Although this was a last-minute idea to use up the rest of my slightly overripe bananas before they went bad, these gluten-free banana marble loaves turned out fantastic. It’s always fun to make marble loaves, in this case, with alternating banana and dark chocolate. It offers you an inviting look, as well as an interesting varying flavor. In each bite, you’ll enjoy the deep dark chocolate or the ripe banana, or sometimes both. No kidding! They are soft and moist, vegan, and gluten-free marble loaves.
When I saw bananas at the grocery store for 29 ¢ per pound, I just couldn’t help picking up a big bunch. Yes, it was per pound, not each. Whenever I get a good deal on bananas, I often end up with a few overripe ones. So that gets me to continuously create and develop good banana recipes, such as the banana oatmeal quinoa pancakes, the ultimate banana chocolate cake, and the classic banana mini loaf, et al. (they’re all gluten-free and vegan).
I like the fruity and fresh flavor of a ripe yellow banana when eaten by itself. However, riper and softer bananas with some brown spots on the peeling are best for baking. Too green means the banana flesh is not ripe enough and tastes starchy, while too dark with too many black and brown spots means it’s overripe and too sweet. It also starts to become mushy and lose its fresh and fruity taste as well.
Why the green and yellow banana taste so different?
During the ripening process, bananas produce ethylene, a chemical that helps to ripen the banana itself. Ethylene also stimulates the amylase and results in starch converting to sugar, such as fructose and glucose. Studies show that the riper the banana, the less starch it contains. Unripe green bananas contain approximately 82% starch and 7% sugar, while a ripe yellow banana contains 26% starch and 63% sugar. For the overripe black banana the starch and sugar are 3% and 88%, respectively.
Natural sugar content in bananas is great in vegan and gluten-free baking, in this case, the marble loaves.
It’s challenging to bake with gluten-free flour, due to the loss of the sticky and stretchy gluten that holds the pastries together. Adding sugar to pastries helps this situation. However, I normally don’t add sugar into my gluten-free pastries. Adding ripe bananas with their natural sugar content to the gluten-free dough helps to sweeten the pastries, as well as add that stickiness that helps to hold the loaf together (not be crumbly). These simple, yeast free banana marble loaves are great for breakfast, especially with chocolate butter spread on top.
- 2-1/2 cup all-purpose gluten-free flour (see note)
- ½ tbs baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ tsp pure stevia extract powder (Now brand)
- ¼ cup special dark cocoa powder (Hershey brand)
- 3 ripe bananas
- 1 tbs distilled white vinegar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup non-dairy milk (I used Silk brand unsweetened almond milk)
- ⅓ cup canola oil
- Preheat oven at 350 °F. Lightly spray three mini loaf pans with oil.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients except the coca powder. Transfer ¾ cup of the mixed dry ingredients into another mixing bowl. Mix in cocoa powder with the ¾ cup flour mixture. Set both bowls aside.
- In a food processor, blend banana until smooth. Transfer the banana into a mixing bowl and then add the rest of wet ingredients. Mix thoroughly.
- Pour approximately half of the wet mixture into each flour mixture. Use spatulas to mix the wet and dry ingredients together until just combined. Place a scoop of the chocolate batter followed by a scoop of the banana batter (the one without cocoa power), alternating between the two to get the marbling, into the prepared loaf pans.
- After filling the loaf pan, tap the loaf pan on the counter gently to ensure there are no gaps or air pockets in the batter. Stick a paring knife or butter knife vertically into the dough and move it around through the dough to create the marble look.
- Bake for 40 minutes. Allow the loaf to cool in the pan for 3 minutes, until it can be removed from the pan easily. Cool completely on a wire cooling rack before slicing.
8 oz brown rice flour
8 oz millet flour
8 oz sweet rice flour
8 oz white rice flour
4 oz cornstarch
4 oz potato starch
Mix all flour well in a container or a gallon zip-lock bag. Store in freezer.