Cor, I absolutely love banana bread. It’s so hearty and indulgent, and incredibly easy to make.

This is not my only banana loaf recipe on the site (see my spelt banana bread made in sunny St. Lucia for an alternative), but it’s a very different variety in terms of ingredients and flavour. This version is hearty, indulgent, gluten-free and vegan. It’s made from buckwheat flour and packed full of sultanas and walnuts for extra texture and goodness.

Buckwheat flour is a relatively new addition to my baking cupboard and I’m really enjoying using it. For those of you who don’t know much about it, buckwheat is not wheat at all, it’s not even a grain, it’s actually a seed, and entirely gluten-free.

Although it doesn’t contain as much protein as quinoa or legumes, 100g of cooked buckwheat contains around 11-14 grams of protein. And if you’re a vegetarian or vegan, buckwheat contains 2 essential amino acids (lysine and arginine) that we require from our foods, but are not found in many other grains. Buckwheat is also great for maintaining a healthy heart, good digestion, and it a great source of important vitamins and minerals such as manganese and magnesium.

When it comes to baking with buckwheat flour, it’s relatively straightforward. The result tends to be a little more grainy than many other flours but I personally like that, particularly when making rugged recipes like this one. So where do I get it? you ask…a 500g bag of buckwheat flour is just £1.99 in Holland and Barrett.

 

Serves: 1 loaf (8 – 10 slices)

Total cooking time: 1 hr 15 mins (Prep time 15 mins, baking time 50-60 mins)

Ingredients:

1 3/4 cups buckwheat flour

2 heaped tsp cinnamon

2 heaped tsp baking powder

pinch of salt

5 large ripe/very ripe bananas

1/3 cup maple syrup

1/3 cup melted coconut oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp almond extract (optional)

1/2 cup roughly chopped walnuts (optional)

1 cup sultanas (optional)

 

Method:

Pre heat the oven to 180°C.

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, salt, baking powder and cinnamon.

In a separate bowl, mash the bananas until you get a thick liquid (alternatively, blend in a food processor).

Add the mashed banana, coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla and almond extract to the dry ingredients and mix until thoroughly combined. Finally, stir in the walnuts and sultanas evenly.

Pour the mixture into a loaf tinned lined with grease proof paper and coconut oil.

Bake in the oven for 50 minutes to an hour. To test whether the loaf is fully cooked, pierce with a wooden skewer – if it comes out clean, then it’s cooked through.

Leave on a wire rack to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.

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