Healthy 5-Ingredient Banana Bread (GF/V)

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This Healthy 5-Ingredient Banana Bread includes organic buckwheat groats (soaked), one overripe banana, pure maple syrup, hemp seeds, and GF baking powder—that’s it! Preparing the batter mixture is simple and quick, and the recipe makes one smaller loaf in less than one hour.

A small slice of buckwheat banana bread on a cutting board.

Allergen-Friendly Banana Bread 

Most good old-fashioned banana bread recipes include a few kinds of refined sugar, eggs, dairy and oil with a few extra ingredients. The combination makes the quick bread taste delicious, but there are ways to simplify a recipe to make it healthier.

Additionally, a traditional recipe might not meet your dietary needs if you avoid top allergens or follow a plant-based way of eating.

An unbelievably soft texture gluten-free banana blender bread that is also free of nuts, eggs and dairy.
Only five ingredients create this amazingly soft, naturally sweet buckwheat banana bread.

Why This Banana Bread Recipe?

Fresh is Real aims to reduce or omit added sugar when developing baked goods. This banana bread creation is an excellent example! A very ripe or overripe banana paired with a small amount of pure maple syrup is all your need to add just enough sweetness.

Even with just a bit of natural sweetness, the aroma that fills a home while banana bread is baking is incredible!

Additionally, this banana bread with organic buckwheat groats works with many unique dietary needs. 

Above all, it’s a fun, quick blender recipe you can enjoy in less than one hour—or as soon as it’s cool enough.

Gorgeous organic whole grain raw buckwheat groats
Whole, hulled, raw organic buckwheat groats are gorgeous heart-shaped grain-like seeds.

What Are Buckwheat Groats?

Buckwheat groats, despite the name, are gorgeous grain-like seeds that are naturally gluten-free. Some people following a grain-free diet consume buckwheat as it’s also a pseudo-grain.

Along with its unique characteristics, buckwheat is packed with health benefits. Buckwheat is a wonderful source of zinc, copper, and magnesium, with fibre and protein.

Contrary to Kasha which is roasted buckwheat groats, whole-hulled organic buckwheat groats are raw.

Recipe Substitutions

This recipe only has five simple and beautiful ingredients. Try and stick to them. Buckwheat groats are necessary to make this banana bread. 

If you can’t consume hemp seeds, or you find them too earthy, nutty or bitter, you could leave them out or replace them with something comparable in nutritional value, such as raw sunflower seeds or cashews (if not allergic to nuts).

Note that sunflower seeds and baking powder (with baking soda) can create a greenish tinge to baked goods. It’s still good to eat but might surprise you when you slice your loaf.

As for the maple syrup, if you find that 1/4 cup is too much, reduce the amount to half.

Ingredients

The Healthy 5-Ingredient Banana Bread recipe includes organic buckwheat groats, one very ripe or overripe medium to large banana, pure maple syrup, organic hemp seeds and GF baking powder. The ingredients in the gluten-free baking powder I like using are tapioca starch, baking soda and cream of tartar.

You can make your own GF baking powder if you have the ingredients. If you don’t have baking powder, adding a small amount of baking soda (1/4-1/2 teaspoon) would help the bread rise.

A pinch of sea salt is optional for this banana bread recipe but recommended as it makes loaves of bread taste even better. If you love cinnamon or pure vanilla powder (or extract), both will elevate the flavour even further.

The Yeast-Free Buckwheat Blender Bread inspired this healthier banana bread. Both recipes create such a soft and smooth texture. The main difference is the tasty banana bread is smaller (not as tall unless you double the recipe), with only one cup of buckwheat groats. See the picture below. 

Sliced piece of grain-free buckwheat bread
The Yeast-Free Buckwheat Blender Bread (shown above) includes 2 cups of buckwheat groats.
The banana bread recipe creates a smaller (shorter loaf) with only 1 cup of groats but can easily be doubled.

