If you’re wondering what to do with bananas about to go bad, I have the perfect recipe for you. Not only is this vegan gluten free banana bread delicious, it’s also oil-free, healthier-than-most banana breads, super easy to make, and can be customized with your favourite add-ins!
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Most of my baking recipes contain oil, but I get a lot of questions from those of you who follow a WFPB (Whole Foods Plant Based) diet asking how to substitute the oil. (You can see all of my other oil-free recipes by clicking this link)
With most recipes, if you’re comfortable with baking, it’s easy to figure out, but with some, it’s not always an easy swap to make.
A Simple Healthy Banana Bread Recipe
To come up with this recipe, I experimented a little with my tried-and-true banana bread recipe that I’ve been making for ages (I don’t know why I’m just sharing it here now!).
The requirements were to make this gluten free banana bread vegan, and to omit the oil and replace it with something else.
I usually make my gluten free banana bread with coconut oil, but this time, I swapped it out for an ingredient that I’ve had lots of luck with when I want to cut down on the oil in a particular recipe.
Plain, unsweetened applesauce.
Yes, this is a gf banana bread made with applesauce. That’s the secret! There are many other ways to swap out oil in a recipe, but in this particular recipe, applesauce works extremely well.
So this recipe is for healthy vegan banana bread, BUT…you would never know it.
Even though it’s a dairy free egg free banana bread with gluten free flour, it’s filled with flavour, it’s moist, and it’s exactly how banana bread should be.
AND…if you didn’t tell anyone that it’s healthy gluten free banana bread, they’d never know.
I know that’s a bold claim, but you’re going to have to make it to see what I mean 🙂
How to Make GF Banana Bread
(Note: I’ve outlined the step-by-step on how to make this healthy banana bread recipe recipe here, but find the full recipe, ingredients, and directions at the end of this post.)
The first thing you’ll do is prepare your flax eggs and set them aside to thicken. Next you need to puree your bananas so no chunks remain, you want the bananas to be perfectly smooth for this recipe.
Next, the rest of the recipe is as simple as mixing the dry ingredients, mixing the wet ingredients, mixing the two together and whisking until all ingredients have combined. If you’re using any add-ins, mix them in now, and that’s it!
After that, you’ll bake it, then cool completely before slicing.
What Add-Ins Are Best for Gluten Free Vegan Banana Bread?
Something else you’ll like about this recipe is that you customize it by throwing in some add-ins, if you like. I created the blank slate and you can customize your banana bread just how you want.
So, you can keep it plain, add any of the following, or a combination of more than one of the following:
- chocolate chips
See the recipe below for full details on measurements for your add-in.
So…What’s the Texture Like Since This is an Oil-Free Banana Bread?
The texture is fluffy and moist, but I find that it’s not as dense as when I make it with oil (have a look at these pictures of my coconut raisin banana bread to see the texture when oil is used).
I also find that when I make it oil-free, this gluten free banana loaf ends up being a little more delicate until it has fully cooled off. So handle with care.
I updated this post with new pictures not long ago (if you scroll down to the bottom, after the recipe, you’ll see the old ones). In those old picture, there was a little chunk missing from the slice it also looked a little rough (which is why I wanted to update the pics!).
I got a little too excited to see what the inside looked like and sliced into it while it was still too warm. I will never learn.
So don’t be like me, wait until your vegan gluten free banana bread has cooled off enough before cutting into it to avoid any mishaps…which leads to the next question…
How Long Should It Cool Before Cutting?
Either allow it to fully cool or until it’s just slightly warm, almost fully cool. As mentioned above, this banana bread is a little on the delicate side until it has cooled.
And should you let banana bread cool in the pan? Yes, but not fully. Once you take it out of the oven, leave it in the pan for about 10 minutes and then remove and place on a cooling rack to fully cool.
Can I Still Use Oil Instead of Applesauce?
Yes! You sure can, just replace the applesauce with your favourite neutral flavoured oil (I usually use melted coconut oil). Same measurement.
