Wholesome Vegan Banana Bread

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 I had a friend in high school who bought a slice of banana bread from the canteen almost every day. Cruelly in year eight they stopped making the chocolate chip banana bread, as if removing that sprinkle of happiness would really make a difference to the health of the banana bread! But that’s not the point. Lot’s of people stopped really buying it after that, but not this friend. I remember it clearly because every time she bought a piece she’d get attacked and harassed by her friends until she’d given them at least half. And by her friends, I mean me. It was good banana bread, it really was.

But as we grew older, we learned to read the ingredients list. And with knowledge becomes great responsibility. It wasn’t a very appetising group of products they squeezed in there. One of the ingredients was beef lard, all I’m gonna say. After that I became a believer in home-made banana bread. Just as delicious without the beef lard! This banana bread today is one of the family recipes that makes the best banana bread (in my humble opinion). 

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 I know the title makes it sound a little…bland. But it really isn’t! The recipe is from the Moosewood Cookbook, which is one of my favourite cookbooks ever. So many childhood staple meals came out of that book. Vegetable ratatouille, Cheesy polenta, Bean Burritos, all the old classics. And this banana bread. I’ve mentioned it when I made these delicious banana choc chunk muffins. The recipe says to coat the pan in sesame seeds to stop it sticking but I used baking paper because we didn’t have sesame seeds. Also I had a feeling it would probably come out looking like a lizard bread, something I don’t think would photograph well. 

Can you believe I’ve had this blog for seven months and this is the first Banana Bread recipe I’ve put up? What is that about! Well partly the reason is that muffins are way easier to serve and photograph. I’ve adapted lots of breads before, like the sticky Banana Caramel Muffins that were originally going to be a loaf. Loaves have benefits that muffins can’t really trump, because you can toast them and put toppings on them. What is a banana bread without peanut butter and banana slices? Or ricotta and honey? You tell me. You tell me friends. 

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This banana bread is way healthier than your classic shop-bought plastic wrapped slice. It’s light but still moist and fluffy. The crust is super crispy and maybe my favourite part, because it’s so thin you don’t get that terrible hard edge that takes away from the squishy middle part. I adapted it to make a vegan version with vegan butter and chia eggs, but you can sub in normal eggs and super soft butter, or even olive oil. 

You can tell hippies wrote the recipe because there are a few rather strange instructions. Or rather lack of instructions. (I love hippies! But you can’t deny they can be vague! ) I should have known that hand whisking soft butter and eggs would end in lumpy egg-butter, but I tried it anyway. The result was a super sore arm from about an hour of trying to get the butter pieces small enough to combine with the other ingredients. And I couldn’t heat it up so the butter would melt because that would cook the eggs! So I’ve kindly amended the instructions out of respect for your arms. 

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As I’ve mentioned, this banana bread is great toasted and served with jam, nutella, peanut butter, butter, honey, ricotta, banana slices, mashed banana, melted chocolate, desiccated coconut, coconut cream, ok you get the picture. I could go on all day. But it’s also great plain and fresh from the oven. It freezes really well, lasts wrapped really well, and can be fancied up with chopped nuts, chocolate chips, coconut, seeds, anything you like really! 

 Here are some delicious banana bread recipes I’ve been drooling over this week on other awesome blogs:

Check out the amazing banana bread photography at The Munch and Crunch

Cookie and Kate’s amazing looking banana bread looks like it could feed multiple athletes

Almond Banana Bread by Bakerita looks amaaazing. 

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Wholesome Vegan Banana Bread: Adapted from Moosewood Cookbook

2 medium bananas (2/3 cup) mashed well

80mls (1/3 cup) brewed black coffee (NOT GRANULES – LIQUID)

3 tablespoons chia seeds mixed with 6 tablespoons water and stirred well (OR 3 chicken eggs for non-vegan)

110ml olive oil or 1/2 cup vegan butter, very soft

100ml (1/2 cup) maple syrup or 1/2 cup brown sugar

125g (1 cup) white flour + 120g (1 cup) wholemeal flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp each cinnamon and allspice

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Method:

