With the weather changing and Fall schedules picking up, I feel myself easily overhwhelmed. Everything appears more laid-back in the Summer, as opposed to Fall, when there are new beginnings, new schedules, greater expectations, and a more rushed day. At the same time, there is something exciting about this new start and increased energy. The other day, I needed a “time-out” activity. When I noticed two, brown, sad looking bananas on the counter, I knew I had the perfect afternoon project.
Baking banana bread feels like the utmost form of productive procrastination. When there are brown bananas on the counter they must be baked! For a long time it was a running joke in my house that I couldn’t use the same banana bread recipe twice, and I think part of the reason is that I don’t actually love bananas. After making this recipe though, I’ve changed my opinion on bananas. I made this bread before heading to a yoga class, and when I got back half the loaf had been eaten! Now that’s a good sign.
After deciding to make banana bread, I started pulling together my ingredients when I realized that I only had 2 ripe bananas instead of the three the recipe calls for. Letting out a frustrated sigh, I started brainstorming solutions, which started with walking over to my aunt’s house to borrow a ripe banana, or even going to the store to buy one , which felt completely ridiculous and actually against the whole concept of my motivation to make banana bread.
After walking back from my aunt’s kitchen empty handed, I turned my attention to the perfectly yellow bananas sitting on my own counter and thought there must be a way to use one of those. Suddenly, an idea popped into my head to try “roasting” the banana. Not sure how it would turn out, I placed the yellow banana on a parchment lined baking sheet and slid it into my preheated oven. I left it in the oven to blacken for about 40 minutes and hesitantly opened the peel to find a perfect soft, almost caramelized banana. While I don’t credit the taste of the recipe completely to my perfectly roasted banana, I think it contributed to the flavor, and my feeling of success. Now I also have a plan (minus the unnecessary stress) for the next time I need an extra ripe banana.
This bread tastes almost chocolatey and the addition of hazelnuts gives the perfect crunch. The texture is nothing like other gluten free breads I have made; It’s dense but cake-like with no gummy consistency whatsoever. The ingredients are weighed out, resulting in a perfect loaf every time.
Gluten-Free Hazelnut Banana Bread
100 grams finely ground almond flour
60 grams arrowroot powder
50 grams buckwheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon course salt (I used celtic salt)
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
2 large eggs
80 grams coconut oil, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large, ripe bananas
3/4 cup crushed hazelnuts
Heat the oven to 375′ F and grease your 1- pound loaf pan.
Whisk together your dry ingredients. It is optional to pulse the almond flour, arrowroot flour, and buckwheat flour through the food processor to aerate the flours.
In another bowl, mix together the maple syrup, eggs, melted coconut oil, and vanilla extract. Add the mashed bananas and whisk until everything is well combined.
Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet, a little at a time, stirring as you go. When the flour is completely mixed in, mix in the hazelnuts.
Transfer the batter into the greased loaf pan, and bake for 45- 60 minutes, until the top is brown and the sides are pulling away for the pan. Cool before slicing and enjoy!
Recipe from Food52.com, by Shauna Ahern