Buckwheat banana bread is a wholesome and healthy breakfast choice, yet sweet enough to eat for dessert. This banana bread is vegan, gluten free, refined sugar free, oil free and utterly delicious!
This buckwheat banana bread is a new staple in our house. We eat it for breakfast. We eat it for snack. And we eat it for dessert. There is no place in our day that this bread is not welcome. Buckwheat gives this bread a deep rich whole wheat flavor, while the almond flour balances and lightens it up.
You can eat this banana bread plain or add nuts or dark chocolate chips. We are at odds in our house about what is the best add-in. My husband and I love toasted pecans or walnuts, while our daughters prefer dark chocolate chips. So, I often end up making two loaves at once. Half a loaf for each of us! Sigh…it’s a rough life.
What is Buckwheat and Does it Contain Gluten?
Despite its name, buckwheat does not contain gluten. Buckwheat does not come from wheat and is actually not even a grain, but a seed. Buckwheat has an strong nutty and toasty flavor that may seem a little bitter. This strong flavor is easily balanced by adding another gluten free flour and sweetener to make robust baked goods.
Buckwheat is extremely nutritious and is a complete protein, containing all 9 amino acids that the body cannot produce on its own. It is high in fiber, magnesium and iron. Buckwheat also contains prebiotics which feed the healthy bacteria in our guts.
A word of caution: while buckwheat itself is gluten free, it is often used alongside regular wheat flour in many recipes. Before you order buckwheat pancakes or crepes at a restaurant, make sure to check that they are in fact gluten free!
How to Make Buckwheat Banana Bread
This one-bowl banana bread recipe takes less than 10 minutes to mix together. Start by making your flax eggs and set aside for 10 minutes to thicken. Next, mash the bananas in a large bowl. I like to mash mine with a potato masher to really break down the bananas. You don’t want any chunks bigger than pea-sized, and ideally very few chunks. Add the wet ingredients, including the flax eggs, to the bowl and stir to combine. Finally, add the dry ingredients and any add-ins and stir to thoroughly combine until no floury bits remain.
Set the batter aside for 30 minutes to rest. Preheat oven to 375F. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper.
Once the batter has rested for 30 minutes, pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and smooth the top. Bake for 55-65 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the middle and the top looks dry and fully cooked. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from the loaf pan and allow to cool completely on the wire rack before cutting. If you see the bread start to deflate and look uncooked on top while it’s cooling in the pan, put it back in the oven for another 5-8 minutes. This means it was not cooked all the way through and just needs a little more time.
Why Do I Need to Let the Batter Rest for 30 Minutes?
I recently found America’s Test Kitchen How Can it Be Gluten Free baking book and fell in love. Most of the recipes in there contain tons of eggs and dairy so I couldn’t make many of the recipes in there as written, but the science in there has changed the way I bake. My biggest takeaway was to let batters rest for 30 minutes after mixing to allow the flours to absorb the moisture in the recipe.
I have been working on perfecting this banana bread recipe for months now, but it often came out gummy or under cooked. Guess what perfected it? That little 30 minute rest before baking. Don’t skip this if you want your bread to cook properly and have a nice crumb. Game changer.
Substitutions for Buckwheat Banana Bread
- Sunflower seed flour can be used in place of the almond flour for a nut free version. See tutorial here on how to make sunflower seed flour.
- Use any liquid sweetener like agave or honey in place of the maple syrup.
- A chia seed egg or 1/2 cup aquafaba (the liquid from a can of chickpeas) can be used in place of the flax egg.
- Use any neutral tasting vinegar in place of the apple cider vinegar.
Can I Make this Banana Bread Into Muffins Instead?
Yes, you can definitely make these into muffins! This recipe yields about 18 muffins. Line 18 standard muffin cups and scoop 3 tablespoons of batter into each one. I like to use this cookie scoop to ensure my muffins are all the same size and cook evenly. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until cooked through and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes and then remove to the wire rack to finish cooling completely.
Buckwheat Banana Bread (Vegan & Gluten Free)
- 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed*
- 6 tablespoons water
- 4 large bananas (400 grams) the riper the better!
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 1/2 cups (168 grams) almond flour or sunflower seed flour
- 1 cup (120 grams) buckwheat flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 cup desired add-ins such as: toasted nuts or dark chocolate**
- Start by making your flax eggs. Whisk the ground flax and water together and set aside for 10 minutes to thicken.
- Mash the bananas in a large bowl. I like to mash mine with a potato masher to really break down the bananas. You don’t want any chunks bigger than pea-sized, and ideally very few chunks. Add the maple syrup, vinegar and flax eggs, to the bananas and stir to combine.
- Add the almond flour, buckwheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and any add-ins to the banana mixture and stir to thoroughly combine and no floury bits remain. Set the batter aside for 30 minutes to rest. (Don't skip this step. See info in the narrative about why this is important.)
- Preheat oven to 375F. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper.
- Once the batter has rested for 30 minutes, pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and smooth the top. Bake for 55-65 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the middle and the top looks dry and fully cooked. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes***, then remove from the loaf pan and allow to cool completely on the wire rack before cutting. Enjoy!
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