Preheat the oven to 180C (350F) and line a loaf pan. Beat together the soft butter and sugar until fluffy, then add in the eggs, one at a time. If using oil and honey, just mix all these ingredients together. Stir in the mashed bananas and coffee well. Sift the flours, salt and raising agents, then gently fold into the wet mixture. Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes, until brown on top and a skewer comes out clean. Enjoy! Serves 8-12

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102 thoughts on “Wholesome Vegan Banana Bread

  1. This looks awesome and I love how it’s healthier than most recipes! I have three overripened bananas sitting on my counter and I know where they’re all going 😉

    • Hi came across your sight last week as I am fasting for lent, so everything is vegan right now. I have to say so far this is the best cake/bread recipe I tried, I changed a couple of minor things. Can I just ask is it a problem if the bananas really ripe (almost black) and also I used instant coffee (so 1 Tsp for the 1/3 cup ). The reason I ask is there was an almost bitter taste to it and little black bits, was it the seeds from the bananas or the non dissolved coffee. Either way I love it, will definitely make it again, so Thank you.

      • Hi Sola, I’m so glad you liked it! I’d say the bitterness probably came from the instant coffee. Just make sure you stir it really well so it’s completely dissolved before adding it in. Also fresh coffee will taste much better! For the bananas, I’ve used super spotty brown bananas before which worked great, but never completely black so I don’t know how that would taste. Overripe is usually better though.

      • Thank you so much for the reply. Will try it with fresh coffee and perhaps without coffee to test the difference.

      • It is possible that the chia seeds added the bitterness, and they certainly could add the little black dots. My recent tasting if tome home made chia pudding had a bitterness when I chewed the chia seeds.

      • Hi Jackie, you could be right! I’ve only ever bought the one brand of chia seeds which don’t have a bitter flavour, but there may be brands with different levels of quality? I’ll have to do some experimenting. I think most likely the undissolved coffee could add a bitter taste.

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  3. This would probably only affect the texture unless you’re doubling the batch, but be careful with the flours. 100g is one cup of cake flour, but 100g of all-purpose white flour is just over 3/4 cup (.8 cups), and whole wheat would be just a little more (.83 cups). Of course if you are weighing, then no problem!

    • Wow thanks Beth! I almost always weigh ingredients so I worry that my cup measurements are off sometimes! I just try and work it out on the internet! So feedback is really helpful. I’ll fix up the recipe so it all makes sense 🙂

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  5. This looks really yummy and easy to make! I’m going to try it today! 🙂 i was wondering if it would be the same if i substitute the coffee for non-dairy milk and the chia eggs for apple Sauce.. Also, i don’t have any whole meal flour, can I still make it with regular or whole wheat? Would it alter the texture and flavor? Thanks!

    • Thank you! Subbing out the coffee would be fine- just a subtler flavour. Wholemeal and plain are also interchangeable here. As for the apple sauce replacing chia eggs I’m not sure…the flavour and texture might change. You could try flax as a binding agent and make up the liquid with more banana? Try it out and let me know how it goes!

      • Ok, so I made two banana breads replacing some ingredients yesterday an both were REALLY good! 1. I used vanilla oatmilk, regular flour, and the chia eggs.. It was the first time I ever made it so I don’t know if it was supposed to have that texture or not, but it didn’t come out like “bread” it was super moist but still really good, my husband loved it! 2. I used coconut oil, regular flour, vanilla flax milk, and apple souce! It took waay longer to cook and the texture was about the same, you could feel a slightly difference in flavour but still SO good! Next time I’ll try and use more flour so maybe it will come out more bread like.!

      • Oh great! Vanilla oat milk sounds so interesting I’m going to look out for it next time at the shops. That’s good to know flax works well because I’ve never tried it and chia can be so expensive! The bread had a really moist cakes texture for me too which I liked, although the apple sauce could have made it even softer which isn’t a bad thing. Coconut oil would give it a nice flavour I bet! Yay I love finding a recipe like this that can be experimented with and still come out successfully 🙂

  6. Great recipe! I tweaked it a little because I like my banana bread super moist =D I added a little melted coconut oil and coconut sugar in addition to the brown sugar. I also added chunks of low glycemic dark chocolate from trader joe’s, which took it over the top! Thanks =D

  7. This is on my list to make this weekend! 🙂 My birthday is saturday so I figured I’d whip up a little treat for myself. I have an uneaten overripe banana hanging out in my freezer that’s just begging to be used. I’m going to probably just use all whole wheat flour… cos aside from a smattering of oat bran flour, whole wheat is the only flour I have. Oh, and I’m definitely adding chocolate chips.

