Recipe: Vegan Whole Wheat Banana Bread

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Vegan. Whole wheat. Sugar free. Oil free.

Flavor free? Not at all. Quite the opposite, in fact.

Let’s just say, when I stumbled across this bread recipe, I was expecting something that I would consume for sustenance alone; I was sure it would be permeated by the taste of “health,”  that it would prove binge-proof. Upon biting into it, however, I saw just how wrong I was. And I bit into it again, and again, and again, and now it’s gone.

Tragic, right?

And yet, I don’t feel nearly as guilty as I would have after eating an entire loaf of normal banana bread in a mere 24 hours. That’s right, I admit it, I ate the whole thing in a day. All this bread calls for in terms of flavor is bananas, dates, and cinnamon; the baking powders, flour, and flax seed manage to give it a wonderfully moist and dense texture. It even cooked through much more evenly than the dairy, egg, sugar and oil filled white flour banana breads I’ve made in the past!

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Time: Active: 20 minutes

Inactive: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups mashed banana (approximately 4 large bananas, preferably overripe)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped dates (I used dried)
  • 2 tbsp flax seed powder + 6 tbsp water
  • Optional: 1-2 tbsp sesame seeds

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Mix together the flax seed and water, allow it to set, stirring occasionally, until gelatinous.

2. Mash the bananas. My preferred method is to mince them by slicing them, spreading the slices out, and tapping lightly and rapidly with a knife horizontally. Then, turn the cutting board 90 degrees, and tap horizontally again; repeat as necessary. The key is to leave very little space between cuts, and you’ll soon have nearly mashed bananas, no matter how firm they were to begin with!

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3. In a bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.

4. Add the chopped dates and mix together. I had trouble keeping my dates from clumping up, so I used my fingers to “rub” the dates into the flour as I would butter, breaking up clumps when I found them.

5. Add the bananas and flax seed/water mixture to the bowl, and stir until combined. It may seem too dry or doughy, but trust me, there’s no need for more liquid!

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6. Place dough into a loaf pan, sprinkle with sesame seeds if desired (I omitted them), and bake in oven for 45-55 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean; it should be risen, subtly golden, and slightly crusty on top when it’s done. And as an added bonus, the whole house should be filled with the aroma of bananas!

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Next time, I’m going to try adding sliced almonds and dried cranberries–this recipe is just begging for other equally delicious variations. Hope you guys like this healthy treat as much as I did!

Thanks for reading,

Michelle

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