by Buffy Ellen 0 Comments

If you’ve noticed a theme in my blog posts of late, it’s been an increasing number of healthy low sugar baking recipes. Whilst I do love a good raw dessert, and you can find a number of my recent ones here, there’s nothing quite like the delicious warming smells of fresh baking coming from the oven. Especially as we wing our way into winter here in the southern hemisphere.

Despite the plethora of healthier cafes cropping up serving more salads and vegetarian based fare, there still don’t seem to be many (if any) filling our bellies with good quality healthy baking. Yes, you can find gluten free friands and paleo almond flour cakes aplenty, but most of these items are still very high in sugar, and so are things I’d put more in the dessert rather than breakfast/morning tea category.

Vegan Gluten Free BANANA WALNUT BREAD - healthy, low sugar, recipe, breakfast, no refined sugar, dairy free, egg free 4

As a result, I’ve found myself experimenting a lot more at home with my own healthy baked sweet treats. The goal being to create delicious easy to make recipes that you’re able to recreate at home, that don’t contain dairy or eggs, use healthier whole grain flours, are low in sugar and from unrefined sources, and that of course taste amazing. If you haven’t noticed this theme, then a few of my recent favs I definitely recommend you try include the following:

  • Pear and Ginger Cake
  • Nut Butter Cookies
  • Beetroot and Blueberry Muffins
  • Classic Apple Cake
  • Apple and Sultana Muesli Cookies
  • Feijoa Crumble Cake
  • Vegan Gluten Free BANANA WALNUT BREAD - healthy, low sugar, recipe, breakfast, no refined sugar, dairy free, egg free

    I’ve had a healthy banana bread recipe on my to do list for months now, and am excited to share this version with you today, after a number of trials and tribulations. This one ticks all the boxes, has a tried and tested wholefood-gluten free option, and is made a little bit fancy with the addition of creamy crunchy walnuts. It’s very low in total sugars, and only uses ones from wholefood sources (bananas and dates). My hope thus being that you’re able to enjoy it for breakfast as well as morning or afternoon tea, without feeling like you’re eating a slice of cake. Which by the way, most banana breads you buy at cafes or find online really are – cake. Don’t think I don’t love cake now (I do!), it’s just not my preferred recommendation for you to kick start your day with. This though, go for it!

      Vegan Gluten Free BANANA WALNUT BREAD - healthy, low sugar, recipe, breakfast, no refined sugar, dairy free, egg free

      Go bananas for bananas…

      For today’s nutritional tidbit, I couldn’t resist but to talk about bananas. These lovely yellow half moons are grown in over 100 different countries, but are largely concentrated around the equatorial belt where temperatures are warmest. In particular, South America, Asia, and Australia are big producers, and I’ve been told even certain parts of New Zealand have a few fruit-laden palms about. Given the countries where the majority of bananas come from, it’s really important to always purchase fair trade, as the standard ones don’t provide the growers with enough of an income to provide for themselves and their families. In New Zealand, I always choose All Good Bananas, a lovely locally owned business who source their bananas from a fair trade cooperative in Ecuador. They’re also certified organic (no sprays or pesticides), and they taste fabulous.

      Bananas also pack a serious nutritional punch. 100g of these beauties (one small banana) contains over 10% of your daily fibre requirements, almost 20% of your vitamin C RDI (recommended daily intake), over 30% of your daily vitamin B6 needs, and are low in overall sugar at 12%. Vit C is one of the best antioxidants around, which helps offset free radical damage and aging in the body, while B6 is needed to help us produce energy from the food we eat. Compared to an apple, bananas also have three times the potassium, five times the folate and almost seven times the manganese.

        Vegan Gluten Free BANANA WALNUT BREAD - healthy, low sugar, recipe, breakfast, no refined sugar, dairy free, egg free

        So why do bananas get a bad rap at times? Two reasons - firstly, they are slightly more energy dense than other fruits, and secondly they have a higher GI (glycemic index). Energy density however merely reflects the fact that they have a lower water content than other fruits, for example bananas are 75% water vs apples at 86%. Glycemic indices meanwhile are often misinterpreted, as it is glycemic load (how much carbohydrate the food actually contains) which is important. While the GI of a banana is 62 and an apple is 39, the glycemic load (GL) of a 100g serving of each is in fact is 13 and 5 respectively. Ie not as much difference as you’d first think, and both pretty attractive compared to the same quantity of white bread’s GL of 50.

        Back to our recipe, this delicious Banana and Walnut Bread is super easy to make, you only need one bowl and a blender, and makes the perfect wintery alternative for breakfast. Spread it with coconut butter (my easy homemade version is here) or nut butter, topped with raspberry chia jam or sliced bananas and cinnamon. Or go simple with a thick slick of organic peanut butter and a tiny drizzle of coconut nectar for some decadence. You’ll quickly be convinced that baked goods can indeed be healthy options for breakfast again.

        Vegan Gluten Free BANANA WALNUT BREAD - healthy, low sugar, recipe, breakfast, no refined sugar, dairy free, egg free

        Give this lovely Banana Walnut Bread recipe a go, and let me know how you get one. Leave a comment below or tag me in your pics on Instagram with @begoodorganics and #begoodorganics. I hope you’ll love it as much as I do and can’t wait for it to make a foray on your family’s breakfast table!

