There is a whimsical, joking fear among the female community of growing up to be “the crazy cat lady”. I have a different, if equally whimsical and joking concern: I think I’m becoming the “crazy banana bread lady”! I mean, I love this stuff. Jeeze Louise Pete, there are already two recipes for banana bread on O.i.H., here and here. Where many people see a boring loaf laden with identity crisis (is bread, is it cake?), I see continual inspiration and an unexplainable comfort. Strangely enough, I don’t remember ever having banana nut bread or even acknowledging its existence until after my marriage. Jason’s grandmother graciously and rather optimistically gave me her church cookbook as a wedding gift; I did not cook at the time. On leafing through the contents of that unassuming little book, I came upon a recipe for a basic pecans and crisco kind of banana nut bread. One baking day later and I was hooked, not so much on that specific recipe, though I used it for years, but on the basic goodness of the idea. So when I opened my Google reader one morning recently, and the words “Roasted Banana” appeared before my eyes, this recipe was immediately a foregone conclusion. I don’t even know what the article in my reader was about; I walked away with my head in an aromatic cloud of sweet scheming, and the entry was buried in the ever-coming tide of new news.
If you were to say to me, “Okay, but I’m not a crazy banana bread lady, and I don’t need a dozen loaves of the stuff; which should I make?”, I would definitely say this one. It is dark, moody, spicy, sweet; imagine bluesy jazz, molasses, winter-blackened woody hollows, log fires in libraries. . .okay, I’ll stop. I’m telling you, I’m in serious danger of inventing the banana bread sommelier! Without further ado I give you. . .
Gluten-free Roasted Banana and Chocolate Chunk Banana Nut Bread
makes 2 loaves
1 cup almond flour (or finely ground almonds)
1 cup sorghum flour
1 cup tapioca or potato starch
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
5-6 ripe bananas, roasted
1/4 cup buttermilk or yogurt
1/2 cup coconut or olive oil
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup
4 tsp vanilla
3.5-4 oz (1 bar) 70% dark chocolate, roughly chopped
1 cup toasted walnuts
Preheat oven to 350. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and line 2 bread pans. Cut bananas in halves or rounds and arrange on pan. Roast for 20-30 minutes until bananas have caramelized or you can no longer wait. Remove parchment with bananas and place walnuts on pan; return to oven and toast nuts for roughly 10 min.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl whisk together flours, starch, b. powder, soda, salt, and cinnamon until very well combined. In a food processor, large blender, or mixer combine roasted bananas (and any juices), eggs, oil, syrup, sugar, and vanilla and blend thoroughly. Add dry ingredients and process for 30-45 seconds, or until completely combined. (As this recipe contains no gluten, you really can’t overmix!)
Returning batter to large bowl, fold in chocolate, and walnuts, and divide batter evenly between two bread pans. Bake at 350 for approximately 45 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand for 15 minutes before lifting loaves from pans to cooling rack.