Healthy 5-Ingredient Banana Bread: Add-Ins

Extra seeds, nuts such as organic raw walnuts (if not allergic), allergy-free chocolate chips or chopped-up dark chocolate would make great add-ins. Fold them into the blended banana bread mixture before you transfer the batter to the bread pan.

Decorating the tops with extra seeds or banana slices is a nice touch.

Process steps to prepare a 5-Ingredient gluten-free bread recipe.
Toss the bananas in the blender for a smooth texture or mix in the mashed banana after blending the buckwheat groats for a rustic-looking loaf with pieces of banana. See the difference in the next photo.

Instructions

Step 1  – Soaking the Groats

(See the Recipe Card at the bottom for a printable version.)

Firstly, and most importantly, you must soak the buckwheat groats in water for 1 to 4 hours before making the banana bread. Organic buckwheat groats differ in size, and some need a longer soak to get soft.

TIP: To test if the groats are ready, put a few in your mouth and bite down on the groats. If they are soft, even after 1 hour, you can proceed.

Next, rinse and strain the groats with a fine mesh strainer. Doing so will remove the slimy water. It’s ok for the groats to be wet, but you don’t want them sitting in extra water, so drain as much water as possible.

Step 2 – Blending Ingredients

Grab a high-speed blender (a small MagicBullet is perfect) and combine the overripe banana, soaked groats, maple syrup, hemp seeds, GF baking powder and sea salt (optional). Blend until smooth. A regular high-speed blender will be better for a double batch of this recipe. Blending with a handheld immersion blender might work if that’s all you have.

TIP: If necessary, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of water to help blend the mixture.

NOTE: To create a more rustic-looking slice with pieces of banana, consider adding the mashed banana to the blended batterlike mixture. You’ll see an example in the photo below. My son liked that version better. He said it was moister. My favourite was the smooth texture created by blending the banana with the other ingredients.

Step 3 – Transfer the Batter to Bread Pan & Bake

Transfer the batter to a parchment-lined bread pan (7.75 x 3.75 x 2.5 inches). A double batch will also work in this bread pan size but needs to bake for 75 minutes (1 hour and 15 minutes). If you use a smaller or large bread pan, adjust the baking times accordingly.

See the picture below for an example of a double batch with chopped-up dark chocolate. It was also beautifully decorated with sliced bananas and more hemp seeds. It was the best buckwheat banana loaf I’ve baked to date!

Bake in a preheated 350°F oven, on the center rack, for about 45 minutes or until the edges are golden and the top feels set. The internal temperature should be around 210°F if you like using a digital thermometer. Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Peel off the parchment paper and continue cooling on a wire rack. Slice and enjoy!

A sliced loaf of buckwheat banana bread with dark chocolate.
A double recipe baked in a smaller bread pan (7.75 x 3.75 x 2.5 inches) creates a taller loaf but takes longer to bake (approx. 75 mins).
This photo compares two loaves of banana bread. With the front left slices, the banana blends with the other ingredients. The top right pieces display a loaf where the mashed banana is added to the blended buckwheat to create a rustic texture.
Bottom left: All ingredients blended in the blender.
Top right: Mashed banana is mixed into the smooth batter by hand to create a rustic texture.

How To Store Banana Bread

Once cooled, quick breads without gluten/wheat, eggs, dairy, refined sugar, and oil keep best on the counter in an airtight container for a couple of days. Leftovers can be refrigerated in the same container for five days. 

Alternatively, eco-friendly reusable wrap or unbleached parchment paper are great options when storing banana bread at room temperature or in the refrigerator.

If you plan to freeze your bread, slice the loaf before transferring it to the freezer. A sealed bag, airtight container or glass container with a lid works equally well.

Best Way to Eat This Banana Bread Recipe

Enjoy a slice (or two or more) of this gluten-free and vegan banana bread recipe freshly baked—there’s nothing like it! 

This bread recipe doesn’t contain gums or weird ingredients contributing to gumminess like in other types of gluten-free bread. Go ahead and slice it warm but try to cool it for as long as possible to let it set.

If you love bread with butter, go for it! Spread your favourite buttery spread or seed (or nut) butter!

