One of the most challenging things to adjust to when embarking on an elimination diet is having to avoid gluten. It’s used in everything and found everywhere. Baking at home can be a bit more challenging as you will need to incorporate several extra ingredients to compensate for the lack of gluten. Extras may include xantham gum, arrowroot powder, potato starch, etc. The chemistry behind it can be challenging to even the most seasoned pastry chef.
For this recipe, the ONLY flour you will need to use is buckwheat. That’s it. No sifting, and mixing of compatible flours to create moistness and integrity. It all comes together nicely without having to use 4 different flours. No lie. It’s easy-peasy and I really love the wholesome flavour that buckwheat imparts on baked goods. The bananas in the recipe add moistness, without making the cake too sweet. The flax “eggs” that I used in lieu of the eggs, also create a lovely textured cake that is neither dry nor crumbly. In essence it’s a cake that I plan to make again for it’s simplicity and delicious flavour.
Gluten-free banana buckwheat cake (adapted from powerhungry.com)
1 1/2 cups buckwheat flour
3/4 cup coconut sugar (or whichever sugar you want to use)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 3/4 cups VERY ripe bananas, mashed with a fork or pureed in a food processor ( I placed my bananas in a mini food processor and whizzed them to create a creamy consistency)
2 tbs flax meal & 6 tbs water to make flax “eggs” (or 2 whole eggs)
2/3 cup sunflower oil (or a neutral tasting oil)
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup toasted and chopped pecans – if using (Toast pecans on baking sheet for approx. 5 minutes at 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep a careful watch as they can burn quite easily).
(Note: you can also add chocolate chips to this recipe if you like. I skipped the chocolate because for me it’s an inflammatory ingredient).
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch square pan. I used coconut oil.
Mix all the dry ingredients together in a bowl (flour, sugar, baking soda, salt)
Add in the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, one at a time starting with the oil, then the flax eggs, the vanilla extract, then the mashed bananas and finally the chopped pecans. (You can also reserve a few chopped pecans and sprinkle them on top of the cake.) Mix everything in the bowl well until incorporated.
Pour the cake batter into the greased pan. Smooth the top with the back of a spoon or a spatula. (At this point you can sprinkle a few pecans on the top of the cake if you like.)
Pop the pan into the oven for approx. 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick or a skewer comes out with only a few crumbs. Remember this is a moist cake so it will show crumbs on your toothpick. That is totally ok. Don’t continue to bake the cake thinking it is still raw.
Remove the cake pan from the oven and let cool for 15 minutes. Cut into squares and enjoy! It tastes equally nice as a warm cake or as a cold cake the next day. I had a piece for breakfast the next day and it was sublime.