I didn’t think I’d ever have banana bread again. But this recipe for date-sweetened banana bread – oh, my goodness, is it good. And it’s made without any of the things I’m not supposed to have. It’s sugar free. It has no added sugar, no honey, no maple syrup. Just the natural sugars in the fruit.

It’s also gluten-free and dairy-free. It does contain eggs, but you can make it Lenten/vegan/egg-free by using your favorite egg substitute.

Because it’s made with oat flour, it’s on my “eat in moderation” list. Even whole grain flours can provoke an inflammatory response, if you eat too much of them. But oat flour is probably the best of the whole grain flours. And, at least in this recipe, it works.

Date-Sweetened Banana Bread


2 cups gluten-free oat flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup medjool dates, pitted (pack the dates in the cup)
½ cup cashew milk or coconut milk
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
3 large bananas, a bit overripe
½ – 1 cup dried tart cherries


Preheat the oven to 350F.

Spray a 9×5″ loaf pan with cooking spray, then line it with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.

Put the dates, cashew milk, vinegar, and vanilla in a blender or food processor. (I use a Vitamix.) Process or blend until the mixture is reasonably smooth. Add the bananas and eggs and continue blending until it’s smooth.

Add the date and banana mixture to the flour mixture and stir until it’s combined. (But don’t over-stir. A few lumps are okay.)

Stir in the cherries.

Scoop the mixture into prepared loaf pan and smooth the top with a rubber scraper. If you happen to have one more slightly overripe banana, slice it in half lengthwise, and press it into the top of the bread, cut side up, just to make it pretty.

Bake for 60 to 75 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the loaf comes out clean.
Let the bread cool down completely before you cut it. It won’t cut well when it’s hot.

If you like, you can spread your date-sweetened banana bread with peanut butter or coconut butter. But it’s rich and moist enough that you don’t need anything with it except, perhaps, a cup of tea.

Read More

Almond Flour Biscuits: These are a little heavier than biscuits made with white flour. They’re very comparable to whole wheat biscuits. And they’re fabulous with sausage gravy, or jam, or whatever else you like with your biscuits.

Cookies and desserts for special diets and special occasions: Special days call for special treats. Here are some of my favorites, including a selection that work if you’re on a gluten-free, dairy-free or anti-inflammatory diet.

Love and Food Allergies at Church: Your parish undoubtedly includes people with dietary restrictions, and perhaps even life-threatening food allergies. Providing food they can eat is one way to show your love.

Charlotte Riggle, author of Catherine's Pascha and The Saint Nicholas Day Snow
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