Gluten-free vegan banana bread

Victoria's vegan banana bread recipe came about from a happy accident of a bare fridge, empty cupboards and a lazy attitude to washing up. Using gluten-free flours and plenty of fruits and nuts makes this easy banana bread recipe the perfect treat for everyone.

First published in 2015
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Sometimes an organised and tidy home can feel unachievable. I’d like to blame how busy I’ve been on not getting round to restocking the fridge or folding the clean sheets which have been draped over the clothes airer for longer than I care to admit. I’d like to, but I won’t.

I hate to hyperbolise busyness, however fashionable it seems to be. Everyone is busy and it certainly won’t make any of us seem more impressive or admirable to keep banging on about it. I am as busy and as tired as the next person, but I’m not going to pretend the reason I haven’t made my bed is because I’m too busy being important. After all, I’m not too busy to pour a glass of wine or to watch some awful trash on the telly at 1am on a Tuesday because I can’t be bothered to prise myself off the sofa to get ready for bed. I’m not too busy to noodle about on the internet or waste 20 minutes reading about the life of Peter Lorre on Wikipedia.

Scrap that, I AM too busy to do all of those things, but I do them anyway. The truth is, when I’m working long hours and worrying about how I’m going to fit everything into a week, I’d rather go on stand-by and stare out of the window than spend my time at home doing chores.

A consequence of this is that the contents of my fridge has now run so low, it has started to resemble Edward Norton's character's in Fight Club; containing only half finished jars of condiments and preserves. Outside the fridge, four overripe bananas have been sitting in my kitchen looking sad for about a week. There was no way these bananas were still going to hold it together enough to retain any bite. If I'd tried to slice them over Greek yoghurt, they'd have evolved organically into a mildly alcoholic banana compote - which sounds strangely appealing in description, but would be a bowlful of slimy horror in actuality.

With only about a day left before the fruit flies descended, I knew I was going to have to act quickly. I wanted to use these bananas up in a way that would cause as little fuss as possible - both in the effort to prepare and in the amounts of washing up left afterwards – there’s trash telly to watch and wine to be drunk after all. Banana bread was the obvious option, and I took it. It is vegan because I didn’t have any eggs in and it is gluten-free because I live with a gluten-dodger who deserves to be fed just as much as I do.

One bowl, one fork, two spoons and a loaf tin are the only things left waiting to be washed up, which is manageable even for my current domestic laziness. Feel free to add walnuts, raisins, chopped dates or anything else you've got lurking at the back of your cupboards that seems vaguely suitable, but this was made from what I had rattling around in mine. It’s delicious as is or toasted and spread with butter and/or jam.





Preheat the oven to 160°C/gas mark 3. Line a 2lb loaf tine with baking paper
Add the bananas to a mixing bowl and mash with a fork. Stir in the oil, maple syrup and vanilla extract, then add the mixed spice, ground almonds, both flours, baking powder and salt
Once thoroughly combined, stir through the prunes, apricots and pistachios. Pour the batter into the lined tin and bake in the oven for 45 minutes – 1 hour, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean
Leave in the tin on a wire rack for 10 minutes to cool slightly, before turning out and cooling completely. Serve in thick slices on its own, or toasted withe butter and jam
First published in 2015

Victoria is a London-based food writer and recipe developer. She was the Roald Dahl Museum’s first ever Gastronomic Writer in Residence and has written six books, including her latest, Too Good To Waste.

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