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Jan 5, 2015 BY Joy McCarthy

Gluten-Free Buckwheat Banana Bread

Happy New Year Joyous reader!

Walker (my hubs) and I were reminiscing about our weekend bike rides in the summer because it's been really bone-chilling cold here in TO. Instead of a bike ride, I went to the gym and did 30 minutes on the elliptical -- doing my best! It was certainly not as lovely as a bike ride on the waterfront but movement is essential for joyous health on a daily basis.

When I got back home, I made this fluffy and cardamom-infused buckwheat banana bread. I call this healthy comfort food!

Buckwheat and I are finally friends...

It took me a few tries and I also experimented for book two by making buckwheat banana pancakes a number of times (which I've nailed, woohoo!). This banana bread turned out fantastic because I've figured out the formula! 

What is buckwheat and what are the health benefits? 

Despite the name, buckwheat is totally gluten-free. Buckwheat kernels are a triangular shape before they are ground into flour. Buckwheat contains a significant amount of fiber, and studies have shown that it helps slow down the rate of glucose absorption after a meal which help to balance your blood sugar. Buckwheat is also a good source of protein and calcium. 

Where to buy?

Buckwheat can be purchased at any health food store. You can buy "light" or "dark" buckwheat.

Here's the recipe...

Dry Ingredients
  • 1 cup buckwheat flour (you can use dark or light, I used dark)
  • ½ tsp vanilla powder or 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom or cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Wet ingredients
  • 2 eggs, whisked
  • 2 1/2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 3 tbsp water
  • Optional: 2-3 tbsp real maple syrup. I don't usually add this because the bananas are sweet enough.
  • Also optional: 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (Enjoy life is a brand that's nut and dairy-free) and 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl combine the wet ingredients. Add the wet to the dry ingredients and stir until combined. Pour into a greased loaf pan.
  3. Baked for 25 to 30 minutes. I now have a convection oven which cooks things a little faster. You know it's done when you stick a fork or knife into the center and it comes out clean.

Looking at this banana bread you'd think it was dense, but it's super light and very fluffy!! Or maybe a better description is "bouncy". YES! You may notice that many recipes for either breads or pancakes that have buckwheat flour often add other flours as well because it has a notable "buckwheat" flavour. I personally LOVE the flavour of buckwheat flour.

I enjoyed it with some sunflower seed butter, as per the photo above.

I added one of my fave Indian spices cardamom to this recipe because it's the sassy cousin of cinnamon. Besides, cinnamon gets enough time in the spotlight and cardamom too has incredible health benefits. That being said, if you're new to this sassy cousin then give it a sniff. If it doesn't suit your fancy then just swap it with cinnamon. 

The nutritional health benefits of cardamom are as follows:

  • Good source of minerals including: iron, potassium, calcium, magnesium
  • That amazing smell cardamom has is due to the many volatile oils which are incredibly anti-inflammatory
  • There are many more health benefits to cardamom such as improving digestion, acting as a diuretic, improving halitosis and more. But to be honest, for these benefits you are better off just drinking cardamom tea because the amount per slice is relatively low. That being said, it lends a warming flavour.

I can't wait for you to try this recipe and let me know what you think! I have another idea for this recipe so I'm looking forward to your feedback.

Have a joyous day!

Joy 

Jan 5, 2015 BY Joy McCarthy
54 Comments
Lotsakids   •   January 6, 2015

I grew up on buckwheat pancakes and have recently been trying to find new recipes for what to do with buckwheat flour- this is perfect! I happened to have overripe bananas, and organic sprouted buckwheat flour when I read this. My recipe turned out perfectly - we will say what the kiddos say after school!

Reply
Joy McCarthy   •   January 6, 2015
Karen Woodroffe   •   April 24, 2015
Alison McAdams   •   September 27, 2016

Jessica K   •   January 7, 2015

I just made this and my entire house now smells like the wonderful scent of cardamom. It is absolutely delicious thank you so much for sharing!!! I made it using an egg replacement of flax seeds instead and it worked equally well. Highly recommend making this!

Reply
Joy McCarthy   •   January 7, 2015
Maria   •   November 14, 2015

Ashley   •   January 11, 2015

I just want to say thank you for this amazing recipe!! I've been looking for a banana loaf since going gf and I'm so happy to have tried this amazing recipe!!! It's so yummy!!!

Reply
Joy McCarthy   •   January 12, 2015

Sheryll   •   January 12, 2015

This was fantastic! Haven't even gotten through the first loaf and already thinking about making another one:) You're right - it was so fluffy. I'm tiring of GF/vegan recipes that turn out like bricks. Thanks so much!

Reply
Joy McCarthy   •   January 12, 2015

Samantha@whole new start   •   January 21, 2015

This looks really yummy! I tried to make bread the other day with buckwheat and it didn't work out at all! I'll definitely have to give your recipe a try! Buckwheat is too good for you to give up on :)

Reply

Nikki   •   January 27, 2015

Made this banana bread yesterday and I am in love! So good. I added some chopped walnuts and it was a great compliment. Thanks for the recipe Joy!

Reply
Kate McDonald Walker   •   January 29, 2015

Francesca   •   January 29, 2015

Simply delicious! Very fluffy, flavourful and so comforting. I added the optional ingredients - maple syrup and chocolate chips - and the result was incredible. I will do this again and again :-) Thank you for sharing, all of your recipes are amazing.

Reply
Kate McDonald Walker   •   January 29, 2015

Anne   •   February 27, 2015

Just made this banana bread today! So delicious. I am slowing getting into baking here and there.... This recipe was so easy to make and turned out fantastic! Feels so wholesome eating it too :). I followed closely, except just added about 1/2 tsp of the cardamom. Thx!

