May 30th, 2012
If you’ve been reading for even just a little while, you know that I’m gluten-free curious. Though I have good reasons to be (if I do say so myself), this chocolate chip banana bread is about none of them.
It’s true that this chocolate freckled bread is the product of yet another gluten-free experiment designed to test my tolerance for going gluten-free, but all of that fell by the wayside with my first bite of this bread. In fact, it’s seeming more and more unlikely that the hungry baby has a gluten intolerance. But when my gluten-free experiments yield treats like this soul warming banana bread, it hardly seems to matter.
“What? It’s gluten-free? NO WAY!” This from the Hungry Papa, my sister, my brother-in-law, and several pot-luck guests. (I’ve made this many times now.)
“It is, but who cares.”
This banana bread is one of the best banana breads I’ve ever had the pleasure of eating. Yes, I said it and, yes, I understand the weight of my words. Banana bread is a classic childhood treat. For many, it calls up strong memories and even stronger emotions. One friend keeps the loaf pan that her grandma used to make banana bread tucked in the back of her cupboard, like proof of joyous moments in her grandmother’s kitchen.
Though I stand behind my bold declaration, I get that you are picky about banana bread. (Am I wrong?) I also know that you know that nothing without gluten can have the same texture or mouthfeel as something with. So, if you have a very discerning (or picky?) palate, you may detect, at the tail end of your bite, that healthier-baked-good finish. (For the record, this bread is no healthier for you than regular banana bread unless, of course, you have a gluten intolerance or allergy.) This loaf also has an ever so slightly grainy texture, which I like. Less so than corn bread, just enough to contrast to the abundant silky chocolate.
I’m being nitpicky, you should know. It’s because I know that banana bread strikes a chord deep inside many of you. As it should. As I hope this one will in my children when they are grown, whether or not they eat gluten-free.
Chocolate Chip Quinoa Banana Bread, Gluten-Free
makes one 5×10″ loaf
(can be shared with kids 12+ mos)*
8 tablespoons salted butter, plus more for greasing
1 cup quinoa four
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup applesauce
2 ripe bananas, mashed
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 5×10″ loaf pan and line with parchment paper; set aside. Melt butter in a small saucepan set over medium heat. Once melted, continue cooking the butter until it turns a nut brown. Watch over this process very carefully and swirl periodically—butter burns quickly! Set aside and allow to cool.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together quinoa flour, brown rice flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and cardamom. Set aside.
3. Add brown sugar to cooled brown butter and mix on medium speed until well combined. Add eggs and lower speed; continue mixing until smooth. Stir in applesauce. Then add flour mixture, stirring until well combined. Lastly stir mashed bananas and chocolate chips into the batter.
4. Add batter to prepped loaf pan. Bake for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to res in the pan for 10 minutes. Carefully remove and, leaving the parchment paper on, continue resting the loaf until it completely cools. This is best served still slightly warm from the oven.
*Note: Though there is nothing in this that isn’t safe for younger children, I recommend this beginning at 12 months old due to the relatively high sugar content. How ever old your eaters, be sure to serve an age appropriate serving. Just a little of this treat goes a long way with little ones!