Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Gluten-free Banana Bread

By Christine O'Connor, October 15, 2011  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Christine O'Connor

In this ongoing blog series, Christine, a budget-minded first-time Mom and Team Member, explores ways to create healthy, organic foods that appeal to both toddler and husband. See other posts on making homemade popsicles, vegetable soup out of a pea base, a carrot ginger soup from locally grown carrots, finger foods, zucchini pesto, berry cobbler and a green smoothie. She even hides vegetables in her pancakes. The smell of banana bread baking in the oven is AMAZING! But this afternoon, as the banana bread baked, I was a little bit nervous. This was a very special batch. It was my first attempt at a gluten-free bread and I was anxious to taste the results. I have recently been introduced to a community of mothers who feed their children gluten-free foods. I thought it would be fun to bring a gluten-free recipe home to my family. My mission: to create a healthy gluten-free dessert and answer the question, “Can desserts be delicious without the gluten?” Here’s what I did.

Wet Ingredients

3 ripe bananas

1 egg and 2 egg whites

1/2 cup applesauce

1/3 cup olive oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Dry Ingredients

2 cups gluten-free baking flour

½ cup organic cane sugar

½ cup organic light brown sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Peel the bananas and place them in a small bowl. I find that really ripe bananas work best for this recipe. Mash the bananas until they turn into a smooth puree, about one cup. I used a fork to mash my bananas and it worked just fine.

Crack the eggs and place them in a separate, large bowl and beat them. Add the apple sauce, olive oil and vanilla extract to the eggs and mix together. Use whatever applesauce you like. I use organic apple sauce made from apples only (no additives). Slowly mix the bananas into the other wet ingredients and mix until smooth.

In a medium-sized bowl, add the dry ingredients: gluten-free baking flour, cane sugar, brown sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Mix the dry ingredients and then add them to the wet ingredients and stir. Note that the texture of the batter will be soft. Its softer batter than you would expect, but trust me when I say that it will turn into bread when baked in the oven. At this point, you can add nuts, raisins or chocolate chips to the batter, but I left my banana bread plain.

Grease a loaf pan. I used a 9” x 4 1/2” bread pan. Pour the batter into the pan. Then, place the pan in the center of the warm oven and bake the bread for approximately 50-60 minutes. Oven times may vary, so in order to know if it’s done, stick a toothpick into the middle of the bread until it comes out clean. Once the bread has been baked, let it sit for 10 minutes to cool. Then, flip the loaf pan over and let the bread rest on a wire rack.

The bread looked very enticing! I kept walking past it and then gave in to my temptation. I just couldn’t wait for my husband and child to return home, so I sat down and ate a warm slice of banana bread, washed down with a glass of apple cider and it was pure bliss! This gluten-free banana bread is moist and flavorful. It makes a great snack or dessert and it can also be served for breakfast with some fresh fruit. My toddler loved it too. He was grinning from ear to ear when I served him the bread. And my husband was grinning, too! This recipe is easy, delicious, economical and gluten free. Not to mention, it is fantastic for this time of year! And now that Halloween is approaching, I am inspired to try some gluten-free pumpkin bread. So I guess I answered my own question. I have discovered that gluten-free desserts can be utterly fabulous and I can’t wait to try more. Do you know of any gluten-free pumpkin bread recipes or other gluten-free goodies?




