Gluten-free marbled banana bread
The scent of freshly baked banana bread has been wafting through my house for the last week. A sudden craving hit me recently and the next thing I know, I’ve used up every single frozen banana in my freezer in a crazy attempt to perfect a gluten-free version of my favourite baked treat.
I’ve been a big, big fan of banana bread ever since my grandmother introduced me to it when I was a wee child. So, I didn’t take this personal challenge lightly. This gluten-free bread had to be good, with a texture that wasn’t gluey or doesn’t fall apart in your hands, and a light banana flavour that wasn’t too sweet. Oh, and with a beautiful chocolatey swirl throughout. Shouldn’t be too hard, right? I already had it planned out before I even started, but naturally, what seemed so easy on paper couldn’t quite be achieved in the kitchen. It took more than a few trials to get this just right.
This, my friends, was a lesson in texture. I already knew the combination of different flours affects the outcome immensely when it comes to gluten-free baking. My goal was to use a few simple flours and not starches or gums. In the end, it was a mix of three of my favourites that did the trick—oat, buckwheat and almond. Why I didn’t try this combo to begin with is beyond me.
But I digress.
If you’ve never tried making a loaf with a fun chocolate swirl, you’re missing out. Not only does this turn a plain banana loaf into an attractive party dessert, but it’s just so much fun to mix and swirl the batters together to create a totally unique loaf every time. Thanks to Isa for the fun idea.
Gluten-free marbled banana bread
Yield: 1 loaf
- 1 cup oat flour (gluten-free certified, if necessary)
- 3/4 cup light buckwheat flour
- 1/2 cup almond meal
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tbsp ground chia seeds + 1 tbsp water
- 4 overripe bananas, peeled
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 3 tbsp cocoa powder + 3 tbsp hot water
- Preheat the oven to 350F and lightly oil a 9x5-inch loaf pan.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the oat flour, buckwheat flour, almond meal, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the chia and water and set aside until a gel forms.
- In another large bowl, mash the bananas until no large clumps remain. Add the coconut sugar, vanilla extract and chia gel. Add the flour mixture and stir to combine.
- Transfer 1 + 1/4 cup of the batter to another clean bowl. Now, in a small cup whisk together the cocoa powder and hot water until the cocoa is dissolved. Add this to the batter and mix until incorporated.
- Now it's time to marble! Scoop out 1/3 cups of batter and drop them in the prepared loaf pan, side by side and on top of each other, alternating colours as best you can. Repeat until all the batter has been used. Insert a sharp knife or long skewer into the batter and make a swirl motion throughout. You want to try to swirl through each section to gently merge the batters, but take care not to overdo it.
- Bake at 350F for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before slicing.
Update: Thanks to reader input, I've changed the buckwheat flour to read "light buckwheat" since the swirl doesn't show up well when the darker variety is used. You could also try grinding raw buckwheat groats (not kasha) into a flour.