I recognize that it is a gift.
For someone who has her own plethora of food allergies — including bananas, ironically — I know what it’s like to be restricted in what is edible to me. But I also know that it’s much, much easier to avoid bananas, cantaloupe, nectarines… sigh, the list goes on… than it is to avoid gluten, something that’s in pretty much any bread or pasta product. As I’m sure many gluten free eaters don’t miss gluten, I don’t necessarily pine for bananas — but there are some things, like this delicious-looking bread, that I do wish I could eat. Le sigh.
So instead, I made this bread so those who might otherwise not be able to eat breads from my blog can eat this. Methinks it’s a good trade.
Survey from the husband says this quick bread is fantastic — mildly sweet, fruity and tropical, and deceivingly moist. He couldn’t even tell it was gluten free until he took a bite and I revealed the secret. The flecks of unsweetened coconut offer a slight crunch snuggled alongside bits of chewy, sugar crystal-coated ginger, and the ripe bananas render a soft loaf with a barely chewy crumb. I would bake this bread every day simply for its swoon-worthy smell as it wafts from out of the oven. It was bright and comforting, like light streaming in through the curtains on an early spring morning, and pairs just as well with a warm cup of coffee.
I hope to have more gluten free recipes for you on the blog as time and research allows (I’m a bit rusty in this department, so bear with me, please! And suggestions/tips would be much appreciated). For now, whether you can eat gluten or not, this bread will keep you in good company.
Gluten Free Coconut-Ginger Banana Bread
Adapted from Tablespoon
Yields: 1 9-by-5-inch loaf
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups mashed very ripe bananas (about 3 medium)
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups gluten free all-purpose baking flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill with great success)*
1 3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1/2 cup chopped crystallized ginger
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease the bottom only of a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan and set aside.
Cream together sugar and butter in a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer for 2 minutes. Stir in eggs until combined. Add bananas, buttermilk and vanilla extract and stir until smooth. Add flour, xantham gum, baking soda and salt and stir until just moistened. Stir in coconut flakes and ginger and pour batter into prepared pan.
Bake loaf for 1 hour 15 minutes, covering lightly with aluminum foil if the top or sides turn brown too quickly. The loaf is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove pan from oven and place on a cooling rack for 10 minutes before removing loaf from pan. Allow loaf to cool completely before slicing or serving.
*NOTE: For those who don’t need to go gluten free, just use 2 1/2 cups regular all-purpose flour and omit the xantham gum.