Warm up leftover slices for a few seconds in the microwave or on the stovetop in a pan.

I did not try toasting this bread yet.

RATE & COMMENT 📝
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Sliced buckwheat banana bread on a cutting board.

Healthy 5-Ingredient Banana Bread (GF/V)

  • Author: Chantal | Fresh is Real
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes (+ soaking time)
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 1 smaller loaf 1x
  • Category: Bread, Yeast-Free, Quick Breads
  • Method: Oven-Baked
  • Cuisine: Plant-Based, Gluten-Free, Vegan, Nut-Free, Allergen-Friendly
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

A Healthy 5-Ingredient Banana Bread recipe that is easy to make and tastes incredible! If this is your first time making an allergen-friendly baked treat, this bread is a nutrition recipe that is great for everyone! 


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 cup (165g) organic raw buckwheat groats*
  • 1 overripe medium to large banana
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons organic hemp seeds
  • 1 tablespoon GF baking powder**
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt (optional)

Instructions

Before you begin, watch the 60-second video to help you with the recipe.

Step 1 – Soak the buckwheat groats in water for 1 to 4 hours before making the banana bread. 

  • TIP: To test if the groats are ready, put a few in your mouth and bite down on the groats. If they are soft, even after 1 hour, proceed.

Step 2 – Rinse and strain the groats with a fine mesh strainer. Doing so will remove the slimy water. It’s ok for the groats to be wet, but you don’t want them sitting in extra water, so drain as much water as possible.

Step 3 – With a high-speed blender (a small MagicBullet is perfect), combine the overripe banana, soaked groats, maple syrup, hemp seeds, GF baking powder and sea salt (optional). Blend until smooth. A regular high-speed blender will be better for a double batch of this recipe. 

  • TIP: If necessary, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of water to help blend the mixture.

Step 4 – Transfer the batter to a parchment-lined bread pan (7.75 x 3.75 x 2.5 inches).

  • NOTE: A double batch will also work in this bread pan size but bakes for about 75 minutes (1 hour and 15 minutes). If you use a smaller or larger bread pan, adjust the baking times accordingly. 

Step 5 – Bake in a preheated 350°F oven, on the center rack, for about 45 minutes or until the edges are golden and the top feels set. The internal temperature should be around 210°F. Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Peel off the parchment paper and continue cooling on a wire rack. Slice and enjoy!


Notes

*It’s essential to soak the organic buckwheat groats first to help soften them. Doing so will also help to blend the ingredients to a smooth batter consistency. Note: the weight of the raw groats can vary. One cup, on average, weighs between 150g to 175g.
**I did not test various brands of GF baking powder. If unsure about the potency of your baking powder, add less for your first bake. Two teaspoons should work. Add more the second time you try the recipe to compare.

Read the full post for tips or ideas for optional spices or add-ins such as dark chocolate.

You can use frozen and thawed bananas. 

Reduce the maple syrup to half if you want. I tried it for a double batch that included chopped-up dark chocolate, and the overall sweetness was perfect for me.

You could try with Kasha (roasted buckwheat groats) if that’s all you have. I did not try it yet. Soak the Kasha first in water to soften the groats before blending.

Keywords: Healthy Banana Bread, Buckwheat Banana Bread, 5-Ingredient Banana Bread, Vegan Banana Bread, Yeast-Free Bread, Nut-Free Banana Bread, Egg-Free Banana Bread, Allergen-Friendly Banana Bread

2 Comments

  1. Made a single batch of the banana bread and it turned out perfect!
    My oven always run hot so I cooked it for 35 mins.
    Will definitely make this again!
    Thank you!

    View Comment

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ALLERGEN NOTE

Make sure the ingredients you purchase are prepared in a facility free from the top allergens YOU AVOID. Gluten-free products should be certified GF and clearly labelled. Consult your medical professional with your dietary questions.

Even certified gluten-free ingredients such as GF oats, corn, seeds, etc., can create health problems for individuals following a GF diet. Always consult a medical professional if unsure about ingredients for your needs.