Living the veg life, one meal at a time
Gluten-Free Banana Bread with Chocolate and Ginger
Gluten Free Banana Bread with Chocolate and Ginger

The floor beside my side of the bed is littered with books; fiction, non-fiction, cookbooks it doesn’t matter, but it is in this constant state. I usually fall asleep with a book in bed and Mark, being the nice boyfriend that he is, puts it on the floor. He would put it on my nightstand but that is usually cluttered with dainty teacups or thick handled coffee mugs that I have yet to take to the kitchen sink. Sometimes it takes me a day or so.

One of my most favourite cookbooks is not vegan. It isn’t even vegetarian. Gasp! A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table by Molly Wizenberg is actually part cookbook part memoir and it is so beautiful and romantic I don’t really mind that the recipes aren’t vegan. Molly Wizenberg is the writer for Orangette, a food and drink blog that inspires my taste buds and my heart. While her and her family are not vegan, I frequent her site for her stories of Oklahoma and Paris and flavour combinations. Her posts are casual in tone but elegantly worded and the photography is effortlessly gorgeous, all in all I love her stuff (though again not vegan but I won’t hold that against her). This recipe is inspired by her Banana Bread with Chocolate and Crystallized Ginger recipe found in her first book.

Banana bread is one kid friendly recipe that my grandma let me help her with when I was a child since it is super easy to make. Now this is not my grandma’s recipe. If I told my grandmother now that I made a gluten free vegan banana bread with chocolate, crystallized ginger and demerara sugar she would insist that I have been living in the city too long. It sounds more lavish that it really is which can be a good thing too.


  • The batter will be thick but I cannot stress enough how important it is to not overmix. It will become denser if overmixed so gently fold in the ingredients.
  • Only use super ripe bananas, the more brown spots the better. Like all fruit, bananas become sweetened when ripened. Bright yellow bananas will not do for any banana bread.
  • Got bananas in the freezer? Thaw them out, peel them and volia!
  • The banana and sugar top is optional but I highly recommend it. The bananas look beautiful, add some colour to an otherwise plain loaf and when they are baked they create a sweet and sticky glaze. Since this recipe doesn’t use cane sugar, the loaf’s top doesn’t crisp up as nicely as one that does. Sprinkle the loaf with some of this sparkly sugar and it makes a divine crisp top. I prefer 1 tablespoon sugar on the top verses 1 cup of sugar in the loaf.
  • I have tried this recipe with a mix of other naturally gluten free flours and found this one to be the best combination for this recipe. Light buckwheat is required and dark or regular buckwheat cannot be substituted unless you want your loaf to be your doorstopper. I don’t like the idea of gums for gluten free baked goods. Xantham gum doesn’t have a nice ring to it.

Gluten Free Banana Bread with Chocolate and Ginger

Inspired by Molly Wizenberg’s Banana Bread with Chocolate and Crystallized Ginger

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 60 minutes- 70 minutes (not including cooling time)

Makes 1 loaf

 Wet Ingredients

  • 3 large very ripe bananas, peeled
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 tablespoons virgin coconut oil, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 chia egg (1 tablespoon chia seeds + 3 tablespoons warm water, let sit until the seeds have expanded)

Dry Ingredients

  •  1 cup light buckwheat flour
  • ½ cup certified gluten free oat flour
  • ½ cup quinoa flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • ¼ cup dark chocolate chips (certified gluten free)
  • 1/3 cup chopped crystallized ginger

 Toppings (Optional by highly recommended)

  •  1 very ripe banana, cut on the bias into thin slices
  • 1 tablespoon demerara sugar

Adjust oven rack to center slot and pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×5 loaf pan (preferably Pyrex) with some coconut oil. Create a sling with parchment paper for easy removal of the loaf once it is baked.

In a large bowl, mash the peeled bananas until only a few lumps remain. Add the rest of the wet ingredients to the mashed bananas and mix together. Set aside.Whisk all the dry ingredients except the chocolate and ginger together in another large bowl and create a well in the centre.

Gluten Free Banana Bread with Chocolate and Ginger

Pour the wet ingredients into the well and gently incorporate them together with a rubber spatula. Add in the chocolate chips and ginger and fold in.

Gluten Free Banana Bread with Chocolate and Ginger

Do not overmix! It will be very thick and a little lumpy. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Shingle the bananas on the sides of the loaf and sprinkle with demerara (optional).

Gluten Free Banana Bread with Chocolate and Ginger

Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, testing with a toothpick or skewer inserted in the centre of the loaf. You may see some melted chocolate but you want to look for any uncooked batter. Allow the loaf is cool for 10 minutes in the pan and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Gluten Free Banana Bread with Chocolate and Ginger

Mark used the banana I was saving for this banana bread but the photo below shows how it should look with the banana topping. Too bad the loaf on the bottom was super dense and not as delicious as the above loaf.

Gluten Free Banana Bread with Chocolate and Ginger

Can’t wait for it to cool completely? Me neither. Let it cool in the pan and then slice, it won’t be a perfect slice but it will taste great. Serve with tea or coffee.

Gluten Free Banana Bread with Chocolate and Ginger

To store: Double wrap in plastic wrap once the loaf has completely cooled, at room temperature lasts about 2 days but best if the loaf is eaten within a day.

To freeze: Allow to loaf to cool completely and double wrap in plastic wrap and then single wrap in aluminum foil. Will keep for about a month in the freezer.

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