In a recent post, I mentioned a recipe book that my mom made for me and how important it has always been for me while navigating the kitchen. While writing, I stumbled upon an interesting idea which was too “veganize” my favorite recipes from this book. This morning was the tee off for my new cooking adventures – and I was not disappointed. This banana bread was just as tasty and moist as the original.
What does a vegan eat for breakfast?
Realizing that I was fresh out of the leafy greens I usually use in my green smoothies, I began a search around my kitchen for ingredients that could be used to concoct a vegan breakfast. Yesterday was oatmeal so today I wanted to mix things up a bit. I saw my large bunch of ripening bananas and immediately thought – banana bread! I’ve never used any recipe for banana bread other than my mom’s so I figured – now is the time for a “veganizing” experiment.
Out with the animal products, in with the plants!
I got out my favorite new book, Complete Guide to Vegan Food Substitutions, and started getting creative. The original recipe calls for butter and eggs so I would need to figure out the best replacement choices for each of these ingredients. My first thought, and clearly the most obvious idea, was to use the vegan earth balance I have in the fridge as a substitute for the butter. It then crossed my mind that a healthier option would probably be coconut oil. Having read numerous articles about the health benefits of coconut oil, I chose that as amy butter substitute.
As for the eggs, I remembered hearing about substituting flaxseed. But luckily my substitutions book has a whole chart explaining the different uses for eggs in recipes and it helped me narrow down which substitute would be best. For example, for my recipe the egg was most likely being used to add moisture to the bread and so then a decent substitute would be a teaspoon of nut butter mixed with a plant-based milk to make 1/4 cup of liquid. I decided on peanut butter since peanut and bananas play well together.
I made a couple of other substitutions in order to use more nutrient-dense ingredients. The original recipe calls for a whole cup of sugar. I always decreased this amount as it made the bread too sweet for me. Remembering this, I decided to omit the sugar and use chopped dates instead, a trick I’ve seen frequently in smoothie and vegan dessert recipes. The original recipe also called for a cup and a half of white flour which I decreased and used some almond meal instead. I might try using all almond meal next time but I was unsure if the consistency would turn out. After tasting how these turned out, I have a little more faith that the almond meal would be a good substitute. For the rest of the flour I used whole wheat.
- 3 very ripe bananas
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- 1/2 cup fresh pitted dates
- 1 tsp peanut or almond butter
- 1/4 cup plant-based milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)
- 1/2 cup almond meal
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/3 cup wheat germ (or oatmeal flour)
- 1/4 walnuts
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- a pinch of salt
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
- Combine all wet ingredients (bananas, coconut oil, dates, nut butter and plant-based milk) in a food processor and blend until smooth.
- In a separate bowl, sift together the dry ingredients, except the walnuts. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well. You can either add the walnuts into the mixture or reserve and add them on top right before you bake.
- Grease your baking dish with a little coconut oil then spoon the banana bread mixture into each loaf mold. Keep in mind that the bread will rise as it bakes – I filled mine about half way up. If you reserved the walnuts, sprinkle them of each loaf.
- Bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
- Don’t throw those brown bananas away – even if you don’t plan on making banana bread in the near future you can still make good use of them! I like to chop the bananas into large chunks and put them in the freezer in an airtight container for use in recipes later on. In addition to banana bread, over ripe bananas are perfect for sweetening up green smoothies or making one-ingredient vegan ice cream.