This Soft and light Chocolate Chip Banana Bread is a gluten-free simple recipe for those who are in a gluten free diet, but can also be easily converted to regular banana bread for non-gluten free eaters. Whichever team you belong, I got you covered guys.
What Made this Banana Bread Gluten-Free?
I’ve substituted regular all-purpose flour with a combination of Almond Flour (Almond Meal) and Chickpea flour, it seems that making a gluten-free baked products simply requires a substitution of dry ingredients (normally flour) for a gluten-free ingredients. It’s not as tricky as making Vegan baked products as gluten free doesn’t care in using dairy products which is almost all the time present in any bake products. This is why it is very important to use a good quality replacement ingredients, in this case replacement for flour. Replacement flour could have different texture, Almond flour for instance has a very grainy texture which makes baked products moist but dense, sometimes grainy. While using all Chickpea Flour could make the bread gummy with a strong beans taste, this is why it is best to mix it with another type of gluten free flour. I choose Almond Flour because of its high moisture. Anyway, bottom line, get to know the substitute ingredient you are using because moisture level of substitute flour varies from one to another.
What to Expect from this Banana Bread
First of all, if you are a fanatic of traditional banana bread, you will immediately detect the difference in taste and texture. First, the crumb of this banana bread is tighter and finer, but still slightly dense. it doesn’t have a strong banana taste I guess because of the strong taste of chickpea flour. This is also not too sweet, and it is not as sticky as regular banana bread.
Why Do We Need to Bake at 400F and 350F?
I had been baking most of my muffins when I was starting at 350F all throughout, until I encountered a post discussing baking temperature for muffins. To summarize the story, baking in first 5 minutes at 400F will allow the muffin to rise fast thus making the muffin taller and will help the muffin build the structure. Then baking the muffin at 350F will then allow the muffin to hold and sustain the structure without burning it. I adopted this same technique for this banana bread and it came out great.
For Non-Gluten Free Eaters
Don’t shy away from this recipe just because you don’t care about eating gluten-free bake products. Well, good news is this recipe can easily be converted to regular banana bread recipe using regular all-purpose flour. Simply replace almond flour and chickpea flour with the same amount of all-purpose flour, it’s that simple. Life goes on as usual, the other ingredients and instructions remains the same.
What Makes this Different from Other Banana Bread?
Banana bread is a quick bread, and often times most of the recipes I saw doesn’t use a mixer to make it. Traditional banana bread are heavy and dense, that is not a bad thing. In fact, that was the texture that I only knew until I got into baking and tried experimenting on my own. Although I also like that kind of texture from time to time, I discovered that a lighter and softer banana bread or cake or muffin is something that I enjoy more. My Banana Chiffon Cake has a lightest and softest texture and it absolutely delicious. That cake uses a method of separating egg yolk and egg whites, the same method I used for Banana Walnut Sponge Bread. Those 2 have a sponge and chiffon like texture. This Banana Bread is a cross between the texture of traditional and chiffon like texture. I was actually surprised how good it turned out. The method I used here is to cream the sugar and egg to build up air and to create lighter texture. I then added mashed bananas and dry ingredients came in last so that it will only require less mixing to avoid dense bread. Just a simple modification in the method gave me the soft and moist Chickpea Chocolate Chip Banana Bread.
What is Chickpea Flour?
Chickpea Flour is a gluten-free powder that is easy to use in both sweet and savory applications. The stronger the accompanying flavors in the recipe, the less likely you will taste it. Know its characteristics:
- Made from either raw or roasted chickpeas
- Has an earthy smell, a nutty taste and a pale yellow color
- The roasted variety has a stronger flavor and is less bitter than the raw
- Most supermarket brands are made from the roasted variety
Other Name of Chickpea Flour
Finding it in the store may not be as simple as looking for chickpea flour. Also look for:
- gram dhal
- garbanzo bean or
- besan flours
When to Use Chickpea Flour
It works well in dense cakes, biscuits, tray bakes like brownies and quick unleavened breads. If the recipe requires a lighter crumb, combine the chickpea flour with another gluten free flour like rice or potato flour.
