A Gluten-Free Vegan Banana Bread You'll Love
There are two telling signs that you're entering a Caribbean household. The first is somewhere along the perimeter of the garden—a giant-leafed banana tree adorned with bright pink and purple flowers and offering ample shade.
The second? A bunch of beautiful, brown-speckled bananas sit on the kitchen counter, awaiting the oven. Being born and raised on a tropical island means a basic rite of passage. Essentially, as soon as you begin to walk and talk, you also start learning how to bake banana bread.
Naturally, my heart broke when I was forced to cut it out of my diet.
I was first diagnosed with recurring inflammatory lung tumors at 19. Shortly after, other chronic autoimmune diseases followed: sarcoidosis and psoriasis (not that specifics matter). After incessantly researching ways to reduce inflammation in my body, I discovered the Autoimmune Protocol, otherwise known as AIP, Diet. Through process of elimination, it helped me identify my worst symptom triggers. Each person's experience is different, but for me, I found that some of my biggest triggers were dairy, eggs, wheat, and refined sugars. So, they all had to go. After six months of highly restrictive eating, I found much to my surprise—and my doctor's—that my latest tumor had shrunk in half.
But that also meant no banana bread for Teresa.
When the entire world began baking banana bread in quarantine last year, I desperately wanted to join in. It had been years since I'd known the pleasure of quick bread, and now I finally had the time to experiment. To that end, I carefully crafted a recipe that fit within my new dietary restrictions that was [wait for it]...really good. And since I thought it too selfish not to share with the world, ta-da! A gluten free, vegan banana bread recipe that's low in sugar but boasts the same flavor and sweetness you love.
The loaf is also packed with nutrient-rich seeds that create the perfect egg substitute. "Flax eggs," commonly used in vegan baking, are a mixture of ground flaxseed and water that mimics the consistency and texture of an egg. If you don't have ground flax seeds on hand, ground chia seeds will work interchangeably. Save this trick to convert any recipe into an eggless one.
Now, kids, go bananas!