Can I Use a Different Sweetener?
I use coconut sugar in the recipe, but brown sugar can be used instead.
I have not tested with any liquid sweeteners since other changes would have to be made to the recipe to adjust for the extra liquid, so best to stick to one of the dry sugars I mention above.
Can I Use a Different Gluten-Free Flour?
Another gluten-free blend may work, but I have not tested with any others.
For this easy gluten free banana bread recipe, I use Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free All-Purpose Baking Flour (the one with the red label, not the blue label), I haven’t tested with any other blends, so I can’t guarantee results if you use another gluten-free blend.
Note that coconut flour will not work with this recipe without major modifications.
Can I Prepare the Batter Ahead of Time and Bake it the Next Morning?
Unfortunately, the answer is no. You cannot fully prepare the batter in advance of baking because the baking powder and baking soda will become inactive and your vegan and gluten free banana bread will end up wet, flat and gummy.
What you can do is prepare a gluten free banana bread mix by combining all the dry ingredients and storing it in an airtight container.
When you’re ready to bake it, mix the wet ingredients together, add it to the dry ingredients, fold in any add-ins you’re using, and you’ll be all set!
Can I Leave Banana Bread Out Overnight?
Yes, as long as it’s wrapped or in an airtight container. It can stay out for up to 2 days but if it lasts longer than that, store in the refrigerator in the same airtight container for another 2-3 days.
I hope you like this recipe! If you do, you may also like these other gluten free banana recipes:
- Vegan Chocolate Banana Bread
- Gluten-Free Banana Zucchini Bread
- Chocolate Banana Cake
- Vegan Banana Pancakes
- Vegan Banana Waffles
- Vegan Gluten Free Banana Muffins
- Gluten Free Banana Blueberry Muffins
If you make this recipe, please leave me a comment below or share a pic with me on Instagram.
How to Make Vegan Gluten Free Banana Bread
Vegan Gluten Free Banana Bread
- 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
- 6 tablespoons water
- 2 cups gluten free flour blend **see important note about flour below**
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 1/2 cups pureed bananas (approximately 4 medium bananas or 5 small)
- 2/3 cup coconut sugar
- 1/2 cup unsweetened, plain applesauce (see note below)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup raisins, walnuts, or chocolate chips (optional) (see note about below)
- Preheat oven to 325°F (165°C)
- Grease a 5" x 9" (1.5 quart) loaf pan or line with parchment paper.`
- Prepare your flax eggs by whisking together ground flax seeds and water. Set aside to thicken.
- In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon, together.
- In a small bowl, mix the pureed bananas, coconut sugar, applesauce, vanilla, and flax mixture together.
- Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix well to combine.
- If using, fold in the raisins, walnuts, or chocolate chips.
- Pour batter into loaf pan.
- Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour or until a tester comes out clean. See note. Allow banana bread to slightly cool for about 10 minutes in pan before removing and placing on a cooling rack.
- Please read all of the FAQ info above before making this recipe.
- Baking times will vary slightly depending on your oven and the type of bakeware you use. I use a glass loaf dish when making this recipe. Start checking around the 50 minute mark.
- It's important to know that different gluten-free flour blends use different ingredients and ratios, so results will always vary if you substitute. I have never used any other brand of flour to make this recipe (other than Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Flour (Amazon link) with the red label, NOT the blue label), so please know that your results may not be the same as mine if substitute with another gluten-free flour blend.
- Coconut flour will NOT work for this recipe.
- Be sure to puree your bananas so no chunks remain, this can be done with a stick blender, a regular blender, or a NutriBullet.
- Brown sugar may be used instead of the coconut sugar
- Melted coconut oil may be used in place of the applesauce (same measurement) for a extra moist banana bread.
- Nutrition info is based on the recipe as it is written, with no add-ins, and is to be used only as a rough guide. Click here to learn how nutrition info is calculated on this website.
Images in this post were updated August 2019. Original Images Before Post Update: