Gluten-Free Banana Nut Bread Recipe

If you didn’t tell someone that this banana bread is gluten free, they wouldn’t be able to figure it out, notes the recipe creator, local chef and cookbook author Robin Asbell, who contributed this to Real Food. This is great just out of the oven or toasted the next day, slathered with peanut butter.

A note on cooking gluten free: Without gluten, which acts to bind dough and provide structure, leavened breads can’t form the open texture we expect and enjoy. That’s why we use gums and binders, such as xanthan gum in this recipe, which is made by a special bacteria that, when mixed with water, becomes a gum, notes Asbell. It’s an indigestible carbohydrate, and you use such a tiny amount of it that it has little nutritional effect.

Banana bread is always a good way to use those ripe or overripe bananas you may have hanging around the kitchen—and you can celebrate National Banana Lover’s Day August 27 to boot.

Gluten-Free Banana Nut Bread

Makes 8 Servings

Cooking spray
2 c. Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free All-Purpose Baking Flour
12 tsp. xanthan gum
2 tsp. baking powder
12 tsp. salt
2 large bananas, ripened
12 c. milk
14 c. canola oil or butter
1 c. brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
12 c. chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350°F. Oil or spray a standard loaf pan.

In a large bowl, combine flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, and salt. In a food processor, purée bananas. Add milk, oil, brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla, and process until smooth and well mixed. Combine with dry ingredients and beat with a whisk or wooden spoon until a smooth batter forms. Scrape into prepared pan and sprinkle with pecans. Use a spatula to swirl them in and smooth top of batter.

Bake about 1 hour, until top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a rack. Tightly wrapped bread can be stored in refrigerator up to 1 week.

Nutrition info (Per Serving): Calories 343 (120 From Fat); Fat 14g (Sat. 2g); Chol 47mg; Sodium 299mg; Carb 52g; Fiber 3g; Protein 4g

Mary Subialka is the editor of Real Food and Drinks magazines, covering the flavorful world of food, wine, and spirits. She rarely meets a chicken she doesn’t like, and hopes that her son, who used to eat beets and Indian food as a preschooler, will one day again think of real food as more than something you need to eat before dessert and be inspired by his younger brother, who is now into trying new foods.