Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Gluten Free, Vegan Banana Bread Recipe

Gluten free, vegan banana bread. Egg free. Rice free. Dairy/casein free. Low sugar/ low glycemic.

A few years ago I completely turned my nose at anything labeled "vegan." I'm not really a fan of labels as it is... but then again you want people to visit your blog... so sometimes labels are helpful, especially to search engines. But I'm getting off topic... A few years ago I knew how to bake. I could bake the heck out of a banana bread, chocolate cake, brownies, apple pie, you name it... but it was always in the traditional sense. Wheat flour. Eggs. Sugar. Milk.

Nearly 5 years later that seems so boring. Anybody can cook & bake like that if they want too. It wasn't until I HAD to change my diet and cut gluten out of my life that I realized it was completely possible to bake without those traditional ingredients.  You don't need wheat, eggs, sugar, or milk to make a good and delicious banana bread!

I didn't necessarily make this particular banana bread for people following a vegan diet. I made it for friends who have kids who can't eat eggs. I made it because I like thinking outside of the box. I made it because I like figuring out new ways to bake old favorite foods.

I've learned so much about non-traditional baking in the past 5 years and every day I learn more. If anything, I've realized there are truly no limits to what you can do in the kitchen.  Just because you have food limitations doesn't mean that your life has to be boring or bland or no longer tasty!

That's the thing I love about gluten free baking. It seems hard at first, but once you step outside of that little American box you were accustomed too of prepackaged mixes, wheat flour, sugar, butter, and eggs... you realize the whole world has been baking with thousands of other ingredients for centuries.

So walk on the wild side with sorghum flour, blanched almond flour, or quinoa. Bake a batch of brownies with millet flour or brown rice flour or amaranth. Make an egg-free cake with ground flax seeds, chia seeds, or mashed bananas. Ditch the white sugar and sweeten a batch of brownies with molasses, agave nectar, local honey, or stevia.

Don't be afraid to try new things. You may not always end up with a perfect baked good every time, but you will have the joy of experiencing new flavors in your kitchen!

Gluten Free, Vegan Banana Bread Recipe
free of gluten, dairy/casein, rice, soy, and eggs
created by carrie @ www.gingerlemongirl.com
print-friendly recipe.

**Makes 3 "7.5 x 3.5" loaves of banana bread**

Dry Ingredients:
1 cup millet flour (5 oz., 140 grams)
1 cup sorghum flour (5 1/4 oz., 150 grams)
1 cup arrowroot starch (4 1/2 oz., 124 grams)
2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Wet Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups mashed bananas (about 3-4 small bananas)
1 tablespoon Ener-G Egg Replacer + 1/4 cup warm water (or 2 eggs)
1 cup non-dairy milk (I use almond milk)
1/4 cup canola oil, melted coconut oil, or grapeseed oil
1/2 cup honey, agave nectar, or sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Optional Add-In's:
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1/2 cup allergen free chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl whisk together all dry ingredients. In another bowl mix together all wet ingredients. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until you have a thick cake batter texture. Fold in chopped walnuts or chocolate chips if you are using them. Divide the banana bread batter into 3 (7.5 x3.5) greased loaf pans. (The batter should fill each pan about halfway full.) Add a few half pecans or walnuts to the top of your bread for decoration if you'd like. Bake in preheated oven for 25-35 minutes, or until loaves are golden brown, and a toothpick or sharp knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.

*Also makes 18-24 muffins. Line muffin pans with paper liners and fill about half full with batter. Top each muffin with a pecan if you'd like. Bake for 17-20 minutes until the muffins are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Carrie's Notes:
  • If you're opposed to using Ener-G egg replacer (or if you don't have any) I think you could make the banana bread or muffins without it, they just may not rise quite as high. 
  • Millet flour & sorghum flour: If you don't like these flours, use other whole grain gluten free flours that you like. Brown rice flour, quinoa flour, even bean flours would work just fine in this recipe. 
  • This is NOT a really sweet bread. Feel free to up the amount of sugar or honey to 3/4 cup - 1 cup. It should not affect the end result of the rise or texture or the bread. 
  • This bread is also delicious toasted and I think it would make GREAT french toast!
  • You should be able to halve this recipe easily and make 2 larger loaves of banana bread. I like making it in the smaller loaf pans though because I think it gets a better rise. I use the same loaf pans to make Elana's Gluten Free Bread

This recipe has been linked to Amy Green's Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays. Make sure to stop by and see all of the other yummy and slightly indulgent treats that are listed on today's roundup! 
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