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Grain-Free Banana Bread

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Every week, Shauna Ahern of Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef -- and Gluten-Free Girl Everyday -- will be sharing smart tips and smarter recipes that will please even the most devout gluten-eaters among us. Come one, come all -- we're going flourless. 

Today: Shauna shows us that a classic like banana bread can be equally as delicious sans grains.

Grain-Free Banana Bread

Once you are released from gluten, you find out something you didn't know when you automatically reached for that bag of all-purpose bleached wheat flour: flours have flavors.

Quinoa flour is a little grassy, and very savory. Buckwheat is nutty, and teff flour has a faint chocolate-y, molasses taste. If you choose flours based on their flavors, you might stop thinking about gluten altogether. You'll choose the flours you have for how they can make a banana bread sing, for they how they'll make your children say yum after they take their first bite.

We go through a lot of quick breads at our house. Our 5-year-old runs hard and dances through her day -- she rarely sits down -- and so she has the metabolism of a hummingbird, quick to tire if she doesn't eat. To combat that, I like giving her homemade squash bread, pumpkin bread, and zucchini bread. Her favorite by far is banana bread.

Grain-Free Banana Bread

Recently, I started baking with more almond flour for her sake. High in protein, almond flour has fewer carbohydrates than bleached white flour (or rice flour), is lower on the glycemic index, and has more fiber as well. She doesn't know any of this. She just thinks this banana bread is good.

And that's because I thought about the flavors with these flours: bananas and almonds are complementary flavors, as are maple syrup, cinnamon, buckwheat, and coconut. Throw them all in together and bake them in a loaf pan? You have a warm, nutty banana bread that is ever-so-slightly sweet. Without the refined sugars, this banana bread tastes more of bananas than sweetness. You taste the nuts and their fats. You taste bananas and almonds and maple syrup.

The fact that it's gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, and refined sugar-free? Well, that's nice for the people who need those things. But for you? This is a darned fine banana bread.

Grain-Free Banana Bread 

Serves 8

100 grams finely ground almond flour
60 grams arrowroot powder
50 grams buckwheat flour (make sure it's gluten-free)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
150 grams maple syrup
2 large eggs
80 grams melted coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 ripe bananas, mashed
75 grams crushed hazelnuts


See the full recipe (and save and print) here.


Photos by Shauna Ahern

Tags: gluten free, banana bread, grain free, the good life, special diets

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