Scherry Valentine says ...
I gonna try this one! How can I get in touch with the gluten-free mom group that you spoke of? I would love to share with you my recipes for gluten free-agave sweetened-vegan-raw chocolate teddy bears & fruit pies. They are lovely and amazing!
10/15/2011 1:18:29 PM CDT
Sherry says ...
What do you use for gluten-free baking flour? I used 1/2 coconut flour & 1/2 rice flour - not good. Every recipe I see says "gluten free flour" but does not specify what they use! Do tell. Please and thank you!
10/16/2011 9:12:48 PM CDT
Deborah Peters says ...
I am so trying this!! Thank you for sharing :) About a year ago I discovered I was intolerant to gluten and bread is my weakness. It's been quite the adventure finding baked goods that are as good as the gluten ones, as well as dining out options. Can't wait to give this one a whirl, the photos and recommendation are a real sell! http://deborahapeters.com Happy Baking, Deborah Peters
10/17/2011 3:10:41 PM CDT
janejohnson says ...
@Sherry Many of our stores offer the Bob's Red Mill Gluten-free Flour. To learn what the best options are at your community's Whole Foods Market, I encourage you to reach out to your store directly. I've included a link below to help you identify your store's contact information. If you reach out to them, a Team Member at your store will be more than happy to discuss all of your options and let you know if that store indeed carries the Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free Flour. http://wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/
10/17/2011 4:35:25 PM CDT
janejohnson says ...
@Scherry The gluten-free mom group would actually be the author of the blog, itself, Christine O'Connor. You can feel free to email the blog address and we'll be happy to pass on your contact and any recipes you'd like to share. The blog email address is: wholefoodsmarketblogs@wholefoods.com. Thanks for sharing!
10/17/2011 4:44:36 PM CDT
Valerie says ...
Hi there i was wondering is there another ingredient i could use instead of apple sauce? Thanks Valerie
10/18/2011 5:35:04 PM CDT
janejohnson says ...
@Valerie Would you be open to trying pureed pumpkin? The apple sauce serves to keep the banana bread moist and the pureed pumpkin would be a wonderful substitution for that purpose with an added bonus, more complex flavors. This substitution would be best if you're into the flavor of pumpkin, of course.
10/19/2011 12:34:04 PM CDT
St. McDuck says ...
This look amazing. Not as much work, but still gluten-free, is Rudi's Organic Bakery bread (found in Whole Foods, no less). It tastes incredible and even toasts well. I recommend the 14 Grain.
10/19/2011 4:52:07 PM CDT
TXEdie says ...
The banana bread picture doesn't match the recipe. In both pictures, it appears that nuts have been added and the batter looks chocolate -- unlikely that a teaspoon of cinnamon would darken banana bread that much. Pictures speak louder than words and one can wonder why an actual picture of the bread's recipe wasn't used?
10/19/2011 5:54:35 PM CDT
Diane says ...
when you say gluten free baking flour, which kind do you mean? Rice flour or anything but wheat flour. thanks
10/19/2011 6:30:01 PM CDT
Kat says ...
Jane - are you saying that Bob's Mill Gluten Free flour was used in this recipe? if you don't use the right combination/ratio of gluten-free flours (rice, potato, tapioca, garbanzo, etc), the bread may turn out too heavy, or crumbly.
10/19/2011 7:07:45 PM CDT
Janet says ...
Thanks I'll give it a try. My husband is gluten intolerant so I'm always on the look out for good gluten free recipe. My question though is why do people want to serve gluten free products to people if they don't need too? You miss out on the opportunity to use whole grains which are a healthier alternative to the white gluten free alternatives.
10/19/2011 8:46:43 PM CDT
Roseann says ...
After reading this recipe I can't wait to try it. I love the fact that it is so easy and not a lot of ingredients! Just one question, what size bananas did you use? Small to medium or medium to large. I too am also in search for a gluten-free pumpkin bread. Sounds like you can substitute the three (small) bananas for 1 1/2 small cans of pumpkin puree and the same for cinnamon, use allspice. Thanks again!
10/20/2011 5:15:30 AM CDT
Kathy Wiberg says ...
