Last week I shared my favorite recipe for Banana Bread. It was a delicious loaf studded with chunks of banana and dark chocolate.
After seeing the recipe on my Facebook page, a friend of mine sent a little message in reply to my post: “We need dairy free recipes.” It was a simple call for help that I was more than happy to respond to. So, I took my basic recipe for banana bread and made a few switch-a-roos.
First of all, I omitted all of the butter and replaced it coconut oil. The benefits of coconut oil are known to most. Coconut oil works so well in this recipe as its subtle flavors compliment both banana and chocolate so well.
Secondly, I omitted the milk/cream from the original recipe and opted for unsweetened vanilla almond milk. Truth be told: we do not drink regular milk and haven’t for years. Nearly all of my cooking and baking for my family is done with almond milk. I knew that this addition would only enhance the flavor and texture of my banana bread.
I also toyed around with the sugar levels. I am constantly pushing the envelope with sugar. Less sugar is just better for you. With the sweetness from the bananas, I knew that no one would miss the 1/4 cup of sugar that I omitted. If you have it on hand, I would even recommend completely omitting the brown sugar and using coconut sugar instead.
Lastly, I opted to make muffins instead of a loaf of quick bread. My reason? It was late, and I didn’t want to wait an hour to go to bed! The muffins were ready in 22 minutes, and I was in bed in 30. Seriously, you could certainly opt to bake a loaf of bread in a standard, greased glass loaf pan. You would simply need to increase the baking time to 55-60 minutes.
So if you’re looking for a gluten free dairy free muffin that’s light and airy, bursting with flavor, and light on the guilt, give these a try! You’ll be glad that you did.
Gluten Free Dairy Free Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
yields 12 muffins
6 tablespoons coconut oil
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
3 tablespoons unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 & 1/4 cups gluten free flour blend (I use Bob’s 1-to-1 blend)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 small to medium ripe bananas, broken apart into small chunks
1 cup dark chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Line a standard 12 muffin tin with parchment paper liner. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix the coconut oil until smooth. Add in the light brown sugar and continue to mix and scrape the sides as needed. Add in the eggs and almond milk and mix until well incorporated.
Sift together the flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Gradually add the flour mixture into the wet ingredients. For this step, I prefer to fold the flour into the wet ingredients by hand with a silicone spatula. You only want to combine the ingredients until they just come together. Over mixing can produce a gummy texture in your final product – NOT good!
Remove the bananas from the skins. Break apart the bananas into small, 1/4″ chunks. Hint: bananas break apart very nicely right along their natural seams. Place the bananas and chocolate chips into the batter. Using the paddle attachment on the mixer, mix at the lowest speed just to fold the ingredients together. Ten seconds or so with the mixer should be sufficient.
Please note that you DO NOT want to completely mash and mix the bananas into the batter. The beauty of this bread is the chunks of bananas in every bite.
Spoon the batter into the muffin tins (filling about 3/4 full).
Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 22 minutes. Place a cake tester in the center of the loaf to test for doneness.
Allow the muffins to sit in the pan for 15 minutes prior to serving.
When selecting bananas opt for small to medium sized bananas. If using larger bananas, you will only need two. Banana skins should be completely yellow with brown spots or streaks. There should be no green on the skins.