Banana bread has long been a favorite of mine and has been a staple recipe in my cooking rotation since I first learned to cook as a child. I often relied on recipes from classic cookbooks that called for eggs and oil. Eventually I came up with a recipe that required neither of these ingredients and still tasted exactly as I remember banana bread should taste: moist, tender, and chock full of banana flavor. This recipe is sure to satisfy a banana bread craving and may become a regular in your cooking rotation as well!
I prefer my banana bread quite plain, but feel free to add 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, a handful of walnuts or pecans, or even a few berries to add an interesting twist to this simple dessert.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and lightly grease and flour a standard sized (9 x 5 inch) loaf pan.
In a very small bowl, stir together the ground chia seed and 2 tablespoons water and allow the mixture to rest at least 5 minutes, until gelled.
Peel the browned bananas and place them into a large mixing bowl. Using a potato masher or a large fork, mash the bananas along with the 1 cup sugar and gelled chia seed mixture until almost all of the lumps are gone. Stir in the vanilla extract, salt, baking powder and baking soda and mix well until combined.
Gradually add the all purpose flour, about 1/4 cup at a time, until all has been incorporated and a thick batter is formed. Spoon and then spread the batter into the prepared baking pan and place onto the middle rack of your oven.
Bake for one hour, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out mostly clean (a few bits of banana sticking is expected), and the top is a deep golden brown. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and allow the banana bread to cool about 20 minutes. To serve, slice with a serrated knife and enjoy plain, or topped with peanut butter, margarine, or mashed avocado (sounds weird, but it's delicious!).
Store leftover bread in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Freeze leftover banana bread (I like to pre-slice mine when I freeze it) for up to 1 month in a freezer safe container. To thaw, simply allow the banana bread to come to room temperature.