Ah banana bread, the saving grace of blackened mushy bananas. I don’t actually know of anyone that doesn’t love banana bread (probably because those people are soul-less and so I don’t associate with them). BB has always evoked this nostalgic feeling for me, very homey, very MOM-like. I know my mom and I made plenty of banana breads back in the day, partially because once a banana is completely yellow and lacking any green my mom considers it to be too old to eat and is doomed to become a baked good ingredient, but I can’t recall ever having a recipe that was our standard go-to recipe. I find lots of families have recipes that they pass down from generation to generation and that is the only recipe they will ever use (although truthfully most probably originated from your grandma’s Betty Crocker cookbook, and over time it became, “Grandma’s Famous (insert type of dessert here)”), regardless it’s almost sacrilege to stray from it. Which is awesome, believe me, I think it’s really important to our social history to keep certain traditions alive, especially culinary history, however in the words of the great Bob Dylan, the times they are a-changin’.
Especially for those people with gluten intolerance, whose bodies are physically unable to process gluten without making them violently ill. I know a few people with celiac disease and various other gluten sensitivities, and although sometimes I feel bad that they cannot enjoy the traditional foods but luckily food science is making rapid advances in the quality and variety of products available that boast a gluten-free status. That being said, you still need to get a little creative to successfully pull off gluten-free baking, and since I have never tried my hand at it and I seem to have a rather large amount of stay-at-home-time on my hands with the blizzard a-brewing outside, I thought I’d try it out. I sort of cheated for this first experience and bought Maple Grove Farm’s all-purpose baking mix, which is a conglomerate of various non-wheat flours, xanthum gum and baking soda. You can use it as a direct swap for flour in most recipes, and since it has baking soda, apparently you can cut that out of the recipe (I was a little gun-shy about completely leaving it out, so I still added some). I also made a few tweaks like using coconut oil instead of butter, and adding some crabapple butter (you can use applesauce or normal apple butter). The final product? Well, it’s not your mama’s banana bread. It’s better. That’s right, I said it. BETTER. This bread just made a believer out of me. I’ve already eaten 2 slices and I will likely continue until it’s gone or someone stops me. If it lasts that long, it will be perfect for a snowy morning’s breakfast.
Gluten Free Banana Bread
Note: It is your responsibility to make sure all of the ingredients you use are gluten free, since some ingredients use gluten products as binders, preservatives, etc. Just be careful, especially if you are medically unable to consume gluten.
1/4 cup virgin coconut oil (solid, if melted, put in fridge to solidify)
scant 1/4 cup crabapple butter, or normal apple butter, or applesauce
scant 1/4 cup turbinado sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 bananas (medium sized, mashed)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking soda (may not be necessary)
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups all purpose gluten-free baking mix
1 cup chocolate chips (optional)
First pre-heat your oven to 350F. Then, in a large mixing bowl combine the coconut oil, apple butter and sugars; beat until thoroughly mixed together then add the banana and mix it again! Add the eggs, vanilla, baking soda and salt and mix well. Slowly add the flour, being careful to scrape down the sides as you mix. If you’re feeling crazy, or just have a bunch of chocolate chips to get rid of, feel free to add in some of those too (just check the ingredient list, since I believe some companies use a light dusting of flour to keep them from sticking? I could be wrong, but just to be safe). Bake for ~45 minutes or until a fork comes out clean when stabbed in the middle. Allow to cool slightly before slicing; slice that bad boy up and serve with butter. Enjoy alongside a cup of coffee spiked with Bailey’s, either before or after shoveling 2 feet of snow from your driveway.