Nourishing Gluten-Free Banana Bread

Nourishing Gluten-Free Banana Bread

Happy Friday, everyone! I felt like we all needed a comforting dessert recipe to start off the weekend. Therefore, I present to you all this super moist and nourishing gluten-free banana almond bread, sweetened only with bananas and just a dash of honey! Trust me, this is some totally delicious bread. It’s homey, cozy, and perfectly cinnamon-y.

Ready to get started?

Why make this gluten-free banana almond bread?

Overripe bananas

I know I talked about my grandmother, Shuggie, in my previous post, but I have to mention her again here. Banana bread was one of her signature desserts, and she would make it for me ALL THE TIME! And, the worst (read: best) part was that I wanted it ALL THE TIME.

Shuggie’s banana bread was a cut above delicious but, of course, it contained almost an entire stick of butter and tons of sugar. This is a huge problem when you crave it all the time. Hers also wasn’t gluten-free, which became a necessity for me about five years ago.

So, the goal for my version was to recreate Shuggie’s cornerstone recipe, but make it gluten-free, and use only natural sweeteners. By doing this, I can enjoy a slice more often, and actually get some good nutrients while I’m at it. And, I’m pretty proud of the results.

First, we used almond flour instead of all-purpose or other GF flour blends. Almond flour is grain-free, gluten-free, and lower in carbs than traditional flours. I also absolutely love its texture. It’s denser and higher in fat than all-purpose flour, so it imparts a moist, velvety butteriness into your baked goods that is really pleasant. I prefer to use Bob’s Red Mill.

Next, the reason why everyone tells you to use overripe bananas in banana bread is because they’re sweeter. As bananas age, their starches break down into sugars, making them ideal to put into a bread recipe where you need that sweet little extra punch to shine through the other ingredients. I also decided to add just a teaspoon of honey for a teeny bit of pure sweetness, particularly because this bread is fairly dense.

Almond flour in a bowl.

Finally, you can use this bread as a base for all kinds of fun variations. For this particular photographic instance, I chose to add extra dark chocolate chips (because why not?) and a cinnamon-walnut streusel topping that I will include the recipe to below, even though it’s totally optional.

Mise en place for banana bread.

How to make this cozy, gluten-free banana almond bread

First thing’s first! Mash your bananas in a large mixing bowl!

Your mashed bananas should look very smooth.

Now you’re going to add your eggs, honey, vanilla, and some almond milk (gotta keep things moist, people) to the bananas!

Honey for banana bread.

Next, add your almond flour, flaxseed meal, oatmeal, cinnamon, nutmeg and baking soda to the egg and banana mixture.

Adding dry ingredients for banana bread.

Then, combine all of that together until you have a smooth dough. The dough should be pliant and moist.

Stirring dough.
Stirring dough.

Then, you’ll want to gently fold in the walnuts and chocolate chips if you’re adding them. When those are well-combined into the dough, you can add it to your loaf pan. You’ll want to either grease it with some cooking spray, butter, or neutral oil or use parchment paper. Normally, I would advocate for parchment, but I unfortunately ran out right before photographing this recipe, so please don’t judge ;). When the dough is in the pan, make sure that you smooth out the top so that it bakes evenly.

Banana bread dough in loaf pan.

Then, pop it in your oven at 350° for 45-50 minutes or until golden brown and a cake tester comes out clean! Don’t worry if the bread doesn’t rise super-high in the loaf pan. While almond flour does have a delicious flavor and texture, it doesn’t make for super fluffy baked goods. However, I promise that it’s worth it for the utterly amazing butteriness!

If you want to leave your bread as it is, remove it from the oven and place it on a cooling rack until it’s ready to turn out onto a plate or cake storer.

Optional Walnut and Oat Streusel Topping

However, if you want to jazz your bread up a bit instead, here’s a quick way to whip up a lovely streusel topping that will completely transform this banana bread from a comforting dessert bread to a truly show-stopping main event!

Butter melting in pan.

You should wait to make this until the bread is about twenty-five minutes from coming out of the oven. Melt a pat of butter in a small skillet, and bring it to the point where it’s just bubbling. Don’t let it burn!

Then, add your oats, walnuts, and cinnamon, and let those hang out in the bubbling butter for a minute or two until they just start to toast. Then, add a couple tablespoons of brown sugar.

Streusel topping cooking pan.

Cook until the brown sugar becomes liquid and begins to coat the walnuts and oats. By the time you’re finished making the streusel, the banana bread should be about ten minutes from coming out of the oven.

Remove the banana bread from the oven, sprinkle the streusel evenly on top, and place back in the oven for the bread’s remaining cooking time.

Cooked Streusel topping.

Finishing up!

Boom! You’ve just made a lovely loaf of banana bread that has less sugar and carbs, is completely gluten-free, and will still make your mouth water! I can get behind that!

We’d love to know if you made this recipe and what you think of it! Stay healthy and find comfort in the little things!

Banana bread on a cooling rack.
Nourishing gluten free banana bread.
Nourishing gluten free banana bread.

Nourishing Gluten-Free Banana Almond Bread

A comforting, moist, and simple take on banana bread that is totally gluten-free and completely satisfying!
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Gluten-free, banana bread, comfort food
Servings: 1 loaf
Author: LM

Equipment

  • Loaf pan

Ingredients

  • 3 overripe bananas mashed
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 1/2 cup flaxseed meal
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats (ensure they are labeled "gluten-free" if you are sensitive)
  • 1/2 tbsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts optional
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips optional

For the optional walnut and oat streusel topping:

  • 2 tbsp. butter salted
  • 1/3 cup walnuts chopped
  • 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon

Instructions

For the banana bread:

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Mash bananas in a large bowl.
  • Add almond milk, eggs, vanilla, and honey to the banana mixture and stir to combine well.
  • Add almond flour, flaxseed meal, rolled oats, cinnamon, nutmeg, and baking soda to the banana and egg mixture. Stir thoroughly to combine. The dough should be thick but still moist and pliable.
  • If adding walnuts and/or chocolate chips, fold them gently into the dough until they are evenly distributed.
  • Pour dough into a greased or parchment-lined loaf pan. Smooth the surface to ensure even baking.
  • Bake for 45-50 minutes or until golden brown and a cake tester comes out clean.
  • Remove to a cooling rack and let rest until cool enough to turn out into a pan or dish.

For the optional walnut-oatmeal streusel:

  • Melt butter and bring it to a slight simmer over medium heat in a small skillet.
  • Add walnuts, oatmeal, and cinnamon to butter skillet and stir until totally combined. Cook 1-2 minutes or until beginning to toast.
  • Add brown sugar and continue cooking over medium heat until it becomes liquid and coats the nuts and oats. Take care not to burn the sugar.
  • Off heat, and spread streusel over the banana bread when it is 10 minutes from being fully baked.
  • Place banana bread back in oven to complete baking time, and then remove to a cooling rack as usual.

Notes

Serving suggestion: 
You can serve this recipe however you like, but it’s particularly amazing topped with some almond butter, tahini, or sea-salted butter. Also, Nutella works, because when doesn’t Nutella work!?
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Karl wants some banana bread. Do you?

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