It took me years to figure out how to bake the perfect banana bread. But when my now-13-year-old son was diagnosed as having certain food sensitivities (those affecting his gut flora and ability to breathe clearly) I had to rethink all my baking.
Making mindful food choices a family affair
Those same food sensitivities have now extended to my 10-year-old daughter, and my 15-year-old daughter has declared “no more sugar”. Oh, goody. Since then, it’s been a roller coaster ride of “eat this/don’t eat that”, of lenient food moments versus strict ones, of “buy it or bake it”.
We never made the food switch a family affair, we simply made accommodations by buying what we used to refer to as “Aidan-friendly” foods. However, we still have a slew of junk or sugar-laden foods that come through our front door in addition to the gluten- and sugar-free varieties for the kids. I blame my husband. As a result, I am the “bad cop” to his “good cop” in an effort to keep the “restricted” foods at bay.
It is not a perfect system and of course my younger kids still eats things — particularly those of the sweet variety — that we really should be ensuring they avoid. My eldest daughter, though, has the willpower of a saint and regulates her nutrition fairly well.
All this to say: I’ve made it my mission to track down yummy recipes that are both gluten- (or wheat-) free as well as free of refined sugars so that I can bake treats the entire family can enjoy guilt-free.
Finding the perfect banana bread
One such family staple is banana bread and, you guys, I found a banana bread recipe over on Happily Unprocessed that turns out wonderfully every time. Honestly, you could Google for days because everyone’s recipe is THE BEST recipe. While I’m hardly an authority on banana bread, I know what I like. This one is moist and tender, has a great crumb texture, and tastes just banana-y enough. I bake mine without nuts so the kids can take a slice to school.
The teen girl loves it. My husband enjoys it. More importantly, my food-sensitivity kids like it. It is, quite literally, the gluten-free, sugar-free banana bread the whole family will love.
Gluten-free, Refined-sugar-free Banana Bread
Whether or not you are on dietary restrictions or choosing to make more healthful choices, you MUST add this banana bread to your rotation.
- 4 large eggs (room temperature)
- 3 large, ripe bananas (mashed)
- 1/4 cup raw honey
- 1/4 cup almond milk
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups gluten-free flour mix (add 1/2 tsp xanthan gum if not included in your flour mix)
- 1/4 cup almond flour
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tbsp ground flax seed
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350ºF or 325ºF if using a dark, coated pan or glass pan.
Grease and flour a 9″x5″x3″ loaf pan. Set aside.
Combine the wet ingredients in a small bowl and whisk or mix with an immersion blender.
Mix together the dry ingredients (including nuts, if using) in a large bowl and whisk to combine.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and combine, careful not to overmix.
Pour batter into loaf pan and bake on second rack about 45-50 minutes, checking for doneness with a toothpick.
Cool in pan on rack 10 minutes then turn out onto rack and let cool completely. Wrap cooled loaf in plastic wrap — best served the next day.