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Gluten Free Banana Bread Muffin Recipe (It’s Vegan Too!)
You’d never guess that these chocolate chip banana bread muffins are gluten free! And they are so easy! This healthy recipe includes just a few simple ingredients — bananas, maple syrup, coconut oil, gluten-free flour, baking powder, vanilla and chocolate chips! Oh! And optional walnuts for some protein and healthy fats.
Wanna know what else? They’re vegan! That’s right — no gluten, no eggs and no dairy. Best of all they give new life to those bananas you have browning on your counter right now.
Me and Gluten Free Baking
I’ve recently become a bit obsessed with gluten-free baking. This new-found love was as much happy accident as it was well thought out. I’ve wanted to reduce the amount of gluten I eat (especially for breakfast), but I was convinced that gluten-free baking could never be as good as the original.
Thanks to a recent Instacart fail though, I’ve been proven wrong. A few weeks ago, I ended up with 5 pounds of Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour. After staring it down for a few days I finally decided to substitute it for the all-purpose flour in my vegan banana bread recipe. The results were fantastic! In fact, no one seems to be able to tell the difference. If that’s not a gluten-free win, I don’t know what is!
Choosing a Gluten-Free Flour for This Banana Bread Muffin Recipe
Swapping out all-purpose flour with gluten-free flour can be a little tricky. The trouble for me with gluten-free flour has always been twofold: (1) deciding on a substitute flour, and (2) adapting a recipe to accommodate the changes in bake time, texture and amount.
Some gluten-free flours, like almond flour and sorghum, create a very dense finished product. Other flours, like garbanzo flour, have a strong flavor. Some flours can be replaced 1:1 for all-purpose flours, while others can only replace half of the all-purpose flour. And even then, some recipes suggest added xanthan gum or guar gum. These ingredients work as thickening agents and help to prevent the separation of other ingredients.
By happenstance, I came across my solution — a blend of gluten-free flours that work well together as an all-purpose flour substitute. The Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Flour is a blend of garbanzo bean flour, potato starch, sorghum flour, tapioca flour and fava bean flour. The packaging does recommend the addition of xanthan gum or guar gum, but I’ve found that it works just fine in this banana bread muffin recipe without these additional ingredients.
A Note on Cocoa “Butter”
Here’s a fun fact! Cocoa butter, an ingredient found in chocolate bars and chocolate chips, is actually dairy free.
So what is cocoa butter if not butter then? Cocoa butter is the oil-based fat found in the cocoa bean. It is flavored with cocoa (what better option for chocolate chips) and has a low melting temperature. Even better for chocolate chips.
By itself, cocoa butter is vegan. When used to make dark chocolates, cocoa butter is combined with cocoa liquor and sugar. This is why dark chocolate is often vegan-friendly despite the word “butter” being on the list of ingredients. Just be aware though, that with milk chocolates, cocoa butter is often combined with dairy-based ingredients.
Gluten Free Banana Bread Muffin Recipe Wrap Up
f you’re new to vegan baking, these gluten-free banana bread muffins are a great place to start. They’re super easy to make. They’re also a great example of how plant-based ingredients can be substituted in traditional recipes for a healthier option. Bananas, along with flax seeds and chia seeds, are popular substitutes for eggs in vegan baking.
If you’re vegan-curious about using these ingredients in other recipes or trying other gluten-free vegan meals, be sure to check out some of my other vegan recipes:
Roasted Vegetables & Chickpea Pasta
If you love pasta but are trying to cut back on gluten, you’ve got to give chickpea pasta a try. This vegan recipe uses Banza’s Rotini and Shells and tons of farmer’s market fresh vegetables!
Thai Red Curry Vegetables & Rice
Here’s a warm red curry recipe to keep you cozy as fall approaches. It’s also a great demonstration of how you can eat well when you eat vegan! This vegan red curry bowl is packed with healthy vegetables like broccolini, shiitake mushrooms and red peppers and it’s 100% gluten-free.
Chocolate-Banana Vegan Pancakes
Hosting a vegan brunch with a gluten-free friend? A gluten-free vegan breakfast can be daunting, but this vegan pancake recipe is here to save the day (and make you look like an amazing vegan chef and terribly thoughtful friend as well)! This vegan pancake recipe uses oat flour to keep it gluten-free and the banana, chocolate & walnut theme makes it fun and flavorful. Banana pancakes never looked better, right?!
Also, be sure to check out my Vegu-cation Post Vegan Cooking 101: How to Cook with Chia Seeds.
What’s in My Kitchen to Make this Gluten Free Banana Bread Muffin Recipe Easier?
Want to know what tools and resources I keep on hand to make my vegan cooking even easier? Here’s a short list of what helped me create this blog post and recipe. For the complete list, visit my Shop where you can find the kitchen gadgets I like as well as a list of books that I recommend.
This simple kitchen tool is a must-have for many dishes other than mashed potatoes. I use this on the regular for mashing garbanzo beans when making my Chickpea “Tuna” Salad or for mashing bananas for my Gluten Free Banana Bread Muffins.
These kitchen workhorses will produce the perfect muffins every time! Heat tolerant to 450º and non-stick for easy muffin release, these muffin tins will last for years.
Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour
I’ll admit, there was a big part of me that thought that gluten-free baking could never be as good as the original. Thanks to Bob’s Red Mill, I am happy to report that I was wrong!
I use this gluten-free flour blend – a combination of garbanzo bean flour, potato starch, tapioca flour, sorghum flour and lava bean flour – in many of my vegan baking recipes.
Gluten Free Banana Bread Muffin Recipe
- 2 ripe bananas
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1 1/2 cups Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 cup dairy free semi-sweet chocolate chips see my blog post for information on cocoa butter, a common ingredient in chocolate
- 1/4 cup walnuts chopped
- Preheat your oven to 350º.
- Peel and mash the bananas in a medium-sized mixing bowl. The bananas should be a paste-like consistency with few lumps. I find that using a potato masher makes this very easy.
- Add the maple syrup, 1/4 cup of coconut oil, gluten-free flour, baking powder and vanilla. Stir to combine. The batter should be similar in consistency to thick pancake batter.
- Stir in the chocolate chips and, if desired, the chopped walnuts.
- Lightly grease the muffin tin with coconut oil.
- Fill each of the muffin compartments 2/3rds full with the muffin batter.
- Bake for 18 minutes. Check for doneness by inserting a toothpick into a muffin. The toothpick should come out cleanly.
About Herbivore’s Kitchen
Herbivore’s Kitchen is a blog run by me, a plant-based home chef and aspiring food photographer. I switched my and my family’s diet to a plant-based diet after learning about the health benefits of going vegan. Making this change has prompted a variety of food and holistic-lifestyle related questions that I explore through this blog. I talk about how to pick and prepare the most nutritious foods, to how to reduce waste at home, to how to live a more sustainable lifestyle while on the road.