Wholesome yet seductively rich-tasting, this vegan banana bread is quick and easy to make. The perfect way to use up those very ripe bananas sitting on the counter, it’s wonderful with coffee or tea as a not-too-sweet snack cake, or for breakfast. Serve as is, or with a smear of vegan butter, vegan cream cheese, or jam.
Though the addition of carrot is offbeat, I highly recommend it for extra color and texture. If you’ll be chopping the walnuts finely in a food processor, you can start with the carrots first (baby carrots are good to use!). Pulse on and off until finely chopped, then add the walnuts. Pulse on and off until they, too, are finely chopped, then you can add both to the batter together.
There’s also the option for adding dried fruit and/or chocolate, which will make this tasty banana bread even more delectable.
- 1 3/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/4 cup quick-cooking oats (or just use an extra 1/4 cup flour)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/3 cup natural granulated sugar or coconut sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 2 medium very ripe bananas, well mashed
- 1/2 cup applesauce
- 2 tablespoons safflower or other neutral oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup unsweetened nondairy milk, or as needed
- 2/3 cup finely chopped walnuts
Optional (choose one or two)
- 1/2 cup grated or finely chopped carrot
- 1/2 cup raisins, dried cranberries or chopped dates
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips (preferably mini) or chocolate chunks, finely chopped
- Preheat the oven to 350º F.
- Combine the first 6 (dry) ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir together.
- Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add the bananas, applesauce, oil, vanilla, and nondairy milk. Stir together to make a smooth, slightly stiff batter. If need be, add a tiny bit more nondairy milk, but don’t overdo it — everything should be just moistened.
- Stir until the wet and dry ingredients are thoroughly mixed, then stir in walnuts and the optional dried fruit or chocolate.
- Pour the batter into a lightly oiled 9-by 5-by 3-inch loaf pan. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the top is firm and a knife inserted into the center tests clean.
- When cool enough to handle, carefully remove the bread from the pan, place it on a rack or platter, and allow it to cool until just warm or at room temperature before slicing.
Add a pinch of ground or grated nutmeg or a subtle flavor and aroma boost.
Photos: Elena Veselova