Ginger Banana Bread (Vegan & Gluten Free)
This vegan, gluten-free ginger banana bread recipe is decadent and delicious! With crystallized ginger and macadamia nuts (optional), it’s the perfect plant-based snack, and a wonderful afternoon treat.
Who doesn’t love banana bread? As a plant-based dietitian, I’ve tried so many different non-dairy versions … and honestly, most are way too sweet. Or way too oily. (Plus, I’m such an Earl Grey loaf recipe fan! It was always my go-to!) Until now, the only banana bread I’d created was the one on The Urban Vegetarian.
Then Lily Diamond posted her Next Level Poppyseed Banana Bread. And I had a bunch of bananas that needed saving. So I made it, but the store somehow was out of poppyseed, so I went with black sesame. And I liked it. A lot!
So it got me scheming. What about a gluten free version? What about some tropical vibes?? What about making a ginger banana bread? So I got to testing and within a few trials, came up with this beauty.
This vegan gluten free banana bread is super lush (doing my best to avoid the word moist here people!! its such a weird word) and decadent tasting without being overly sweet. It uses a chickpea-based gluten free flour mix (the same one I used a lot in Eat More Plants and my latest cookbook Good For Your Gut) so it’s got a bit of extra fibre and plant-based protein in there too.
This is such a wonderful afternoon treat with a cup of tea, or the perfect way to start a cozy Sunday. And because of that, it’s a perfect addition to my healthy vegan snack recipes!
So let those bananas get suuuuuper ripe, and while they do, let’s answer some common questions!
Can you make banana bread without eggs?
You can absolutely make banana bread without eggs. By whisking ground flax seed with water, like I did in this recipe, you’re giving your bread a similar “gluey” texture to what egg whites typically offer (both help bind the ingredients). So if you’re looking for vegan recipes with ripe bananas and no eggs, you’ve found one!
Is banana bread healthy?
Yes! And No. Banana bread can be supremely healthy OR quite unhealthy, depending on what you put in it. With this ginger banana bread, I carefully selected every ingredient not only for its flavour but for the health benefits each bring.
For example, black sesame seeds add a unique and fun flavour but they’re also high in copper which aids in iron absorption. (Just 2 tablespoons deliver a whopping 83% of your recommended daily intake!) Sesame seeds are also a great way to get your calcium, which when you’re vegan, you need plenty good sources of.
Ginger is another ingredient that makes this vegan banana bread healthy: the root has been used medicinally for centuries, and is supported by modern research to help lower blood sugars and improve heart disease risk factors.
For a sure bet on healthy banana bread, look for loafs (and recipes!) that don’t use heavily processed white flours, high fructose syrups, or refined industrial oils.
Rather, seek those using ingredients as close in kind to their whole plant versions, like the chickpea flour used here. This will increase your fibre intake, which has been linked to countless health benefits—many of which I’ve outlined in my post on high fibre foods and gut health!
How to make moist banana bread with no milk?
I know we talked about this. That word!! But for a lush, silky—okay moist—banana bread made without milk, this recipe is where it’s at. The bananas, maple syrup, coconut oil, and flax-water mixture are all you need to give your bread that sweet, sticky, moisture-laden bounce. No dairy necessary.
What is crystallized ginger?
Crystallized ginger, sometimes called candied ginger, is in essence, just the root of ginger chopped and cooked down with granulated sugar. Because the sugar is boiled with the root using water, it recrystallizes onto the root pieces, creating a delicious sparkling ingredient or snack. You can purchase crystallized ginger at your local health food store (and some big box grocery stores also carry candied ginger, depending where you live). If not, you can make it on your own easily and quite affordably!
Did this banana bread get you hooked on baking? Try these!
Ginger Banana Bread (Vegan & Gluten Free)
- 1 3/4 cups Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Flour Blend (not 1:1 blend)
- 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 2 tbsp black sesame seeds
- 2 tbsp ground flax
- 4 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 1/2 cups mashed banana (4-5 very ripe bananas)
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 2/3 cup melted virgin coconut oil
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup crystalized ginger, chopped
- 1/2 cup macadamia nuts, chopped
- 2 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut
- 2 tbsp chopped macadamia nuts
- 2 tsp black sesame seeds
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 degrees Celsius).
- Line the centre of a 9 x 5 loaf pan with parchment paper, so the paper reaches up two sides for easy removal.
- In a small bowl, whisk ground flax with 1/4 cup (60ml) hot water and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, coconut, black sesame seeds, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, cardamom and nutmeg until well blended.
- In another bowl, mix the mashed banana, maple syrup, coconut oil and vanilla well until the oil is entirely emulsified into the banana. Stir in the flax egg.
- Add the banana mixture to the flour mixture and mix until thoroughly combined. Stir in the ginger and macadamia nuts, then pour into the loaf pan.
- Sprinkle the remaining coconut, macadamia nuts and black sesame seeds over top of the batter. Gently press the macadamia nuts into the batter.
- Bake for 50-52 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Remove from heat and let cool in the pan on a cooling rack for ten minutes, then gently lift out of the pan using the parchment. Let it cool completely before slicing. As difficult as it is to wait, this is critical as the loaf will firm up as it cools!