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Vegan Maple Chickpea Flour Banana Breads {grain-free, oil-free}

Vegan maple chickpea flour banana breads, made in mini loaf pans! They are grain-free, oil-free, nut-fee, gluten-free, and sweetened by bananas and maple syrup.

Overhead Shot of Slices of Vegan Chickpea Flour Banana Bread

Grain-Free Vegan Banana Bread

For anyone trying to cut back on grains, or eliminate them entirely, the idea of a quick-to-make, toothsome bread sounds too good to be true.

However, a quick google search in fact reveals multiple options made with nuts, vegetables and seeds in place of flour, or coconut flour breads made with half a dozen eggs.

Yes, they are grain-free. But I have a quibble with the “bread” description, which is (far too) often loosely applied to a squidgy, squishy, or gooey lump of ingredients baked in the form of a loaf or muffin.

Until now. Introducing my not-so-humbly named perfect vegan grain-free banana bread. It lives up to its bread moniker.

Vegan Chickpea Flour Banana Bread on a Cooling Rack, Sliced

Many bananas were sacrificed in pursuit of perfecting this recipe. Many.

But all of that testing has led to a recipe that I know you will want to try, and, better yet, will love to eat!

Ingredients for the Vegan Maple Chickpea Flour Banana Bread

Here are the primary ingredients for the recipe:

I made several loaves with a small amount of coconut flour mixed in with the chickpea flour, but, regardless of the egg replacer (chia, flaxseed meal, psyllium husk) combinations and proportions I tried, the end results had gooey centers, or gooey everything (they rose, they fell). 

The Winning Combination: Chickpea Flour + Chia + Flax

So I stuck with chickpea flour alone. I already knew that chickpea flour can  produce a remarkably grain flour-like crumb in breads when made with eggs, but without eggs? I suspected it was possible, but had my doubts.

Psyllium husk was an utter failure. Psyllium is wonderful when it works, but I could not get at to work here, at all.

Chia seeds worked pretty well on it’s own. The finished loaf looked and smelled great (no post-bake sinking), but sadly, had a gummy texture.

Flaxseed meal was promising, too: the finished loaf looked sad (a droopy center after 5 minutes of cooling), but the texture was better (more grain bread-like) than chia alone.

So, I made chickpea flour + chia + flax my working combination. And after 5 or 6 more tries, I produce the perfect loaf. Lovely rise, golden brown, moist and tender crumb texture (hallelujah!), great banana flavor, no deflating, and it is undeniably bread

No Oil Required

The high oil content in the flaxseed meal and chia seeds keeps the bread perfectly moist (and rich in omega-6 fatty acids) without any added oil, and bananas do the majority of the sweetening.

Naturally Sweetened 

I used maple syrup (1/3 cup total), which gives the bread a gently sweetness without going anywhere near “cake” territory. You could add a little bit more sweetener if you like (decrease the milk by the same amount of extra maple syrup) but less than 1/3 cup (I tried it) was definitely not as good.

For the record, I tried the same proportion using bananas alone with stevia (no maple syrup), adding a few tablespoons milk to make up the volume. In a word, EWWW. RIP, sad loaf. I have tweaked and tweaked this recipe, so I would not recommend any substitutions for any of the ingredients unless you are prepared to make a dozen test loaves. This recipe works. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! 🙂

Bake in 3 Smal Loaf Pans

This recipe works best if you use 3 small loaf pans as opposed to one large 9×5 pan. The smaller loaf size helps the loaves reach their height during baking and maintain it during cooling.

If you are new to chickpea flour, this bread will convince you to use it in all kinds of  recipes! It is far more than a grain-free flour, it is a nutrient rich food all around. High in protein, it is also a high-fiber carbohydrate, which means that the starch in chickpea flour will not spike blood sugar levels. This kind of resistant starch is beneficial to overall digestive health. Win, win, win!

Do give this bread a try, and let me know what you think! I’ve definitely got the baking bug (hello, fall) so expect more unexpected breads, bars, and more, all designed for healthy living, in the weeks and months to come!

Happy Baking!

More Vegan & Grain Free Chickpea Flour Recipes to Try:

Yield: 3 loaves (12 big portions)

Vegan Maple Chickpea Flour Banana Breads {grain-free, oil-free}

Vegan Maple Chickpea Flour Banana Breads {grain-free, oil-free}

Vegan maple chickpea flour banana breads, made in small loaf pans! A combination of chia seeds, flaxseed meal, and nondairy milk makes it work (perfectly!)

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 47 minutes
Total Time 57 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (250 mL) nondairy milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (180 g) chickpea flour (garbanzo bean flour)
  • 1/4 cup flaxseed meal
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3 large, very ripe bananas, peeled (about 1-1/2 cups once mashed)
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. In a measuring cup or small bowl, stir together the milk and chia seeds. Let stand for 20 minutes until thickened.
  2. Preheat oven to 325F (160C). Line 3 small (5x3 inch/ 12.5 x 7.5 cm) baking pans with parchment paper; lightly grease or spray remaining sides.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the chickpea flour, flaxseed meal, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. In a large bowl, mash the bananas until no lumps remain. Stir in the maple syrup, vanilla and chia-milk mixture until blended.
  4. Add chickpea flour mixture to banana mixture, stirring until completely blended and no lumps remain. Spoon and spread batter into prepared pans, smoothing the tops.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 42 to 47 minutes until a toothpickinserted in the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached.
  6. Transfer to a wire rack and cool in the pans for 10 minutes. Use parchment overhang to remove loaves from pans. Cool completely on wire rack.

Notes

Storage: Store the cooled breads in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 days, in the refrigerator for 1 week, or the freezer for 3 months.

Nutrition Information

Yield

12

Serving Size

1/4 of 1 small loaf

Amount Per Serving Calories 117Total Fat 2.6gSaturated Fat 0.3gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 0mgSodium 193mgCarbohydrates 21.3gFiber 3.6gSugar 10.2gProtein 4g

Did you make this recipe?

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Gabriele

Thursday 13th of October 2022

Hi, can I replace maple syrup with equal amount of milk/water/more banana? Reason is that I'd like to offer this bread to my 8 months old baby...😁

Camilla

Thursday 13th of October 2022

Hi Gabriele, Yes! Any of the above, but I would lean towards more milk or more banana.I hope your little one likes it :)

Cass

Tuesday 29th of March 2022

I would think these would taste too much like banana?

Camilla

Tuesday 29th of March 2022

Hi Cass, I suppose it is a matter of taste, but I like banana bread that tastes like bananas :). A lot of modern classic recipes for banana bread (e.g., King Arthur baking, Bon Appetit's Best Banana Bread, Cooks Illustrated) have a high proportion of banana to flour, like this one. If you want the bread to taste less like banana, you could use some unsweetened applesauce in place of some of the banana.

Maria

Saturday 29th of January 2022

Could this work with almond flour instead of chickpea flr?

Camilla

Tuesday 29th of March 2022

Hi Maria, This recipe will not work with almond flour, but I do have a similarly simple almond flour banana bread recipe on my site :) Here it is https://www.powerhungry.com/2019/08/vegan-almond-flour-banana-bread/

serina

Saturday 19th of December 2020

I only have light coconut milk at home can I use this instead of the almond milk?

Camilla

Thursday 17th of March 2022

Yes!

serina

Thursday 17th of December 2020

I want to try to make it but I dont have almond milk/or any nut milk right now at home. I have light coconut milk in a can. do you think this would work?

Camilla

Sunday 27th of December 2020

Yes, that will work great, Serina :)

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