Tahini Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Banana Bread (gf, df)

A thick slice of warm banana bread + a cup of coffee is the ultimate comfort food (in my mind), and in the winter even more so. And the best part — a hearty banana bread base pairs well with so many different flavors, so the possibilities are truly endless! For now — I’m drooling over this loaf, which marries nutty tahini with the sweetness of dark chocolate chunks and the saltiness of coarse sea salt flakes (which, by the way, is my latest baking obsession. #seasaltoneverything).

This loaf will probably definitely not last a week in our house… it’s that good. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 large super-ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 cup Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour, which uses a chickpea flour base (You can use spelt or white whole wheat flour if not gluten-free, but I’ve only tested it with this flour.)
  • 3/4 cup almond meal
  • 1 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 cup dark chocolate chunks, plus a few more for topping
  • 1 less ripe whole banana for topping
  • Small handful flaky sea salt for topping

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350º F. Grease a loaf tin, and set aside.
  2. Whisk together olive oil, tahini, honey, coconut sugar, eggs, and vanilla.
  3. Stir in mashed banana.
  4. Fold in the dry ingredients until just fully combined — do not overstir.
  5. Fold in the dark chocolate chunks — again, being careful not to overstir.
  6. Pour mixture into loaf tin. Top with a whole banana, sliced lengthwise.
  7. Bake 45-50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. As soon as you remove banana bread from the oven, sprinkle generously with flaky sea salt, then leave to cool.
  8. Cut into thick slices, and enjoy warm with a cup of coffee!

Two Hands Copycat Recipe: Banana Bread with Vegan Espresso Marscapone (gf)

One of my all-time favorite brunch spots in New York City, Two Hands, is home to a legendary house banana bread that they top with espresso marscapone, honey, and puffed buckwheat. I’ve never been able to try it because of my dairy allergy, but after years of pining, I decided to recreate it on my own at home.

My version is gluten- and dairy-free, the marscapone is entirely vegan, and the banana bread can easily be made vegan as well if you substitute a flax egg for a real one. Two slices makes a weekend breakfast that will keep you full for hours, thanks to all the fiber and healthy fats in my version, and you’ll love knowing it’s free of refined sugars.

Instead of straight puffed buckwheat, I topped my toast with Trader Joes’ Super Seed & Ancient Grain Blend, which has chia, flax, hemp, red quinoa, amaranth, and sprouted buckwheat and millet.

Olive Oil-Honey Banana Bread

  • 1 1/2 cups gluten-free all purpose flour (My favorite is this one, because it uses chickpea flour as a base and is higher in fiber)
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 3 very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp. real vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup raw walnuts (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350º F.
  2. Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients (flour through cinnamon).
  4. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together wet ingredients (bananas through vanilla extract).
  5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and stir with a wooden spoon until just combined. Be careful not to over-mix.
  6. Fold in walnuts, if using.
  7. Transfer mixture to the loaf pan, and bake for 45-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean.
  8. Allow to cool before slicing.

Vegan Espresso Marscapone

  • 1 3/4 cup raw cashews
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup melted and cooled extra-virgin coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup oat or coconut milk
  • 3 tbsp. espresso (or strong coffee), chilled
  • 1 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • Pinch of salt

Instructions: Combine all ingredients in a high-speed blender until a thick, fluffy marscapone-like consistency has been reached.

Espresso Dark Chocolate Chunk Muffins (gf, df)

Espresso Dark Chocolate Chunk Muffins (gf, df)

It took me two rounds to perfect this recipe. I am picky with my baked goods, and having to bake gluten-free makes me even pickier. My goal is always to create a baked good that I could put down in front of someone, without telling them what’s in it, and not have them say it’s “pretty good for being gluten-free”, but that’s it “REALLY good”, period. I think I achieved that with this muffin.

Basically, this muffin is the perfect solution to your 3 PM energy crash. It gives you complex carbs and healthy fats to prevent the “hangry” from coming on, and the staying power to get you through till dinner. It gives you a little dose of caffeine with the ground espresso, and it has chocolate in it. Chocolate just makes everything better.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • ½ cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tbsp. melted coconut oil, melted and cooled
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup gluten-free oat flour
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 3 tbsp. espresso beans, ground in a food processor, or 3 tbsp. instant coffee
  • ¼ tsp. cinnamon
  • ¾ tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ½ cup dairy-free dark chocolate chunks, plus more for topping

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a muffin tin with nonstick spray, or oil with a little olive or coconut oil.
  2. In a large bowl combine all wet ingredients (eggs through apple cider vinegar, above). Whisk until well combined — your batter should be smooth and creamy.
  3. Next, add in all dry ingredients (except for the chocolate chunks). Stir to mix, then fold in the ½ cup of dark chocolate chunks.
  4. Spoon your batter into 9 muffin cups, and top with a few additional chocolate chunks. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
  5. Let cool for about 5 minutes, and then enjoy!