. As this dream is on hold, I figure I can make people happy right now by sharing this recipe. It may not remain published on the journal in future.
slice of banana bread for breakfast with a cup of tea
Morning tea with banana bread slice – ideal breakfast

The Ingredients

  • 3-4 ripe mashed bananas (approx 1 1/2cup)
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 chia eggs
  • 1/2 cup demerara sugar
  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate soda
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (optional)
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips (optional)
  • 1-2 tbsp raw cacao powder (optional)
  • handful of crushed walnuts (optional)
banana bread with pieces of dark chocolate
raw dark chocolate pieces give this banana bread a dash of ‘je ne sais quoi’ – try it!

The Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit/180 degrees Celsius. If using a fan oven, reduce to 150 degrees celsius.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk altogether bananas, applesauce, sugar, chia eggs, and oil.
  3. Add your flour blend, salt, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, and mix until combined. (There may be ‘lumps’ don’t worry. Break the ones you can). Swirl in cinnamon, nuts & choc chips.
  4. Pour batter into a loaf tin or small round cake pan, and pop in the oven for 60 mins or until golden brown and cooked. Do allow 10-15 mins (as hard as it is) to cool down before slicing and serving.
  5. You can also freeze the slices for later (if you can resist hehe).
banana bread with chocolate

Variations and substitutes to bea’s banana bread recipe

If you’re allergic to nuts, you can substitute the almond flour with coconut flour, or buckwheat or French Sarrasin flour. Replace crushed walnuts with raisins/sultanas.

You can use a good GF flour like Bob’s Red Mill. However, if you’re intolerant to xantham gum or don’t like it, you can use a blend. I’ve made my banana bread with chestnut flour, coconut flour, buckwheat, almond flour, rice flour, and more! In the U.K, I’ve used Dove’s Farms plain gluten free flour with great success.

If you prefer wheat flour, experiment and perhaps reduce the baking powder/bicarbonate of soda. Using self-raising flour is an option, and I suggest removing the raising agents from the recipe completely.

You can use organic, free range hen eggs or flaxseed eggs. Being intolerant to flaxseed, I use chia or hen eggs (my diet is flexitarian rather than vegan).

If you find chocolate too stimulating, feel free to omit the raw cacao powder.

For the chocolate chips, I usually prefer dark chocolate chips over ones where milk or milk/whey powder is added. Alternatively, use raw dark chocolate slab bashed into smaller pieces.

Make your own applesauce using this recipe (depending where I nest abroad, I sometimes can’t find in shops). If you’re making your own from scratch for my banana bread recipe, leave out the cinnamon. Does making this from scratch sound tiring? You can opt for yoghurt. Use coconut yoghurt (dairy-free version), or natural greek yoghurt.

I’ve added cinnamon in this banana bread recipe to spice it up. Ensure it’s Ceylon cinnamon instead of the ‘commercially cheap’ version. The latter has coumarin which can be potentially harmful if taken in large amount. I’m no doctor or nutritionist, but prioritise a healthy diet and lifestyle. So if you care about this like I do, ensure you have true cinnamon in your banana bread.

banana bread slice of cake

Whether you’re baking this during lockdown or for your afternoon treat, I hope you enjoy it. I personally make this banana bread for breakfast or for my goûter with my a cup of tea. For any questions, you’re welcome to ask below, or send me a private message on Instagram. I’d love to know how yours turn out!

Feel free to save it for later – simply add to one of your Pinterest boards by clicking on any of the images in this post.

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