Love banana bread? Make this now. Seriously.
I was feeling a bit skittish about baking again after my big birthday baking fail, but needed a simple dessert for a cookout this weekend and I had 4 super ripe bananas staring at me. Since I continuously battle sugar addition, I made this recipe – no refined sugar. Instead, it uses dates and the sweetness of the fruit to satisfy. On top of that, it uses only 100% whole wheat flour.
At the party, sitting around the fire enjoying the stars, of course the question arose, “Is it vegan?” Not ‘vegan’, ‘veeeghan‘. I told my friend he didn’t say ‘vegan’ with enough disgust, haha! You know what I’m talking about, that somewhat snarky tone reserved just for those things that the speaker can’t quite wrap their head around. Sigh. I’ll get used to it someday. Right?
The best part of the night was seeing 2 of the kids sneak out of the house during their movie to snag a piece – you know it’s a tasty healthy dessert when the kids feel the need to grab and go without detection.
Anyway, the banana bread was vegan, and healthy and it’s going to be a frequent treat around here, especially since the local natural foods store sells perfectly over-ripe bananas.
I adapted the recipe from love food eat blog, adding pan roasted walnuts, unsweetened organic applesauce and extra cinnamon. For my own special touch, I pre-sliced it and drizzled the top with melted vegan dark chocolate – for easy drizzling, add just a touch of oil (grapeseed, olive, coconut). We were running late and the bread was still slightly warm, so even in the fridge the chocolate wasn’t firming up fast enough. I put it in the freezer and it helped. Of course we couldn’t wait for total solidity, so off we went, with an unwrapped, pre-sliced banana bread. It sat out, unwrapped throughout the party. We brought 2 slices home and guess what? Not at all stale, not even a hint of crusty interior…it was still moist and delicious.
So next time you find yourself with super ripe bananas…no, next time you go to the store, buy extra bananas and let them get super ripe just so you can make this. While my amateur photos do it no justice, I guarantee you will fall in love with this recipe.
Healthy (Yes!) Banana Bread
2 c. over ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 c. unsweetened organic applesauce
1/4 c. finely chopped medjool dates
2 c. whole wheat flour
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. salt
2 T. ground flax seeds + 6 T. water
handful of raw walnuts
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Mix flax seeds and water and set aside until egg white consistency.
Heat stainless steel frying pan over medium high heat. Turn down slightly and add walnuts, stirring often until fragrant and slightly browned. Remove from heat.
Mash bananas well and stir in applesauce and dates.
In a large mixing bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Add banana mixture, flax seed mixture and stir until combined. Fold in walnuts.
The dough will be very thick/hard – do not add water and do not over mix.
Pour dough into a greased loaf pan. Bake for 55-65 minutes until a golden crust forms and a tester inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Let the banana bread cool completely for easier cutting. I did not have time to do this, but it was well on it’s way to being cool and was easy to cut.