This vegan banana bread was a long time coming, folks. Starting from a recipe that called for a cup of white sugar, a cup of vegetable oil, and 3 cups of white flour, I have to admit I swung a little far to the extreme of healthy on my first few tries to “healthify” it. My kids were nice as always…
“Um, Mama… maybe you could just make the regular one next time…”
This is my cue that I’ve gone too far.
After many, many failures, this, folks, THIS… is the answer to all our banana bread dreams! It’s healthy enough to serve for breakfast, and decadent enough to qualify as dessert. Adults love it, as attested in our Healthy Snacks cooking class yesterday. But I knew the ultimate test would be whether or not Tommy would approve. He’s my most graciously discerning taste tester. Admittedly, I had an advantage yesterday afternoon because he was famished when he arrived home from school. I handed him a slice, then watched as he took a big bite. His eyes widened. “Good!!” he managed through his full mouth. “It’s actually really good!!” I wasn’t a bit miffed at his surprise… I just took it as a victory. Ah, the joys of a dietitian Mama.
This vegan banana bread gets its sweetness & moisture from an extra half cup of mashed ripe banana as well as half a chopped apple. The extra fruit allowed me to reduce the overall sugar content to just 4 tablespoons of pure maple syrup, while still getting the sweet taste that we all love. I cut out most of the oil, and used only 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin coconut oil for flavor & smooth texture… no bread needs to drown in a cupful of oil. Flax meal replaces eggs and adds omega-3 fatty acids as well as fiber. I eliminated the white flour entirely and instead used a combination of oat flour & whole wheat pastry flour. This blend has a nice nutty flavour & texture that complements this hearty bread.
What really puts it over the top is the chocolate almond butter sauce… think about these flavour pairings: chocolate & bananas… almond butter & bananas… chocolate & apples… almond butter & apples…it all works, friends! The beautiful thing is, this sauce recipe can easily be doubled and is excellent on many other things besides the banana bread. Yes, this option has been tested.
This loaf is perfect for your weekend baking, and keeps well for snacking throughout the week. The sauce should be kept in the fridge, and it will firm up some, but you can either reheat it gently, or in our tropical climate, just leave it at room temp for a few minutes to let it soften.
Let me know how you like it! Happy weekend, friends!