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Gluten-Free Chocolate Banana Bread (Sugar-Free, Lectin-Free)

June 16, 2022 (Last Updated: October 25, 2023)

This is the best banana bread I’ve ever had. It’s refined sugar-free, gluten-free, lectin-free, and dairy-free. It can also easily be made nut-free. This gluten-free chocolate banana cake is made with green bananas, and it is sweetened with dates and inulin powder.

One day my husband and I went to a health shop here in Aarhus, Denmark. It’s called NYMA; it’s where we now buy pastured chicken and a lot of other specialty items. My husband ordered a sandwich on sourdough bread and then wanted a slice of banana bread that looked divine.

Of course, I had to taste it, I was curious because it looked really good. My reaction was exactly that: this is the best banana bread I’ve ever had!

The inspiration for this chocolate banana bread recipe

We checked their website, and luckily, the recipe for this banana bread was on there. I know using so many dates in a dessert is borderline plant paradox compliant (a diet program I’m on that limits fruits, especially dried fruits).

I mean, to be honest, when I think one date has about 16 grams of sugar, it’s kind of a lot. I know that! So technically, this banana bread is not sugar-free but refined sugar-free, or with no added sugar. But I think it is so good, it’s worth it.

Also, I think this recipe is great to make a point: ‘healthy’ is a relative term when it comes to sugar, whatever the source. If you eat this cake occasionally in the right context, it could be healthy for you, as it is nutritionally dense.

There are a few ways to minimize a glucose spike after eating something that has some sugar in it, even if from a natural source:

  • drink a glass of water with one tablespoon of organic apple cider vinegar before having the cake
  • eat the cake after you have eaten some fiber (like a salad) and/or some protein
  • don’t eat it when you are hungry, on an empty stomach

Check out this article about my sugar-free journey:

Anyone would love this banana bread and will have no idea it is a healthier dessert. It’s so easy to make, it makes a perfect potluck dessert, and kids and adults will love it. You can make a bigger batch and freeze it.

The original recipe had double the amount of dates I used and also had quite a lot of sugar and wheat flour. It also had hazelnut flour, which I know is one of the reasons it tasted so good, but at the moment, hazelnuts are on my intolerance list, so I avoid them.

For the recipe I am sharing with you, I used organic almond flour and tigernut flour. I also made this banana bread with another gluten-free flour blend of chestnut flour and almond flour.

Stacked slices of the gluten-free sugar-free chocolate banana bread

Possible flour combinations you can use for this gluten-free banana bread

  • Only hazelnut flour
  • Only almond flour
  • Almond + tigernut flour (which is what I used for this one)
  • Almond + chestnut flour (I made it with this combination too and I loved it)
  • Tigernut + cassava if you want a nut-free version

If you want a nut-free version, I would advise against using only tigernut (you know tigernut are not nuts, despite the name, right?), as it can have too much of a gritty texture, or only cassava, as we need a little bit of nuttiness and natural sweetness, which tigernut can provide.

If hazelnuts were not off-limits for me at the moment, I would use a mix of hazelnut flour with any of the other flours.

Freshly baked gluten-free sugar-free banana bread

Why use green bananas?

Green bananas’ nutritional profile is quite different than that of a ripe banana. While a ripe banana is mainly sugar, a green banana is mainly resistant starch.

I use them for pancakes, smoothies, for ice cream, or anything you would use a ripe banana for. When you mix it in a blender, you won’t even notice the difference (just slightly less sweet, obviously).

Ingredients for gluten-free chocolate banana bread

Blender ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 medium green bananas (260 grams)
  • 3 pastured eggs
  • 100 grams dates, chopped (about 5 big Medjool dates)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon orange extract (optional, or you can use orange zest)
  • 1/4 teaspoon coffee extract
  • 2 tablespoons inulin powder

Optional: for a double chocolate banana bread, you can add some raw cacao powder to the batter.

Dry ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup tigernut flour
  • 1/2 cup almond flour (packed) – see post for flour substitutes
  • 4 tablespoons tapioca flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

Add-ons:

  • 60 grams chopped dark chocolate (90%)
  • Optional: feel free to add some dark chocolate chips on top
Two loafs of banana bread in tins

How to make sugar-free and gluten-free chocolate banana bread:

You just have to mix the blender ingredients in a high-powered blender, then add them to the dry ingredients and combine it with a spatula.

Incorporate the chocolate, and that’s it. Pour it into the pan and bake at 180C / 350F for about 55 minutes. Let it come to room temperature before slicing it.

