When I was growing up, my mom used to make the most amazing banana bread. She had a pretty simple recipe (literally just bananas and yellow cake mix), but her secret was letting the bananas go very, very brown before using them. That was long before I went vegetarian, and before her gluten and dairy allergies were diagnosed. Needless to say that the days of her classic bananas and yellow cake mix bread are long gone.
I came up with this recipe at my mother’s request, and served them at Thanksgiving earlier in the week. They needed to be not only gluten free and vegan, but as easy as possible so that they wouldn’t add extra stress to our Thanksgiving cooking. No fresh ground nut or seed meal, no transforming ingredients, just a basic, 16 ingredient muffin. Let me tell you though, there’s nothing basic about the flavor. They’re moist, delicious, and though you can definitely taste the banana, the flavor of the cornmeal adds a nice balance.
Oh and here’s a few pics of my mother and I hard at work in the kitchen on Thanksgiving. Photos by David Jedeikin.
2 Tbsp flaxseeds
4 Tbsp warm water
2 very ripe bananas (they skin should be going brown)
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 Tbsp agave
1/4 c coconut milk
1 Tbsp vinegar
1/2 c cornmeal
1/4 c rice flour
1/4 c coconut flour
1/8 c potato starch
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp xanthan gum
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1. Grind flaxseeds in a spice grinder or bullet blender.
2. Add warm water and let sit for at least 5 minutes.
3. Peel and mash your bananas with a fork. Make sure to dedicate some time to really mashing the bananas thoroughly. Seriously, twist your bowl sideways and really get some air into the bananas.
4. Add your flax and water egg replacer, olive oil, agave, coconut milk, and vinegar.
5. Add remaining dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.
6. Grease a muffin tin with shortening, then divide batter into half a dozen muffins.
7. Bake in an oven preheated to 350 degrees fahrenheit for 25 to 28 minutes or until golden brown.
8. Let rest in the muffin tin for no longer than 3 minutes, then let cool on a rack for at least 20 minutes before eating. They will continue to cook as they cool.