I’ve been working on my baking game. Because while following a recipe is no biggie, making a recipe vegan, and also attempting to make it healthier, can be a bit of a pain in the ass. I can make breads, it seems (obvi), and bars. But… cookies? You suck. Seriously, why don’t you want to let me make you? Your cookie dough is scrumptious and begs to be devoured, but once baked you’re a sad little cookie. Grrr.
Well, since breads happen to be in my forte lets get talking about this Ultimate VEGAN Banana Bread. Every bite is filled with banana goodness and chunks of chocolate and walnuts. Sweet enough for dessert, but healthy enough for breakfast. It’s a very easy bread to throw together when your bananas have gotten a little carried away with their ripening.
Tips & Tricks for Making the Ultimate Banana Bread:
There’s a couple things to remember when making banana bread. The first and MOST IMPORTANT is to not over stir it. You want to gently stir, or better yet FOLD the dry ingredients into the wet. And then, just before all of the flour has been folded in, add your chocolate and walnuts for the last final folds to distribute them through the dough. Oh and make sure those bananas are nice and mashed. If you don’t mind dirtying an appliance you could also give them a whirl in a blender or food processor until they are nicely pureed, if you don’t feel like getting your mash on.
The other thing to remember is it takes time for a big beautiful loaf to cool. Give it time, so it can finish it’s last bit of baking, and allow for the flavors to develop fully. Ideally, you should hold off until it’s room temp. Which means be prepared for Logan’s… you know, those who cannot wait and try to cut into it prematurely. Yeah, them. Watch yo loaf!
You will want to lightly grease the pan. I usually use a small amount of coconut oil to do this. To make it even easier to remove your loaf cut a strip of parchment paper the width of the pan, leaving enough excess that can be used to lift the loaf out of the pan later. It makes clean up even easier too.
- 3-4 very ripe medium bananas, mashed or pureed*
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 ounces applesauce**
- 3/4 cup coconut sugar
- 1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
- 2/3 cup white whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon Himalayan sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/3-1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/3-1/2 cup dark chocolate chips or chunks***
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a loaf pan and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl whisk together all of the wet ingredients until well incorporated.
In a medium mixing bowl sift all dry ingredients together excluding the walnuts and chocolate.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet. Gently fold the two together to incorporate. Just before all of the dry ingredients have been incorporated add the walnuts and chocolate chips and continue to fold until just mixed together. It’s important to not over mix.
Add the batter to the greased loaf pan. Using the back of a spoon or spatula spread the batter into an even layer. If desired you can sprinkle additional chocolate and/or walnuts on top.
Bake the banana bread until a toothpick can be inserted in the middle of the loaf and just a few crumbles appear on the toothpick when removed, approximately 55 minutes to 1 hour 10 minutes.
Let the loaf cool in it’s pan for 20 minutes before removing it to cool to room temperature on a wire rack.
*Four bananas will yield a dense moister loaf. **Four ounces of applesauce is your standard size for a single serving cup. ***Dark chocolate is typically vegan, but double check just to be sure it is, if you are vegan.