    Definitely.

  8. Hi. I would like to do this recipe with all whole grain flours. Would you mind providing a guide for that? I am soooo looking forward to making this, but I don’t eat white ANYTHING. Thank you!

    • Hi Jennifer 🙂 I actually normally just use wholemeal flour, but for the blog recipe I tried half and half for a more “traditional” banana bread that wouldn’t taste too healthy 🙂 if you’re the kind of person that doesn’t eat white flour then like me I’m sure using all wholemeal will still taste great! You could try subbing some wholemeal for buckwheat for a different grainy taste ad slightly softer texture. I’d go for 1/4 of the wholemeal. If not just try wholewheat flour and expect a rougher texture, possibly increase the liquid content but 20-30mls. Tell me how it goes if you try it !!

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  11. I made the vegan version of this today. It’s so damn delicious, I wish I could eat it all in one setting! Definitely not sharing my banana bread with anybody. 😉
    thank you so much for the great recipe! 🙂

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  13. I made this for a friend who is Vegan and it was a hit! I didn’t tell any of my other friends apart from her and no one knew it was Vegan banana bread! So moist and not too sweet, my sister and I have just made another loaf and it’s in the oven now… Thanks!!

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  17. Thanks for the recipe! Just made this as a trial for my little boys first birthday cake since hes allergic to milk eggs soya and nuts. Substituted coffee for Cocoa powder, but just realized you meant brewed coffee so thats why my batter/dough ended up a bit dry! Final result was quite moist, tasted good, but could be a little sweeter and didn’t raise enough, not sure why. Will definitely try again since it tasted quite good already 🙂 , do let me know if you have any tips! Would love a vegan recipe for some (chocolate) icing if anyone has one!

    • Hi Zandi, so glad you liked the recipe! For sweetness were your bananas overripe? To the point of being covered in brown spots and mostly black? That’s what I use because it creates the sweetest, softest banana bread. If you did use super ripe bananas, maybe adding a tablespoon or two of brown sugar when mashing them would make it sweet enough for your tastes. It’s hard to get the same level of rise without eggs but you can try using all plain white flour for a lighter result 🙂 Hope this helps!

    • Hi Kyleah, unfortunately I have absolutely no idea about soy flour because I’ve never used it as a complete flour base. I think a better replacement would be 1/4 cup soy flour, 1/4 cup tapioca flour, and 1/2 cup brown rice flour in place of every cup of wholewheat. That’s what a few gluten-free sources have said! Let me know how you go.

  18. I’d love to make this, but I don’t have a lot of experience with egg substitutes (both my husband and I were recently told we’re allergic) and don’t have chia seeds. I do have flax meal, though, but haven’t had good luck with it up to now. Do you have a suggestion of how much to use in this recipe, and how to prepare it to make it sufficiently sticky (soak in x amount of water? boiling or not?….)
    Thanks, it really looks yummy.

    • Hi Maxine,
      I personally don’t use flax seeds because I find they can add a strange taste to some cakes! But lots of people say it works well for them. I think the best method is to mix 1 tbsp flax meal with 3 tbsp of warm water and let it turn into a gel, for one egg. So for 2 eggs mix 2 tbsp flaxmeal with 6 tbsp warm water and etc. I’ve heard that pre-ground flaxmeal can be problematic because the oils go rancid really quickly, so it might be best to buy the whole seeds and grind them yourself! Another trick I have heard of people using with banana bread is to simply add half an extra banana for each egg. The texture will change slightly but it should still taste great! Let me know how you go 🙂

