Two things to know about this banana loaf: 1) It’s addictively delicious. 2) It’s gluten- and refined-sugar-free, meaning addiction is not to be feared! It’s perfectly acceptable to devour for breakfast or dessert (with a scoop of tangy yogurt or ice cream, respectively). We love the nutty flavor of buckwheat, but feel free to swap out for more gluten-free flour if you aren’t a fan.
At the restaurant, we dress it up by toasting slices in ghee and serving them with orange-cardamom-ginger-maple yogurt (more on that below) and whatever macerated or roasted fruit we’re making from our latest farmers’ market haul. In spring, it’s macerated strawberries and kumquats; in late summer, it gets plums and berries.
Preheat your oven to 350°F and grease a large nonstick loaf pan with olive oil. If you have a smaller Pyrex loaf pan, you’ll have leftover batter, so get a few muffin papers prepped or save the leftover batter for a rainy day!
Whisk all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl. In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, mash the bananas until they’re smooth. Crack in the eggs one at a time and mix until each is completely incorporated. Mix in the buttermilk, olive oil and vanilla. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ones and mix until the batter is smooth, being careful not to overdo it.
Pour the batter into your loaf pan (about ⅔ full), bop it gently on the counter a few times to release any air bubbles, and sprinkle the top with a good handful of coconut sugar. Bake until the bread is golden-brown on top and a toothpick inserted comes out clean, about 65 minutes. (Baking times may vary depending on the size of your loaf tin, so be sure to check after 55 minutes or so to be safe! Don’t worry if your loaf takes a bit longer — the key to a thoroughly done cake is a clean toothpick. If the top is browning too much for your liking, simply cover with tin foil for the rest of the baking period.) Remove the pan from the oven and let it cool for about 20 minutes. Turn the bread onto a plate and let it cool a bit more before slicing. Store in a sealed plastic bag (or well wrapped in foil).
To serve it like we do at Botanica: Get the most delicious full-fat yogurt you can find (we’re using Strauss organic cow’s milk yogurt these days) and stir in some orange zest, a squeeze of orange juice, some grated fresh ginger, a dash of ground cardamom, a splash of maple syrup, and a pinch of sea salt. Toast a fat slice of the bread (preferably in a pan with ghee!) and serve it on over the yogurt, with roasted, macerated or fresh seasonal fruit on top.
*We tested a LOT of varieties; this was the clear winner **Stick a few in a paper bag with an apple or avocado to speed up the ripening process!