I have just learned that my daughters are gluten free so i have been experimenting with recipes. I really like pamela's pancake and baking flour. You can use it in alot of recipes. I made banana bread from a recipe like the one you have up and it was very good. In the flour it has the baking powder and soda mixed with the flour. I finding that really is nice. But i am willing to try new recipes. I am looking for a really good homemade bread recipe. I need help with that. Kathy Wiberg
10/20/2011 7:49:57 AM CDT
Sara says ...
This recipe sounds WONDERFUL can't wait to try it! My daughter was recently diagnosed with Celiac's Disease and we have always been big on baking. It's been a tough adjustment but we're getting there. Can you share more info on the gluten-free mom's group? I'm looking for GF dinner recipes. Here's a great GF all purpose flour mix... 2 cups Brown rice flour 2/3 cup Potato Starch 1/3 cup Tapioca Flour I mix it together, put in plastic container and put it in the fridge. Got it from great book... Gluten-Free Baking Classics.
10/20/2011 7:59:41 AM CDT
Gail Ford says ...
I was just wondering what to do with the bananas in the freezer,thanks for the recipe idea! I am still trying out different ways to introduce gf foods into my diet and I too, love breads and miss them especially during the cold winter months. I have several recipe books on gf baking and if need be I will refer to them or the internet for different combinations of flours to try out for baking. Bob's Mills offer a great selection but can be expensive if you intend to do alot of baking so I prefer to buy the different flours that they offer and experiment with my own combinations.Makes for some interesting results!
10/20/2011 10:24:44 AM CDT
Barbara Lizotte says ...
Please give more information about the baking flour used. I have seen so much information about different ways & different ingredients to use in flours that just listing 'gluten free baking flour' doesn't mean anything to mean. Can you be a little more specific? Thanks
10/20/2011 10:44:34 AM CDT
Christine OConnor says ...
Hello all! I am happy to learn that people are trying this recipe. I wanted to address a few of the comments. For starters, the pictures in the blog are the pictures of the actual bread that I baked. I left my bananas a bit chunky when I pressed them, so what you see in the photo is bananas and not nuts. And the cinnamon gave the bread its nice dark brown color. As for gluten-free flour, I used Bob's Red Mill flour in my recipe. And the Moms that I spoke of are close friends and we do not have a website or blog. Thanks everyone! Happy baking!
10/20/2011 12:45:00 PM CDT
Joyce Harvey says ...
This is very good! I used pumpkin instead of apple sauce. My husband and my kids loved it!!!! I will be watching for more gluten free recipes. Thank you.
10/20/2011 6:20:06 PM CDT
Christine OConnor says ...
Great idea, Joyce! I will try substituting organic pumpkin puree for applesauce. Sounds perfect on an autumn day!
10/22/2011 10:56:18 AM CDT
Jane Poindexter says ...
Sounds very good.. I will try it... I use Bette Hagman's G/F Flour Mix, which consists of Rice flour, Potato starch, tapioca flour... available at Ener-G Foods, ( Seattle, Wa.,) you could order on-line, or sometimes Whole Foods Carry this product. Some breads you can use the Four Flour Bean MIx , also. Which is Garfava Bean flour, Sorghum flour, tapioca flour, and cornstarch..... if you have a tendancy to have gas, this can cause gas in some peoples systems....
10/22/2011 7:13:50 PM CDT
Jodi gordon says ...
Nobody talks about Xanthum Gun in any of these recipies. I thought you really needed it for the Gluten free flour to cook and rise well.
10/23/2011 11:23:03 AM CDT
Carley says ...
I just tried this and it was GREAT. I used the namaste baking flour mix. and I actually added chocolate chips. IT came out GREAT. If I could upload a pic here for you i would. I didnt use the loaf pan since normally i dont like the texture of GF food if its not in smaller sizes so i used a silicone bundt pan and mmm it was perfect.
10/23/2011 12:20:19 PM CDT
Rlayhee says ...
Can you recommend an egg substitute fit this recipe? Thank you!! Sounds great ;)
10/23/2011 10:26:16 PM CDT
janejohnson says ...
@Rlayhee Surprisingly, I've actually made this without eggs before and had some moderate success. It changes the texture a bit but the flavor is still good. OR you can use the Ener-G Egg Replacer. It's a vegan/no-egg option that can be found in many of our stores. The below link will take you to the Ener-G website for more information. Happy baking! http://www.ener-g.com/
10/25/2011 11:28:38 AM CDT