By Chef Sara
These petite loaves are moist and flavorful from mashed bananas and gluten-free oat flour, which can be easily (and inexpensively) made at home by blending rolled oats in your blender until they resemble a fine flour. The cooled loaves slice beautifully and make a great accompaniment to your favorite cup of coffee or tea, a delicious breakfast (try spreading slices with your favorite nut butter), and a thoughtful gift for friends or family.
For a sweet variation and a nut-free option, substitute mini vegan chocolate chips for the walnuts. And if you're especially sensitive to gluten, be sure to purchase certified gluten-free oats or oat flour.
Banana Walnut Mini-Loaves
3 cups oat flour, either store-bought or homemade (see description above for an easy how-to)
2 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
4 very ripe bananas, peeled
¾ cup coconut palm sugar or brown sugar
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup melted coconut oil or mild-flavored olive oil
1 cup chopped walnuts (or substitute vegan chocolate chips – mini chips work wonderfully!)
Sugared Oat Topping
3 tablespoons rolled oats
3 tablespoons turbinado sugar
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Lightly oil three mini loaf pans. In a medium bowl, combine the oat flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt, and whisk together to combine. In a larger bowl, mash the bananas with a fork or potato masher, then whisk in the sugar, vanilla extract, and oil until well-combined. Stir in the oat flour mixture and mix well. Fold in the walnuts.
Divide the batter evenly between the mini loaf pans. Mix together the rolled oats and turbinado sugar for the Sugared Oat Topping, and sprinkle evenly over the loaves, pressing gently into the batter to help the oats stick. Place the loaves on a baking sheet, transfer to the oven, and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until loaves feel firm when touched. Let cool on a cooling rack for 10 minutes before gently removing from pans. Allow to cool completely before slicing and eating.
Store any leftover slices in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.