Healthy Banana Bread (vegan, gf)

In my last post, I wrote about the vegan Artichoke Spinach Dip I was going to bring to a holiday party. We went to the party on Saturday and no one there knew I was vegan or that I brought a vegan dish. They must have liked the dip because there was barely any left at the end of the night! I also went to a holiday party on Friday night and brought vegan, gluten-free banana bread. This, too, went over very well. Personally, I LOVED it. I found the recipe on Gluten-Free-Vegan-Girl, a blog written by a very smart, beautiful 17-year-old girl in Norway whose English is far better than most Americans’. Solveig just started her blog in June of this year (same as me!) and already she has posted a wealth of information as well as her own vegan, gluten-free recipes. This girl is going places! I wouldn’t be surprised if she wrote a book or make a yoga DVD before she’s 20 ;)

This is not your average banana bread (which is usually full of sugar and butter). This is a much heartier, denser (yet still very moist) version… and it’s MUCH better for you. No sugar, no oil, no butter, no eggs. Just the good stuff. And I promise – it’s DELICIOUS! I wouldn’t share it with you if it wasn’t great.

Usually, when I have very ripe bananas that won’t get eaten before they go bad, I peel them and freeze them for smoothies. However, a friend just gave me some of her homemade vanilla (one bourbon-infused, one vodka-infused) and I was anxious to give them a try… so why not make banana bread?! Too bad I didn’t save her any. Guess I’ll just have to make more!

YIELDS 1 LOAF

***

INGREDIENTS:
2 cups gluten-free oat flour (or make your own)*
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt

1 cup pitted dates
½ cup unsweetened non-dairy milk (I used almond milk)
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 large very ripe bananas (if they aren’t soft and the skin isn’t turning brown, they are not ready)

OPTIONAL INGREDIENTS:
You can customize this bread any way you like with the following:
fresh ground nutmeg, chopped nuts, raisins, cranberries, vegan/gf chocolate chips 

*NOTES:
Original recipe called for 2 cups of gluten-free oat flour. I made one loaf with all oat flour, and one loaf with half oat flour, half spelt flour. I liked the latter better. However, if you are allergic to gluten, you should use all oat flour. If you are sensitive to gluten, it’s possible you will be okay with the mixture of both flours.

STEP 1:
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Lightly coat the bottom and sides of a 4×8 loaf pan with coconut oil or non-stick spray.

STEP 2:
Skip this step if you’re not making your own oat flour. If making your own, place 2 cups of gluten-free oats into food processor (with S blade) and process until finely ground. This takes a couple of minutes or so (depending on your food processor). Mine doesn’t get super-fine, but I think that’s what helps to give this bread such a hearty texture.

STEP 3:
In a large bowl, whisk together  dry ingredients (oat flour and/or spelt flour, cinnamon, baking powder, salt).

STEP 4:
Using a food processor, blend together the dates, non-dairy milk and vanilla extract until smooth.

STEP 5:
Using a potato masher or fork, mash bananas in a separate bowl.

STEP 6:
Add date mixture and mashed bananas to dry mixture; stir until combined. Add in optional ingredients (I added fresh ground nutmeg, ½ cup chopped walnuts and ½ cup vegan, gluten-free Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips); stir until combined. Scoop/pour mixture into prepared loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour at 350°F.

STEP 7:
In the last 10-15 minutes, check the bread by inserting a toothpick in the middle. When it comes out clean and the bread has come away from the edge of the pan, the bread is done. Allow the bread to cool in the pan on a cooling rack for 5 minutes. Remove bread from pan and allow it to cool another 10 minutes on cooling rack before slicing.

Wrap up a loaf with some simple parchment paper, tie it up with some red twine and a sprig of holly – and you’ve got yourself a beautiful, delicious, HEALTHY homemade gift. Great job with this recipe, Solveig – I can’t wait to try more of them!

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40 thoughts on “Healthy Banana Bread (vegan, gf)”

  1. That looks simply amazing! I can’t wait to try it! I love banana bread, but never make it because I never have leftover bananas! I’ve just started buying 2 bunches at a time so I can let some ripen then freeze them.
    I may make the spinach-artichoke dip for Christmas!
    Thanks for the great ideas!

    Reply
  2. Hi Livvy,

    I am a new reader! This recipe looks great :) I can’t wait to try it out.

    I’ve read that spelt flour is not gluten free…is that true? (My aunt is gluten free so I’ve done a lot of research for her about the subject.)

    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Hi Tiffany! Thanks for checking out 86 Lemons. Yes, you are right – I edited the ingredient list with an explanation about using spelt. Thanks for catching that!