      • You’re amazing! I asked a question that didn’t even relate to your recipe (which I’d confused with one of 3 others I’d looked at around the same time), and you gave me a full and helpful answer. I used the apple sauce/baking powder mix and it worked great. btw, re flax meal. I buy mine in vacuum-packed bags and store in the fridge after opening. I’ve never had a problem with rancidity (which is obvious in the case of flax oil, as it will give off a fishy odour). I took a hint from one of the comments on one of the other recipes I’d looked at, and split the batter between two smaller loaf pans. This cut baking time (in my counter-top convection oven!) to about 35 minutes. Since I used a mix of whole wheat and unbleached flour in place of the gluten-free mixture, I only waited about 5 minutes before turning out onto a rack. Now to taste: Yum! Though I detected a slight soda taste, so maybe your apple-sauce was more acidic than mine. Next time I’ll put a bit of apple cider vinegar in the soy milk (alergic to almonds) and that should do the trick. Many thanks! Maxine

        _____

  19. Hi! I want to make this bread today but I am unsure about the coffee in the recipe because I don’t really like the taste of coffee so do you think the recipe would still work without it? I would like to try it with the coffee though so is it a really strong flavour, or would you recommend using a smaller amount of coffee possibly? I would be using instant coffee if that’s any help 🙂 thanks!!

    • Hi Rachel
      I personally don’t drink coffee because I don’t like the taste, and I hate coffee flavoured desserts! But I can never taste it in this banana bread so it shouldn’t be a problem 🙂 If you’re worried maybe brew the coffee quite weakly so the flavour isn’t as strong, or you could halve the amount and replace the other half with almond or soy milk.

  20. Hi, I just made this – although something tasted slightly funky – was it because I didn’t first dissolve the coffee granules? If so, how much water should you use when dissolving them? Also, I used Caro instead of coffee (caffeine free alternative).

    • Hi Jessica, yes the 1/3 cup of brewed coffee must be brewed – completely dissolved in water, not in powder form. So about 2 tbsp ground coffee with 1/3 cup boiling hot water, left to brew and then strained. Caro should make a fine substitute though. I’ll make that clearer in the recipe. Sorry about that!

      • Yeh, I realised later that you would have meant 1/3 cup already made up coffee – but I’d put in a whole 1/3 cup of pure coffee (caro) granules! haha.. So no wonder it had a “strong” taste.

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    • There are no eggs in the recipe Rebecca unless you are not a vegan, in which case you can sub in chicken eggs for the 3 tablespoons of chia seeds. If you are going to make the vegan version just use chia seeds, no eggs 🙂

  25. I made this once following the original recipe, then just made it again this morning using applesauce instead of oil and halving the brown sugar. Still just as tasty! 🙂 Thanks for the recipe!

  26. I have made this and it is delicious! I substitute flour for 1/2 almond meal and 1/2 quinoa or coconut flour. I also add raspberries or little chunks of apple 🙂

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  28. Oh My goodness! this banana bread is so yummy!! You can’t even tell that it is Vegan! I recommend it to anyone! I may add pecans next time though!

  29. I have two brown bananas sitting on my counter that my roommate requested I magically turn into delicious banana bread and I was not excited about the food adventure until I found this recipe!!! I love Mollie Katzen and think it’s super cool that you veganized a recipe of hers. Also, your blog is adorable and you’re really pretty. Expect a lot of comments from me in the future!

  30. I was wondering if the bread in your pictures is one made with eggs or chia eggs. I just finished baking mine with chia eggs. Where the recipe called for vegan butter or olive oil I put almost the full 1/2 cup of butter. What was missing was about half a tablespoon, so I added a half tbsp of olive oil. My bread, baked over the recommended time by 25 mins came out too moist in the middle, unlike yours that is perfectly moist. If I redo it, what should I change to make it similar to yours?

    • Hey lisu, I would try baking it lower for longer – it sounds like your oven may be different to mine. The ones in the photo are made with chia seeds! Sometimes it takes a different time depending on the tray I use and oven! Hope that helps 🙂

    • Hi Melissa, I would never equally substitute coconut flour into a recipe unless it tells you to because it behaves so differently. As for rice flour that would be risky as well because rice flour is much finer and absorbs more water so the cake make be dense and dry. You could try all purpose gluten free!

  31. I made this banana bread yesterday, my family loved it so much they asked me to make it again today! Even my neighbors came over and loved it. Thanks for the recipe! 😁

  32. hey,
    thanks for this great recipe! I love the mix between coffee and banana! but unfortunatley my bread has a gooey consistency and it looks still a bit raw inside even though I baked it for an hour! do have an idea why its like that ? xoxo 🙂

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