Better Banana Bread

>> Wednesday, January 2, 2013

I absolutely abhor vegan banana bread. Well, until yesterday I did. Every single recipe I've ever followed has yielded this dense-in-a-bad-way, soggy-in-the-center heavy brick of a baked good that usually needs toasting to taste remotely OK.  

(That's dramatic. Stephen usually likes what I make quite a bit.)

Anyway, we had friends over for the New Year yesterday, and -- at the very last minute -- I decided I needed to make something . . . something using basically nothing (our cupboards are bare) but bananas, chocolate chips, peanut butter, flour, and some odds and ends for sweeteners and stabilizers.

"Alright," I thought. "Let's do this!" A heaping tablespoon of baking powder later, and the usual gross pocket of wetness in the middle was actually . . . done. Perfectly moist and sweet and, dare I say somewhat fluffy? Jury is still out on that one, but I thought it was.

And now I freaking l.o.v.e vegan banana bread. Enough to bake up another loaf tonight!

This time, I'm not sharing.


What you'll need . . .

  • 3 medium bananas (riper is better)
  • 2 tablespoons flax meal 
  • 3/4 cup warm almond milk (unsweetened, preferably) 
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar 
  • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter or almond butter
  • 1/4 cup olive oil 
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup 
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract 
  • 1 cup all purpose flour 
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour 
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder 
  • Pinch salt 
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Method . . .

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a glass loaf pan and set aside.
  2. Mash the bananas until they are goopy.  Set aside. Also mix together the flax meal with 3/4 cup (sorry for the typo!) of the warm almond milk. Then set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the brown sugar, peanut butter, olive oil, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. Then add in the flax meal mixture and bananas.
  4. In another bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, and salt. Add these dry ingredients to the wet using a spatula and mix until just combined. Do not over-mix.
  5. Fold in chocolate chips. Then pour mixture into prepared loaf pan and bake for 1 hour.
  6. After the hour is up, take loaf out and poke with a knife or bamboo skewer (something to get in there deep!). If it doesn't come out clean, cover with some tin foil and return to oven for up to 15 minutes, checking periodically for done-ness.
  7. Let cool before tipping out of loaf pan and slicing.

Pretty psyched to start filling up the recipes for 2013. If you didn't catch yesterday's post, you can see a recap of our Favorite Recipes of 2012. Same thing with Running in 2012 . . . and Parenting in 2012.

But the fun doesn't stop there: Here's how we spent New Year's Day. As well, this year's "resolutions" are over on Writing Chapter Three.

Here's to a great year!

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