Health Benefits of Cooking with Chickpea Flour
it has been found that adding chickpea flour into your diet helps:
- Stabilize blood sugar
- Maintain colon health and digestion
- Aid in weight management and maintenance
- Lower gut inflammation and improve immune function
Although this is a simple recipe, there are key things that you have to remember to get a nice soft banana bread texture.
Important Tips for a Light & Soft Banana Bread
- Room Temperature Egg – Because this recipe call for creaming the egg and sugar, it is VERY important to have the egg at room temperature, so don’t ignore this reminder. A room temperature egg whips up better as compared to cold one. If you are short of time, you can submerge the egg in warm water for 5 minutes, that should do the trick
- Ripe Banana – only use ripe banana, the one with brown spots in the skin is the best one to use. Those brown spots are sign that the banana is ripe, and ripe means softer and sweeter. This is the state of banana that would give the natural sweetness to the banana bread or muffin. Now if you don’t have ripe banana, I’ve read that you can bake the banana wrap in foil at 300F for 10 mins to get it soft, however I personally haven’t tried that. I always prefer either buying a ripe banana ready to use for banana bread or buy a banana and let it ripe naturally in my kitchen counter. One thing to remember, the warmer the place you keep the banana, the faster it will ripen. This is why input my banana in the fridge specially during summer if I don’t want it to ripen fast, and I also wrap the end with the stem with a cling wrap. That will block the air from coming in and it will slowdown the ripening process.
- Don’t over mix – You’ve heard this over and over again in many recipes but I will still repeat it here. Over mixing can make the bread though because as you mix more, gluten is form and that causes a tough bread. Once you add the dry ingredients just mix it until combine, no more no less.
- Creaming Egg & Sugar – Although not a traditional process in making banana bread, creaming egg and sugar instead of just mixing everything in one bowl gave a lighter banana muffin texture. So don’t skip this step and see for yourself why I recommend doing this. Creaming the egg and sugar will allow air to build up into the batter thus giving a lighter and airy texture, almost like a cake but still feels and taste like banana bread, but better.
- 1/2 cup mashed Banana (mash then measure)
- 1/3 cup plain Greek Yogurt – room temperature
- 3 tablespoon Flavorless Oil
- 3/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 6 tablespoon Brown Sugar
- 1 Egg – room temperature
- 1/2 cup Almond Flour (I used Bob Red Mills brand)
- 1/2 cup Chickpea Flour
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- Pre-heat the oven to 400F. Line a 7-inch loaf pan with parchment paper
- Mash the Banana: In a small bowl, mash the banana. You can use a fork or immersion blender to do this. Add in yogurt, vanilla extract and baking soda. Set aside while you make the muffin batter.
- Beat Sugar and Egg: Beat sugar and egg until pale in color and smooth and runny consistency (about 8 minutes). Like this.
- Sugar & Egg + Banana Mixture: Add in banana mixture, oil and mix until just combined.
- Dry Ingredients: Add almond flour, chickpea flour, baking powder and salt and mix just until combine.
- Add-In (optional): Add chocolate chips and manually mix just to combine.
- Divide the Muffin Batter: Pour the batter the prepared loaf pan
- Bake at pre-heated 400F for 15 minutes then lower the temperature to 350F and bake for another 23 – 25 minutes. Check 23 minutes to avoid over baking.
- Cool: Remove and transfer in a cooling rack.
Here are some other banana recipes, check them out!
- Walnut Coffee Crumble Banana Bread
- Cream Cheese Swirl Banana Bread
- Strawberry Banana Bread
- Double Chocolate Banana Bread (VIDEO)
- Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
- Banana Walnut Sponge Bread
- Blueberry Pecan Crumble Banana Bread
- Pina Colada Banana Bread
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