      Reply
  3. Just took the Banana Bread that I made, out of the oven .

    Sat down, and saw your recipe. I’m not Vegan but your Banana Bread looks more delicious than mine. It looks heartier. The dates and maybe the flour that you use.

    Mine tastes very good though, and the aroma makes the house smell great!

    Nice pictures and clear directions Livvy!

    Reply
  4. I love a good banana bread recipe! I like mine with walnuts or chocolate chips, but my family likes their bread plain. They’re no fun, lol.

    I also love your photography. Were you a photography enthusiast before you started the blog? Your food styling is fantastic.

    Reply
    • Thank you! No, I didn’t really know much about photography before I started the blog (in June). I still only know the basics and have MUCH to learn. If you look back in the archives at my first posts, you’ll see that the photos were terrible. It’s getting better, little by little. I took an online SnapShop course from Ashley (who writes the Under the Sycamore blog) and learned a lot from that. I also purchased a few e-books on food photography, which have been helpful. Thanks for reading and commenting!!

      Reply
  5. Thanks! I’ve been debating whether or not to purchase her e-book. I have heard many great things about it so maybe it’s time to buy it already! Although, she did mention on her blog that she was making some “updates” to it so maybe I should wait for the newer version? Aaahh!!

    I checked out SnapShop as well. Ashley is quite the inspiration & her photography is beautiful. Maybe I can convince my husband that her class would be a perfect 35th birthday present, lol.

    Reply
  6. Hey Livvy!

    I made this banana bread last night and it’s delicious! I used 1 cup oat flour, 1 cup chickpea flour and it turned out perfect. I also added vegan chocolate chips and crushed raw almonds. My business partner loved the end result and she’s neither vegan nor gluten free :)

    I’ve been using this site often since I went plant-based a few months ago. Now I’m loving it even more since I decided to quit eating wheat, as of Dec. 1st. I’ve even gotten pretty creative with my own recipes…look out!

    Hope everything else is going well in The Mitten! I miss it up there…except for the cold ;-)

    Reply
    • Hi Megan! So glad you are finding some useful recipes here :) I’ll have to try the chickpea flour next time – good idea. All is well in the great north (except the cold and snow). Happy New Year to you!!

      Reply
  7. I tried this recipe because I am all about making desserts healthy! As a gluten free vegan I thought this looked pretty darn good. It was in fact good, but I would definitely alter the recipe next time I make it. It was extremely dense and needed more flavor in my opinion. I would add more banana flavor and maybe use half oat flour and half something else to make it a bit lighter.

    Reply
  8. I love the recipe, however I think I messed up the bread by taking it out to soon. Can you put bread back in the oven when you take it out too soon?

    Reply
  9. Thanks for all you do. Love this site! I am trying to eat healthy and this site saves me time which I don’t have a lot of these days!!!!!!

    Reply
  10. Is it possible to replace the flour with AP whole wheat flour or just regular AP white? (I’m not sensitive to gluten but it looks like a fantastic healthy recipe!)

    Reply
    • Yes, but I would start out with less flour. Try using just 1.5 cups at first. If needed, add a quarter cup more. It’s likely you won’t need the full 2 cups.

      Reply
  11. Made this bread over the weekend. It was sooo good, I went out and bought two bunches of bananas so I can make more this weekend. :)

    Reply
  12. Thanks! I am familiar with this app. Just in case anyone else is curious, if you make this recipe and bake in a 12 lightly oiled (spray is the least calories) cupcake tins, the nutritional information is as follows per 1 muffin: 148 calories, 31 g of carbs, 2 g of fat, 4 of protein 70 from sodium 13 g of sugar. I may add a scoop of protein to the next batch- delicious recipe! Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  13. Hi thanks for the recipe. I made it this morning but I found it too dense and chewy. The taste is really good but I don’t quite like the texture. Do you think that making it with spelt flour will help lighten up the texture?

    Reply
    • Hi Sherine. As stated in the post, this is a hearty, dense banana bread (although I didn’t find it to be chewy). I also noted that I preferred the mix of oat flour and spelt flour. I haven’t tried it with all spelt flour, but it’s worth a shot. I’m guessing it would result in a lighter texture. Let me know how it goes!

      Reply
  14. Hi Livvy!

    Just 2 weeks ago I discovered your post and I already used this recipe 3 times. I really love it so thank you very much!

    Kind regards,
    Chris

    Reply
  15. I stumbled across this recipe today looking for a way to use up a lot of really ripe bananas and over abundance of dates! This bread is delicious. Your site holds a special place in my vegan blog bookmarks from now on!

    Reply

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