        Til next week, stay happy and well.

        x Buffy-Ellen

        PS This was the first of a series of low-sugar baking recipes I'm creating for Ceres Organics, a wonderful NZ-owned organic food company (you can shop their products here). Stay tuned over the next few months for the rest of the series! And if you liked this one, feel free to pin it on Pinterest, share it on Facebook or Twitter, or post it to Instagram. If you're not already subscribed to my weekly recipe emails, make sure you do that here too.

        Banana Walnut Bread
        Vegan Gluten Free BANANA WALNUT BREAD - healthy, low sugar, recipe, breakfast, no refined sugar, dairy free, egg free

        VeganVegetarianDairy FreeGluten FreeWheat FreeSugar FreeSoy FreeContains Organic IngredientsCruelty Free

        50 mins

        Serves 8

        Make with

        Remember all of the blue linked items below can be ordered directly from our online store, simply click each link then add that item to your cart

        Always use certified organic, local and fairly traded ingredients wherever possible

        3c whole grain flour*
        2 tsp cinnamon
        2 tsp baking powder
        1 tsp baking soda
        1/2 tsp sea salt

        5 over ripe bananas (~4c)
        1/2c rice milk (or almond/soy)
        1/3c coconut oil (melted)
        1/2c dates
        1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
        1 tbsp vanilla extract

        Fold in
        1 c walnuts

        To serve: coconut butternut butter or peanut butterraspberry chia jam or sliced bananas, and cinnamon

        c = 250ml cup, tbsp = 15ml tablespoon, tsp = 5ml teaspoon

        *I used the following gluten free flour blend, but you could also replace this with 3 cups of your favourite wholegrain flour (see my notes below for further information on flour options):

        1c millet flour (OR oat flour for a non-GF but fabulous wheat-free version)
        1c buckwheat flour
        1c brown rice flour
        1 1/2tsp guar gum

        How to
        1. Pre-heat oven to 170°C (340°F) on fan bake and lightly grease a loaf tin with coconut oil.
        2. Sift all dry ingredients into a large bowl.
        3. Blend all wet ingredients in a blender until smooth, then pour into the dry lifting and mixing with a spoon as you pour.
        4. Lift and fold the mixture until almost combined, then add your walnuts and stir through - you want a few flour flecks to remain.
        5. Pour the mixture into your loaf tin and spread gently to the corners.
        6. Bake at the bottom of your oven for 45-55 minutes until a skewer comes out dry in the middle - keep the loaf covered for the first half hour so it doesn't become too brown, then uncover the top for the last 15 minutes.
        7. Remove, slice and serve warm, or let cool on a rack.

        • You can replace the flour blend with three cups of your favourite whole grain flour, whether that be gluten free or regular. I often replace the millet with oats for another delicious option which works brilliantly, and you can make oat flour in your food processor by grinding up whole oats until fine. You can do this for the other grains too, but it's a little harder on your machine so I generally just purchase the pre-ground versions which I've linked to above (they use industrial strength stone grinders to grind). If you're unsure about a certain flour mix, feel free to ask me in the comments below.
        • Sifting is important! It gives air to your mixture and will help your banana bread to rise.
        • The riper your bananas the better as they add a natural sweetness - mine were brown and bruised all over (fair trade bananas on special!) and turned out deliciously.
        • Be sure not to over mix your wet and dry, only mix until there are still a few flour flecks left, and use a lift and fold technique to keep air bubbles in the mix.
        • You can also use a silicon loaf tin, which means you hardly need to grease at all and the loaf lifts out very easily - just pick a good quality BPA free brand - I have one and love it, it makes for very easy baking and clean up.
        • Baking at the bottom of the oven and covering the tin means your loaf top won’t become too brown - this will depend on your oven, so start with a low placement and test with a skewer at 45 minutes to see how things are going, you can always bake for a further 10 minutes if needed.
        • Thanks to the particular gluten free flour blend I’ve used here, this loaf can be sliced and enjoyed straight out of the oven while still warm, it won’t crumble at all - unlike many gluten free baked goods. Warm banana bread fresh out of the oven is incredible!
        • Serve with a generous spread of my homemade coconut butter or nut butter, topped with raspberry chia jam or sliced banana and cinnamon. Or simply adorn with a slick of natural peanut butter and a tiny drizzle of coconut nectar!
        • Enjoy for breakfast, morning or afternoon tea, with a cup of tea. You can also serve this as a healthy dessert with the above toppings plus some vanilla ice cream - delish.
        Vegan Gluten Free BANANA WALNUT BREAD - healthy, low sugar, recipe, breakfast, no refined sugar, dairy free, egg free

          Vegan Gluten Free BANANA WALNUT BREAD - healthy, low sugar, recipe, breakfast, no refined sugar, dairy free, egg free

          This recipe was a collaborative project with Ceres Organics, with the photography and styling contributed to by my good friend Tracey Creed (the last two pics are her beauties).

          Buffy Ellen
          Buffy Ellen


          Buffy is the founder of Be Good Organics, and loves creating delicious yet simple plant-based whole foods recipes. Buffy also oversees our Be Good Organics online store, full of plant based goodies that she personally uses and loves. Sign up for our newsletter below to be the first to receive her weekly recipes.

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