Gluten Free Banana Ginger Bread

Published on May 26, 2023

  by   Kristina Stosek

6 reviews

Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 60 minutes Serves: 1 lloaf
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A Gluten Free Banana Ginger Bread that is extra moist, dairy free, nutritious, and exceptionally delicious. This is not your typical banana bread recipe.

The spicy kick of crystalized ginger, freshly grated apples, cardamom, lemon juice, heart-healthy olive oil, nutrient-rich millet flour, almond flour, ripe bananas, and absolutely no added sweeteners is no doubt a recipe for healthy gluten free banana bread. And the recipe is quick and easy!

sliced loaf of banana ginger bread

What does this gluten free ginger banana bread with apples taste like?

The sweetness of the ripe bananas and a unique combination of sweet, spicy, and tangy flavors is a harmony of tastes that sets this loaf apart from most. After all, we have all tried many banana bread recipes such as the Gluten-Free Blueberry Banana Bread or the Gluten Free Marbled Banana Bread, or my favorite the Gluten Free One Bowl Zucchini Banana Flax Bread, all three are delicious but nothing like this one with ginger.

crystallized ginger slices in a bowl

What is crystallized ginger, and is it gluten free?

Have you ever tasted the sweet and spicy flavor of crystallized ginger?

Crystalized ginger is made from a fresh ginger root cooked in sugar syrup and then coated with sugar crystals. This process gives the ginger a chewy texture and sweet and spicy flavor.

The good news is that crystalized ginger doesn’t contain gluten! However, it’s important to check the packaging or ask the manufacturer to ensure no cross-contamination risks during production or make it yourself.

Aside from adding a delicious kick to your baking recipes like banana ginger bread, crystalized ginger has some health benefits. As per Spice World, ginger contains antioxidants that help reduce inflammation and boost immunity. Plus, it can aid digestion and relieve nausea.

how to make crystalized ginger

To start making crystalized ginger, you’ll need fresh ginger root. Peel and slice fresh ginger into thin pieces before blanching them in boiling water for about 30 seconds. Strain out the water and repeat this process twice more.

After blanching, cook the slices in a mixture of 1:1 sugar and water until they become translucent. Once finished cooking, remove them from heat and allow them to cool at room temperature.

Once cooled, toss each piece of ginger in granulated sugar before letting them dry on parchment paper or a wire rack overnight. 

ripe bananas, crystallized ginger, lemon and apple on a wooden board

Why add apples to gluten free banana ginger bread?

Adding apples is a great way to enhance the taste and texture of this classic recipe. Apples are naturally sweet and moist, which helps create a moist gluten free banana bread.

In addition to adding flavor, apples help bind the ingredients together in gluten free recipes where wheat flour isn’t an option. This can be especially important as gluten-free flours tend to produce drier baked goods than their wheat-based counterparts.

Grated fresh apples will ensure they mix well into your batter without creating large chunks. You can even experiment with different varieties of apples for different flavors – Granny Smiths will lend tartness, while Honeycrisps bring sweetness.

Incorporating apples into your gluten-free banana bread ginger recipe is a simple yet effective way to make it more nutritious and flavorful. Plus, it’s a great way to use up any bruised fruit you may have on hand!

a cross section of banana loaf

Why should the bananas be extra ripe?

Ripe bananas are a key ingredient in any banana bread recipe.

Firstly, ripe bananas are sweeter and softer than unripe ones, which makes them easier to mash into a smooth consistency for the batter. 

The natural sweetness of ripe bananas also means you can eliminate sweeteners in the recipe.

Secondly, as bananas ripen, their starch content converts into sugar, and their flavor becomes more intense. This intensifies the banana flavor in your banana ginger bread recipe and adds a subtle sweetness that goes well with other ingredients like ginger, apples, and lemons.

Using ripe bananas ensures that your gluten-free banana ginger loaf with apples turns out moist. This is because they contain more moisture than unripe ones, which helps keep the baked gluten free goods from becoming dry or crumbly.

how to make bananas ripe faster

Here are some tips on how to do it.

