One of my favorite things about getting prepared for a move is going through all of our belongings and finding little gems that I had forgotten we had. Last week I set aside a few hours to go through all of my cookbooks and magazines. As I was flipping through the books and glossy pages of the magazines I tried to recall the last time I cooked from them...I was amazed that a few of them had actually made it in the last two moves, since I can't remember ever even cooking with them once. Anyways, in the back corner of my bookshelf, tucked away, I found my copy of Quick Vegetarian Pleasures by Jeanne Lemlin. I don't know how this book was ever forgotten about, and as I flipped through the worn, dog eared pages I realized that this book really was the start of my vegetarian cooking journey. Some may look at it with its penciled in notes on nearly every page and its water logged appearance as being a book that was badly abused, but I know different. This book has been loved and is more like an old friend than a book. It defined my cooking style and made vegetarian cooking seem doable at a point in my life where I had no clue where to even begin.
It's funny how things come full circle and now that I am completely comfortable in our vegetarian lifestyle, and can create a recipe without the need of my trusty old friend anymore we are once again on a new food journey that is equally if not more daunting. Next month will mark the one year anniversary of our gluten-free lifestyle, so much has changed for us and although the initial fear and uncertainty about what to eat and how to make it is gone...I am still learning and growing every day. It has been a year of "Aha" moments and frustrating ones too. At times it has seemed like I would never have the answers that I was looking for and almost always when I find the answer to one question I immediately have ten more new questions develop from the answer to that one.
I am proud of how far we have come as a family, I am grateful that our son is better, I am amazed that we never knew before that Todd had an intolerance to gluten, and most of all I am excited to see where we will be next year at our two year g-free anniversary. For now though, I decided to celebrate by converting one of my favorite recipes in this book to a tasty gluten-free version for my family.
Banana Date Bread
Makes 3 6 x 3-inch loaves or 1 9 x 5-inch loaf
Adapted from Quick Vegetarian Pleasures
Earth Balance for greasing pan
1 cup Better Batter or other g-free all purpose flour
⅓ cup coconut flour
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
½ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. ground cloves
¼ tsp. nutmeg, freshly grated
1 cup fresh Medjool dates, chopped and pitted
1 cup walnuts, finely chopped
½ cup sunflower oil
½ cup honey
4 large eggs
1 cup mashed banana, about 3 small bananas
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour baking pan/pans and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl combine the flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. Stir in the dates and walnuts.
In a separate small mixing bowl, beat the oil and the honey until smooth. Beat in the eggs, banana, and vanilla until thoroughly combined. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir until evenly moistened. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan/pans.
Bake for 50-70 minutes, depending on pan size, until a knife inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. *If the loaf begins to get too dark on top before it is cooked through in the center cover with a sheet of aluminum foil and continue cooking. Let stand on a wire rack at least 10 minutes before removing from the pan. Cool completely before slicing, about 2 hours. Store loaves wrapped tight in plastic wrap in the refrigerator. *I used 3 small loaf pans instead of one large one so that the bread would last longer. If you plan on eating it pretty quickly feel free to make one loaf.
We are happy to have shared this recipe at the Gluten-Free Friday’s link up party hosted by Vegetarian Mamma! Hop on over to find more great gf recipes.
I made this today and it came out so delicious!! I used a whole wheat flour instead of the gluten free one because that's what I had. I definitely preferred it heated up before eating because it brings out the moisture in the bread and makes it all warm, yumm. Thanks for the recipe! I love baking with dates. Such a great, healthy, and flavorful way to add sweetness to baking =).
Love the site! I have been trying my attempts at GF baking. I am disheartened by the use of Xanthan and Guar Gum...and try to stay away from them. I have been using Bobs gf flour mix and it does not contain either of these.
Do you think I need to add something more like Psyllium husk powder so it stays together?
Thank you so much for writing to me, I am honestly unsure of how psyllium husk will react in the recipe. I actually just ordered some of it to see for myself how it performs in baking. Take a look at this article, The Beginner's Guide to Gluten Free Flours. There may be some baking inspiration for you there that will lift your spirits without the addition of gums:)
thanks...i will report back
Hi Trish, this looks (and smells) so yummy! I made it last night, pulled it out to put foil on the top after about 40 mins, and dropped it…SPLAT, all over the kitchen floor. This is after my gf flour fell over and dumped all over the pantry. Not my best night 🙂 But I'm trying again today, my 8th day of being gluten free, haha. So far so good. And this will be quite the treat as I LOVE dates!
My question: Can you tell me your opinions about Better Batter? I'd been searching for a gf flour to stick with, but there are so many! I've decided that I like rice based flours better than bean based for most items. BB seems to be a really affordable option, and I'm thankful that it comes in bigger packages than 24 oz. Ugh. I bake way too much to be buying 4c of flour at a time. But, I'd love to hear why you chose it and stick with it. Thanks!
Congrats on being gluten free, I know that the first 5 days are really tough so YAY for you! I have had baking days like that before and I know just how frustrating they can be! I am so sorry you dropped your bread:( I hope it turns out for you today though.
I picked Better Batter after trying about 8 other brands of gluten-free flour and not being really happy with any of the results. Some flours were good for biscuit like baked goods and others were good for lighter popover type breads, but nothing was an across the board decent substitution for all types of baking. When I started testing BB it worked beautifully in pretty much everything I made with it. The brownie mixes were far superior to other brands I had tried too. Although I am experimenting more with mixing my own flours now in our 2nd year of being gluten free I still fall back on Better Batter when I want a gluten free baked good to turn out right the first time.
Hope this helps:)
Looks like a great recipe! I'm going to substitute Better Batter with almond meal & navy bean flour combo (trying to avoid all grains). And walnuts (allergic) with? Hmm I guess cashews? Using almond flour I want to change up the whole nut ingredient. Sunflower oil? Any particular reason choosing that oil? I have it, but thinking about coconut oil. Whatcha think?
Hey Trish, I love hearing how the recipes turn out when they are changed up so when you try it out, let me know what you think. As far as the oil goes, I think coconut would work well. I used the oil I had on hand.
Cindy (Vegetarian Mamma) says
Wow, this bread looks chalk full of goodies! Phew! Love that! Got it pinned to our Gluten Free Fridays board! Thanks for linking up!
Angie@Angie's Recipes says
I love banana bread...and baked one low carb last week...my next one will be a gluten free. Thank you for sharing!
Thanks Angie! I hope that you love it as much as we do.:)
Dana Schwartz says
This looks delicious Meg! I for one feel quite grateful that you are gluten free because me and my family get to benefit from your delicious and healthy recipes 🙂
Good luck with your move!
Thanks Dana, I really appreciate you coming back to B&B time after time and all of your encouragement along the way!
congratulations on your one year of being gluten-free! it is quite an accomplishment and i'm so happy to hear that your happily is all doing so much better. the bread looks delicious and beautiful, and i'd love a piece smothered in peanut butter right now!