Since my Celiac diagnosis a year and a half ago, and subsequent gluten-free diet, I have come to hold pretty low expectations for gluten-free baked goods. Store-bought bread, muffins, cookies, etc. are always just slightly off in texture or taste, are usually a bit dry and crumbly. So I never really tried baking anything at home, since I assumed it wouldn’t turn out. WRONG.
A couple weekends ago my boyfriend’s mom baked gluten-free banana bread for us to try (she spoils us with amazingly delicious food every time we visit, and this was no exception). I tried it, and was seriously concerned it might not be gluten-free until I saw the recipe. Because it was PERFECT. Moist (even though I loathe that word), rich, full of flavor. No dryness to speak of. Even though in the past I’ve been traditionally helpless at baking, I had to try. And it turned out phenomenal! So I copied the recipe, and had to post it here.
Celiac, gluten-intolerant, or even gluten-eating friends, you must try it. I promise, the pre-concieved notion that you’re eating some gluten-free hippie bland food will float out of your brain and be replaced by delicious banana unicorns leaping over bread rainbows. Er…or you’ll just really like it.
And of course, I was too excited that it turned out perfectly to remember to take a picture before we ate both loaves in less than 24 hours. D’oh! Oh well, I’ll be sure to make this again in the next month and remember to take a photo before
shoving my face in it eating a slice like a lady.
2 cups gluten-free all-purpose baking flour (Red Mill brand worked great)
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups mashed ripe bananas (4-5 medium)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup canola oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs, bananas, sugar, applesauce, oil, and vanilla.
Stir into dry ingredients until moistened. Here you might think it looks way too runny, and there’s no possible way it could become bread. But have patience, young padawan, for it’s supposed to look like that.
Transfer to two 8″ x 4″ loaf pans coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with walnuts (optional).
Bake at 350 for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks. Makes 2 loaves (~12 slices each, but I won’t judge if you just eat the whole thing out of the pan)
Until I can take a photo of this banana bread….here’s a placeholder.
**Bonus tip: it tastes EXTRA phenomenal with cream cheese, especially honey walnut cream cheese from Panera. Seriously…try it.
***Disclaimer: not one of my healthy recipes.