In Hope-Made, junior and baking enthusiast Hope Kabel will share some of her favorite recipes.

Among my friends and family, I’m famous for my love of feeding people. There is hardly anything that makes me happier than preparing food and sharing it with anyone with an appetite and an empty stomach. I also have a pretty serious baking/cooking/food-preparing addiction, and I am always trying out new recipes to share with the people I love. Since many of my friends have allergies to gluten and/or dairy, I often try to find alternatives to traditional flour and butter heavy recipes so that I can force them to try my creations share food with them, too.

One of my absolute favorite comfort foods is banana bread, especially when it is made with copious amounts of chocolate chips . Once it comes out of the oven and you taste the chocolaty banana bliss ,you won’t even be able to tell that this recipe contains no gluten or dairy! It has even been highly approved even by taste-testers without food allergies. Plus, it uses pretty simple ingredients, so there is no need go scavenging around price chopper for fancy flours or anything. Just make sure that the oats you use are certified gluten free if you are baking for someone who is highly allergic! Enjoy!

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Ingredients:
- 3 very ripe medium-large bananas
- 1/3 cup vegetable or other neutral tasting oil
- 3 T brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1.5 cups oat flour (see notes on how to make oat flour)
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ cup (or more!) chocolate chips
Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a loaf pan. In a large bowl mash bananas with a fork until they form a slightly chunky banana paste. Add oil and incorporate. Beat in eggs and vanilla.
2. In a separate bowl combine oat flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt. Whisk together until completely combined.
3. Add the dry ingredients about 1/3 at a time, mixing until barely combined each time. After all of the dry ingredients have been added, fold in the chocolate chips.
4. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake in a 350 degree oven for 45-50 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean when inserted into the center of the loaf. Turn out onto a cooling rack and cool completely before cutting – that is, if you can wait that long.
5. Eat! This bread is delicious on its own, but it is incredible warmed up with a dollop of peanut butter on top – the warm bread makes the peanut butter melty and wonderful!
Notes:
- To make your own oat flour, simply process plain oats in a food processor or blender until they are ground into a fine flour – it’s incredibly easy to do! Just make sure to measure the flour after processing the oats.
- Optional substitutions: If you only have 2 bananas, you can substitute 1/3 cup applesauce or pumpkin puree for the third, just make sure to add in 3 T extra sugar. I actually prefer the texture of the bread when it’s made using 2 bananas + 1/3 cup applesauce!

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-Hope ’14