The Best Vegan and Gluten-free Banana Bread
The Best Vegan and Gluten-free Banana Bread- made with a combination of oat and almond flour, this healthier banana bread is as wholesome as it is delicious!
This recipe has been a long time coming. Even though I already have a vegan and gluten-free banana bread on my site, I knew I could make a better version. Not that the old one isn’t good, I just wanted something with more of a classic texture. So over the past year, every time I had a few ripe bananas, I would test different variations of this recipe. I had to make so many little tweaks here and there that I eventually lost count of how many times I made it, BUT…it finally turned out PERFECT.
If you’ve baked vegan and gluten-free recipes that don’t involve starches then you know things often turn out dense and gummy. I find myself running into that texture all of the time. UGH. Let’s just say my goal in life is to avoid that outcome. When it finally happens I feel like screaming from the mountain tops.
What You Need To Make It and Possible Substitutions
In all seriousness, it’s very hard to get the ratios and ingredients just right in order to avoid gumminess. With that in mind it’s hard for me to recommend substitutions but I know I will get a lot of questions regarding this so I might as well address it up front…
- Ripe Bananas- The spottier the bananas, the better! You want them super ripe so that they blend easily and offer up plenty of natural sweetness. Obviously we won’t be subbing these for anything.
- Dairy-free Milk- I’ve tested it with soy milk, an almond/cashew blend with pea protein and oat milk. All of these have a decent amount of protein so I’m not sure if using plain almond or coconut milk would have a different outcome. I’ll have to try it that way and update the post accordingly.
- Apple Cider Vinegar- This is my go-to for vegan baking because it reacts with the leavening agents and creates air bubbles in the batter to allow for some lift. Very important when you’re trying to avoid a dense and gummy texture. Lemon juice or white vinegar will have a similar effect.
- Vanilla Extract- I use this solely for flavor so while it’s technically optional, I highly recommend including it.
- Melted Coconut Oil- I always have coconut oil on hand because it blends seamlessly in baked goods and provides the best moisture. However, olive oil or any other neutral flavored oil would likely work. If you wanted to make it oil-free you could try using equal amounts of runny tahini, cashew or almond butter. I haven’t tested it oil-free and my suspicion is that the result would be denser but it’s worth a try if you’re determined to make it oil-free.
- Coconut Sugar- The first several times I made this recipe I tested it with maple syrup and it consistently led to a dense texture. I found that coconut sugar lightens up the texture while still adding a subtle sweetness. That said, you can easily substitute equal amounts organic cane sugar or brown sugar. If you’d like to go the maple syrup route just keep in mind you will have to adjust the liquid (using less milk) and it will change the texture.
- Oat and Almond Flour- My go-to blend for gluten-free baking is oat and almond flour because they’re usually easy to find and work so well together. Oat flour can typically be substituted with brown rice flour but almond flour is unique in that it adds a source of fat and moisture to the recipe. Because of that I don’t recommend substituting the almond flour.
- Baking Powder and Soda- I use both to balance out the acid in the recipe, create a golden brown color and add extra lift.
Why I Like to Use a Blender
Technically you don’t need a blender to make this banana bread but it really helps incorporate air into the recipe which provides lift and reduces that dreaded dense and gummy texture. It doesn’t have to be a high speed blender. A NutriBullet would work just fine.
Also, this is my all-time favorite baking pan to use. Every loaf comes out perfect!
I included dark chocolate chips in the recipe because that’s what goes over best in my house but feel free to switch things up with chopped nuts (like walnuts or pecans), raisins, or whatever you prefer!
Looking for more ways to use ripe bananas? Check out these recipes!
- Vegan Banana Oatmeal Blender Muffins
- Vegan Spinach Blender Muffins
- Blueberry Banana Baked Oatmeal
- Vegan Almond Butter Banana Bread
- Flourless Vegan Banana Bread Waffles
- Flourless Double Chocolate Banana Bread
The Best Vegan and Gluten-free Banana Bread
- 2 medium bananas, (at least 1 cup when mashed) make sure they are very ripe!
- ½ cup non-dairy milk
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- ¼ cup coconut sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¼ cup melted coconut oil
- 1½ cups oat flour
- 1 cup almond flour
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup dark chocolate chips, plus more for topping
- Preheat the oven to 350°F then grease a standard size loaf pan.
- In the bowl of a blender, combine the bananas, milk, vinegar, coconut sugar and vanilla extract. Blend on high for 15-20 seconds until a smooth frothy liquid forms. Alternatively you can use an immersion blender or mash everything together by hand. I recommend using a blender for best results. Pour the liquid into a large bowl, add the melted coconut oil and set aside.
- In a separate large bowl, whisk together the oat flour, almond flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Make sure to whisk or sift any lumps of flour.
- To the bowl with the liquid ingredients, add the dry in 4 separate parts, stirring in between. This will assure the flour is incorporated as evenly as possible. Lastly, stir in the chocolate chips.
- Transfer the batter to your greased loaf pan and arrange a few more chocolate chips on top. Bake in the oven for approximately 45 minutes. The bread should be firm and golden brown. Allow to cool completely before slicing and serving. I know it's tempting to eat it right away but the texture will improve as it cools.