… Going Less, Instead of Going Without!
Except in the title, right? That was a mouthful!!
I love banana bread, and almost any breakfast bread or loaf, but banana bread seems to often be my fallback for a comforting and satisfying baked good.
While I don’t make it as often as I used to, sometimes I crave its texture and mild yet subtly sweet flavor. I’m trying to cut down on my sugar consumption, but I live in the real world, and that means I’m going to allow for some treats from time to time. And I am a food blogger, so I am not only feeding me but you as well, right?! So, of course, I want to offer options to you too.
To get to enjoy tasty delights, while staying mindful of living a healthy lifestyle, I keep tinkering with my tried and true gluten-free, dairy-free recipes to continually make healthier versions. To this effort, today’s recipe is altered from my original Chocolate Chip Banana Bread recipe in a couple of ways: 1) I’ve substituted coconut sugar for the white and brown sugars, as coconut sugar has a lower glycemic index so it has less impact on our sugar and insulin levels; 2) Psyllium husk has replaced guar gum as a binder, which allows for a perfect texture without any potential gumminess, aftertaste, or gut upset; and 3) Egg Beaters are used to replace regular eggs, which introduces no cholesterol. I’m still not convinced this is the best way to go as an egg replacement on every account, but I find Egg Beaters provide such a fabulous level of moistness that occasionally I’ll make this exchange in my baked breads (and some cookie recipes). I’ve also used various egg-free substitutes in this recipe that worked well, but I chose to share this Egg Beater version here. And, no, this is not a sponsored post. 😉
In reducing my sugar intake, I’ve also (slowly) moved myself from semi-sweet chocolate to a very dark chocolate – 85% dark in this recipe. Of course, you can use whatever chocolate chips you prefer. I find the boldness of the bittersweet chocolate to be a perfect contrast to the mild sweetness of the banana flavor. If you’re still in the sweeter chocolate camp, I totally get that. It was a slow progression for me to become a bittersweet chocolate lover, but now I’m camp leader of that troop. And it’s a way for me to not have to give up chocolate completely (but I think I’m getting off track here.) I’ve sprinkled a few extra chocolate chips on the top of the batter before baking. I love how these chips maintain their shape during baking but become little bites of molten lava chocolate when bitten into. This is totally optional, but I like the visual effect the soft-baked chocolate chips add.
Feel free to experiment with one, some, or all of these alterations when baking your bread. Be sure to leave a comment to let everyone know how it turns out and which one(s) will be a favorite of yours.
Coconut Sugar One-Flour Gluten-free Dairy-free Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
- 1-2 teaspoons virgin coconut oil, in solid form is best
- 2 cups (240g) gluten-free brown rice flour - I use
Authentic Foods Superfine Brown Rice Flour
- 1 Tablespoon baking powder - I use Clabber Girl
- 1 1/2 teaspoons psyllium husk - I use Organic India Psyllium Husk
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips, plus a few extra for sprinkling, optional - I use Pascha Bitter-Sweet 85% Cacao Dark Chocolate Chips
- 1 cup coconut sugar
- 1/3 cup grapeseed oil
- 2 eggs OR 1/2 cup Egg Beaters - I use Egg Beaters
- 3/4 cup mashed ripe banana
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. Thoroughly coat (lightly) the bottom and sides of a loaf/bread pan with coconut oil (solid coconut oil is best). You can also use parchment paper to line the pan, just omit the coconut oil.
- Add flour to a bowl. Sift baking powder over the flour, but don’t sift the flour (sifting the powder breaks up lumps, if any are present. Finding a pocket of baking powder, albeit small, in a bite of baked goods isn’t tasty). Add psyllium husk and salt. Whisk all ingredients together.
- Add chocolate chips and stir to distribute. Coating chocolate chips with flour helps keep them suspended in the batter while baking. Set aside.
- Blend, with a hand-held mixer or in a stand mixer, the coconut sugar and oil until all sugar is moistened. The mixture will look like wet sand.
- Add eggs OR Egg Beaters and blend again until the mixture is completely combined and the texture is almost creamy, about 45 seconds on medium speed. The mixture will still be a little grainy.
- Stir mashed banana into mixture, using low speed, just until stirred in well.
- Stir in flour/chocolate chip mixture, using low speed, until batter is well combined, scraping down sides of bowl to incorporate all flour. Fill prepared pan with batter.
- Bake at 350º for 50-70 minutes, until golden brown and the top of the loaf bounces back when touched lightly, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Place loaf, still in pan, on a cooling rack and let rest for 15 minutes.
- Remove loaf from pan (and parchment paper, if using) and let rest on cooling rack to finish cooling.
- Serve warm, if desired. Cool completely before storing. Store in an airtight container, or resealable plastic bags. Bread should keep well for up to 3 days. Can easily be chilled in fridge for up to a week, or wrap tightly in foil and a plastic bag and store in freezer for up to 3 months.
Safe food is a journey … Thrive!™
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