You can bake this in a full-size loaf pan or two smaller loaf pans.

Mixing ingredients for a banana bread
Combining wet and dry ingredients for the banana bread in a bowl
Adding dark chocolate chips to the batter

Let this gluten-free chocolate banana bread cool completely before you slice it and eat it. I actually prefer to slice it after it has spent a couple of hours in the fridge. The slices will be moister and the flavors will intensify.

Since this is such an easy bread to make, you can make a bigger batch in advance, slice it, separate the slices with parchment paper and freeze it. You will have a delicious and nutritious healthy sweet treat on hand, anytime.

Slice of banana bread

If you are intrigued about using green bananas in baking, you might also want to check out this recipe: Green Banana Teff Flour Muffins.

More sugar-free dessert recipes

This recipe is part of our 30+ Healthy Sugar-Free Dessert Recipes round-up. Check it out for a selection of my favorite sugar-free sweet treats that are also gluten-free and lectin-free.

*This post contains affiliated links, which means I get a small commission if you choose to purchase something via one of my links, at no extra cost to you.

Gluten-Free Chocolate Banana Bread (Sugar-Free, Lectin-Free)

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (15 votes, average: 4.20 out of 5)
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By Claudia Curici Serves: 10
Prep Time: 30 minutes Cooking Time: 55 minutes

This is the best banana bread I've ever had. It's refined sugar-free, gluten-free, lectin-free, and dairy-free. It can also easily be made nut-free. This gluten-free chocolate banana cake is made with green bananas, and it is sweetened with dates and inulin powder.

Ingredients

  • BLENDER INGREDIENTS:
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 medium green bananas (260 grams)
  • 3 pastured eggs
  • 100 grams dates, chopped (about 5 big Medjool dates)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon orange extract (optional, or you can use orange zest)
  • 1/4 teaspoon coffee extract
  • 2 tablespoons inulin powder
  • DRY INGREDIENTS:
  • 1/2 cup tigernut flour
  • 1/2 cup almond flour (packed) - see post for flour substitutes
  • 4 tablespoons tapioca flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ADD-ONS:
  • 60 grams chopped dark chocolate (90%)

Instructions

1

Mix all the blender ingredients in a high-power blender until creamy.

2

Mix the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.

3

Add the blended ingredients to the dry ingredients and incorporate with a spatula (if you use chestnut flour sift it before, as it tends to form clumps).

4

Add the chopped chocolate and fold it into the batter.

5

Pour the batter into a lined loaf pan and bake at 180C / 350F for about 55 minutes, until is no longer soft to touch.

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36 Comments

  • Reply
    Joelle
    May 27, 2024 at 11:48 pm

    So, I did the cake doubling the recipe into a big bread loaf pan. I left out the coffee extract to make it kids-friendly and used 85% dark chocolate and hazelnut flour (actually ground hazelnut, full fat). The bananas were green. The cake turned out super delicious (everyone was impressed!) but honestly, too sweet for our family taste. Next time I will do it with 99% dark chocolate and see how it turns out, and if still too sweet I am planning to reduce the dates a bit (hoping this doesn’t affect the texture, which was amazing!).
    Thank you so much Claudia for this recipe!

    • Reply
      Claudia
      May 28, 2024 at 2:55 am

      Hi Joelle! I’m glad you loved the cake. Yes, the best way to reduce sweetness is to use darker chocolate, and about 2-3 dates less. I think this will get you where you want it to be, without changing the structure of the cake (I do that sometimes!). -Claudia

  • Reply
    Joelle
    May 22, 2024 at 12:26 am

    Hi Claudia,
    I don’t find tapioca flour anywhere here in Germany. I do find tapioca starch, but I know it’s not the same. How can I replace tapioca flour in this recipe (or more generally, as I often have this problem with your recipes)? Can I use Cassava flour instead, and which ratio should I use? Or should I rather use tapioca starch?
    Thanks in advance !

    • Reply
      Claudia
      May 22, 2024 at 2:19 am

      Hi Joelle! Good news! Tapioca starch and tapioca flour are the same thing. So that fine white powder that is sold as a tapioca flour or starch is what you are looking for. Cassava flour is a different thing, and they are not really interchangeable. If you have doubts, you cam send me a picture on Instagram, FB or email, to confirm. -Claudia

      • Reply
        Joelle
        May 25, 2024 at 1:23 am

        Oh! Fantastic ! Doing this cake right now for my daughter’s birthday. Thank you so much for your reply!

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