Reply

Amy   •   March 11, 2015

Thank you! This was great and I ate it all week as a snack – toasted it tasted great too!

Reply

Rachael   •   March 14, 2015

I made this recipe and it was divine! My only comment was that I needed way more than 25-30 minutes of baking time. I was closer to 55 mins.

Reply
Joy McCarthy   •   March 16, 2015

Jennifer   •   September 5, 2015

Lovely banana bread! This recipe turned out perfect for me, thank you! XX

Reply
Joy McCarthy   •   September 5, 2015

Jessica   •   September 5, 2015

Can you make it without the cardamom? Don't have that in my house but have everything else! Thanks!

Reply
Kate McDonald Walker   •   September 6, 2015
ash   •   September 14, 2018

No Sugar, No Cry   •   December 9, 2015

Hey, this is great thanks! I actually made a vegan version of it, without the eggs....still solid and tasty! :)

Reply
Kate McDonald Walker   •   December 10, 2015

Hazel Johns   •   January 21, 2016

This is yummy but took ages to cook in my oven. Nearly an hour and a bit too done around the edges. I'll use a cake tin next time. I think my loaf tin was probably the wrong shape.

Reply

Elisa   •   February 24, 2016

I made this tonight and is it ever light and fluffy. It's perfect! I am sure if I made this for my boyfriend he would never know it was gluten free and healthy! I've been loving buckwheat flour lately in all sorts of recipes.

Reply

Ana   •   March 30, 2016

This banana bread is incredible! I just made it last weekend during an afternoon, and by evening it was all gone. Quick, easy, and so yummy - needless to say, this recipe will be added to my list of favourites!

Reply
Heather Allen   •   March 30, 2016

Stephanie   •   March 31, 2016

Hello! I just made this recipe this weekend after looking for a buckwheat banana bread recipe and the texture came out amazing! It was soft and moist, but not in a dense cake way, but in a lighter sweet bread way. I prefer my recipes to be less sweet so I opted out of the maple syrup and added a tablespoon of water for moisture instead. My one modification would be to add slightly less cardamom, because it was just *a little* overpowering for me, but that may be because I decided not to add any other sweeteners. For me, 3/4 of a teaspoon may be enough, but that's just my preference. I just wanted to comment on how much I loved how this turned out otherwise!

Reply
Heather Allen   •   March 31, 2016

Maureen   •   April 10, 2016

I made this recipe today and made 16 small muffins instead of a loaf. Baked for 12 minutes on convection oven. They were very tasty. Next time I will add cinnamon and nutmeg also. Thanks for the wonderful recipe. It has opened up endless possibilities with buckwheat flour.

Reply
Heather Allen   •   April 11, 2016

Andreja   •   April 12, 2016

Hello I was wandering if I can use Spelt flour? thanks

Reply
Heather Allen   •   April 12, 2016

Gil   •   June 20, 2016

Hi Joy, I made the banana bread today and it's simply great. My husband was reluctant at first when he found out the recipe called for 100% buckwheat flour .... He loved it and went for seconds! I added some walnuts and raisins to it. And you're right, no sugar or sweetener needed, tastes great with almond butter and a drizzle of honey. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

Reply
Heather Allen   •   June 20, 2016

Priscilla Chandra   •   September 20, 2016

hi i want to ask to mix the ingredients, can i do without the mixer ? or should using mixer?

Reply
Heather Allen   •   September 20, 2016

Dell   •   October 2, 2016

Whoa, whoa, get out the way with that good ininomatfro.

Reply

Dee   •   March 29, 2017

Delicious, healthy recipe and so simple... thank you so much for sharing.

Reply
Rachel Molenda   •   March 29, 2017

Jenn   •   March 31, 2017

What size is your loaf pan and was you 350 oven temp At convection ?

Reply
Rachel Molenda   •   March 31, 2017

Louise   •   August 8, 2017

Hi. I baked this today, didn't add sugar and added 1/2 cup of chocolate chips. I used a silicon loaf pan (not a large pan) to bake it. I baked it for 35 minutes in a convection oven. It is really good but we are sampling it before supper which we shouldn't really do but couldn't resist. I like the recipe not only for the buckwheat but that you don't need to add sugar. It is a keeper.

Reply
Rachel Molenda   •   August 9, 2017

Lalita   •   September 30, 2017

I just came across this recipe today and shall certainly try it. I am from India and I make buckwheat crepes (Indian style dosa), pancakes (chillas) just using water and without milk of any kind and also flat breads. Since I am on a gluten free diet and was craving for something sweet, this would be ideal. I could not locate your recipe for buckwheat pancakes. May I please have it or could you direct me to it. Thank you. Love to hear from you. Cheers!

Reply
Rachel Molenda   •   October 2, 2017

Karah   •   April 15, 2018

This recipe is wonderful, it has produced perfect results for me! I prayed real hard and made some changes because I’m vegan. So, I used flaxseed egg substitute instead of eggs, I used coconut cream instead of milk, I used coconut oil instead of butter, and I added 3/4 cup of chopped pecans. Cooked the cake in old faithful, my cast iron skillet and it turned out absolutely delicious, pretty, moist, light and fluffy. I couldn’t have asked for a better cake! Thank you very, very, very, much!

Reply
Rachel Molenda   •   April 16, 2018

Ruby   •   September 5, 2018

What a recipe! I am always apprehensive of using buckwheat for baking (I find it a little hard work) but this is FANTASTIC. Delish, thank you thank you thank you

Reply
Joy McCarthy   •   September 5, 2018

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