Place the unripe bananas in a brown paper bag and add an apple or tomato. These fruits release ethylene gas which speeds up the ripening process of the bananas. Leave the bag at room temperature for 24-48 hours until they become fully ripe.

If you’re in a hurry and can’t wait for 24-48 hours, try baking the unripe bananas in their skin in a preheated oven at 300°F for about 15-20 minutes. This will soften them up and bring out their natural sweetness.

Another method is to microwave them. To do this, pierce the peel with a fork or sharp knife in several spots on all sides, and microwave on high power for about 30 seconds to 2 minutes per banana. Be careful not to overdo it, as this may cause them to explode!

olive oil in a bowl with olives on the side

olive oil vs. butter in gluten free baking

For gluten-free baking, using the right fat can make a big difference in the texture and flavor of your baked goods. Olive oil and butter are two commonly used fats in baking, but which is better for gluten-free banana bread?

Olive oil has become increasingly popular as a healthier alternative to butter in many recipes. As per Intermountain Healthcare it contains heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and antioxidants that may help reduce inflammation. In terms of taste, olive oil adds subtle fruitiness and depth to baked goods especially to banana ginger loaf.

On the other hand, butter is known for its rich flavor and ability to create a tender, moist crumb in baking. However, it also contains saturated fats, which can lead to higher cholesterol levels if consumed excessively.

What can I replace xanthan gum with?

Xanthan gum is a popular ingredient in gluten-free baking because it acts as a binding agent, giving the dough or batter the necessary viscosity and elasticity. However, some people prefer to avoid xanthan gum due to its potential side effects, such as digestive issues.

You can use several alternatives instead of xanthan gum when making banana bread. One option is psyllium husk, a natural thickener used for gluten-free baking. Mix one teaspoon of psyllium husk (not powder) with two tablespoons of warm water and let it sit until it forms a gel-like consistency before adding it to your banana bread batter.

Chia seeds are another great alternative in most baked goods recipes. Soak one tablespoon of chia seeds in three tablespoons of water until they become gooey, and add them to your banana bread batter.

Another option is using a flaxseed meal mixed with water at a 1:3 ratio, which creates an egg-like substitute. This helps provide structure and texture without the need for xanthan gum.

banana ginger loaf topped with crystallized ginger chunks

toppings for sliced banana ginger bread

Add a smear of butter or cream cheese on top. This will add a rich, creamy texture that complements the moistness of the banana bread.

If you want something fruity, try spreading some jam or preserves on top. Strawberry or raspberry jam pairs particularly well with ginger and bananas.

For a heartier snack and extra protein, spread your favorite nut or seed butter on top.  

If you’re feeling indulgent, try adding Nutella, the gluten free chocolate spread. OMG deliciousness!

two slices of banana ginger bread dusted with powdered sugar

My take on gluten free banana ginger bread

Gluten-free ginger banana loaf with apples is a delicious and nutritious alternative to traditional banana bread. It’s moist, flavorful, and perfect for those who are gluten intolerant or have other dietary restrictions, such as dairy.

Using ripe bananas ensures the bread is sweet and moist while providing valuable nutrients like potassium. Crystalized ginger gives it a spicy kick, while apples add moisture and sweetness.

When making this banana ginger bread recipe at home, consider using olive oil instead of butter for added health benefits. And if you don’t have xanthan gum on hand, try substituting it with ground chia seeds, flaxseeds, or psyllium husks.

Top your sliced banana bread with nut butter, jam, or chocolate spread for extra deliciousness. I promise you even your pickiest eaters will enjoy a slice of nutritious banana bread. 

Need more gluten free banana recipes? Here is our complete list of gluten free recipes made with bananas, including our Banana Mousse With Strawberry Chocolate Sauce.

Let’s Connect!

Many thanks!

Kristina xx

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yes you can, but change the 1/2 cup to 2/3 cups of oat flour

Silvia T.

Can I substitute 1/2 cup gluten free oat flour for the 1/2 cup of rice flour. I can have rice. Thanks,

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