Making Scrumptious, Healthy Recipes with Chickpea Flour

This cookbook has plenty of treats, but we were especially excited by a recipe for Brown Sugar Banana Bread.


“Where am I going to find chickpea flour?” was my first thought when I received The Chickpea Flour Cookbook by Camilla V Saulsbury. Turns out it was available right up the street at Whole Foods. Also known as garbanzo bean flour, besan, or gram flour, this gluten-free product is very high in protein, fiber and iron. The 80-plus healthy, easy-to-make recipes include breakfast, breads, snacks, vegetables, sides, entrees and desserts such as Loaded Southwestern Chickpea Omelet (egg-free); Pumpkin Spice Waffles; Chickpea Tortilla Wraps; Chickpea Pasta; Baked Coconut-Chickpea Onion Rings; Smoky Backyard BBQ Burgers; Skillet Pizza; Double Chocolate Cake and Brown Sugar Banana Bread, which caught my eye as I always have very ripe bananas in the house.

Author Camilla V. Saulsbury also has a food blog Power Hungry and has been featured on the Food Network, Today, Good Morning America Health, QVC, Katie, as well as publications including The New York Times, Clean Eating and Food Network Magazine.

Here is the Brown Sugar Banana Bread recipe to try.

Brown Sugar Banana Bread
It turns out that chickpea flour and bananas have a natural affinity for each other, a relationship strengthened all the more by a bit of brown sugar. I use baking powder instead of baking soda for leavening; the latter produces a squishy banana bread, while the former renders the lighter, cake-like loaf I prefer. Makes 1 loaf.

Nonstick cooking spray
1 1/2 cups (180 grams) chickpea flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 large eggs
1 1/3 cups mashed very ripe bananas (about 3 large bananas)
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on two opposing sides. Spray the paper and exposed sides of the pan with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.

In a medium bowl, combine the eggs, bananas, brown sugar, butter, and vanilla until well blended.

Add the banana mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just blended. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan.

Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the bread cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then hold on to the paper overhang to transfer it directly to the rack to cool completely. Remove the paper and serve.

An equal amount of coconut palm sugar can be used in place of the brown sugar.
Tent the bread with foil during the last 10 minutes of baking if the bread becomes too brown.

Replace the eggs with 2 psyllium “eggs” and replace the butter with an equal amount of melted virgin coconut oil or neutral vegetable oil.

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread: Add 1/2 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips or 3 ounces chopped semisweet chocolate along with the banana mixture.

Tropical Banana Bread: Replace the butter with an equal amount of virgin coconut oil, melted. Add 21/2 teaspoons ground ginger to the flour mixture and replace the vanilla extract with 2 teaspoons finely grated lime zest. Banana Muffins: Divide the batter among 18 greased muffin cups (in 2 standard muffin tins). Bake for 10 to 15 minutes.

Store the cooled bread, wrapped in foil or plastic wrap, in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Alternatively, wrap it in plastic wrap, then foil, completely enclosing the loaf, and freeze for up to 3 months. Let thaw at room temperature for 4 to 6 hours before serving.

Reprinted from The Chickpea Flour Cookbook by Camilla Saulsbury (Lake Isle Press, 2015). Recipes and photography copyright Camilla Saulsbury.

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