Mindful Meals: Banana Bread (Vegan, Gluten-free, Sugar-free)

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Who doesn’t love banana bread? I’ve been baking since I was a little girl and it has remained one of my favorite treats. It’s a substantial snack and, because of the bananas, seems significantly more healthy than many other breads, muffins, and cakes. 

The only problem is, traditional banana bread is actually not that healthy. Between the sugar, enriched flour, and dairy, it can be hard to digest. So that façade of health the banana provides is just making our minds think we’re being healthy while still putting a strain on our bodies.

As an adult I’ve cut out most gluten, dairy, and sugar from my diet and have spent many years in the kitchen testing out gluten-free, dairy-free, and sugar-free recipes. 

What I found is that most gluten-free breads turn out flakey or mealy because when you lose the gluten, you lose that vital binding agent that holds everything together.

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 So the other morning when I experimented with a new version of banana bread, I decided to try adding two ingredients I would never think to use: hemp seeds and flax seeds. 

 Paired with a chia egg (which is just chia soaked in water), and cassava flour (which becomes starchy and mimics that binding job the gluten would normally provide), the other seeds help bring a spongy and substantial texture to this bread.

 What’s more, cane sugar is an ingredient you don’t miss with the naturally sweet bananas and the addition of coconut and date sugars. 

 So far everyone I’ve shared this bread with all agree—you can’t tell there’s no gluten or sugar! Be prepared to make a double batch, because this recipe will be gone within a day or two of baking.

Healthy Banana Bread

Author:
prep time: 15 Mcook time: 40 Mtotal time: 55 M
A guilt-free, healthy banana bread that's vegan, gluten-free, and sugar-free.

ingredients:

  • 1 cup cassava flour
  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • ½ cup almond flour
  • ½ cup date sugar
  • ½ cup coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Real salt
  • 3 ½ teaspoons aluminum free baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons hemp seeds
  • 2 tablespoons flax seeds
  • 1 chia egg (2 tablespoons chia seeds + 4 tablespoons filtered water)
  • 2 bananas, mashed
  • 3 tablespoons sunflower oil
  • 1 cup almond milk, unsweetened

instructions:

How to cook Healthy Banana Bread

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Combine the chia seeds and water in a small cup and set aside for 5 minutes.
  3. Mix the cassava flour, coconut flour, almond flour, date sugar, coconut sugar, salt, baking powder, hemp seeds, and flax seeds.
  4. Add in the chia egg, bananas, and sunflower oil. Once mixed, add the almond milk. The consistency will be between batter and dough. You should be able to handle it with your hands, though it’ll be a little wet.
  5. Add any other mix-ins like chocolate chips, dried fruit, or nuts, if desired. (I have yet to find a good sugar-free, dairy-free chocolate chip so that’s usually where I cheat!)
  6. Choose a baking vessel and brush with sunflower oil. Place the dough batter into the vessel, making sure not to fill it too high. I generally fill mine halfway, no matter what the vessel to ensure that the center cooks well.
  7. Bake for 20-40 minutes depending on the vessel and oven. Use a wooden toothpick to check the center and watch for the top to get browned, but not burnt.
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