Lower Fat Vegan Banana Nut Bread
- 5 medium bananas, very ripe (Should be almost all brown and squishy)
- 1 cup unpacked brown sugar (dark is better but light will work)
- ½ cup regular sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ tablespoon baking soda
- 3 tablespoon ground flax + 8 tablespoons HOT water (mix well and let set 5 minutes)
- ¼ cup grape-seed oil (you can use olive oil if you prefer)
- ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract (the real stuff only please)
- ¼ cup nondairy milk mixed with 1 teaspoon white or rice wine vinegar ***(see note)
- 2½ cups wheat flour (you may need more or less)
- slightly less than 1 cup nuts, chopped **(see note)
- In a small bowl add your ground flax seeds and HOT water (I cannot stress how important HOT water is), stir well so there are no lumps and let set aside for about 5 minutes. Also preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 Celsius or gas mark 4).
- In a large bowl, combine your bananas, sugar, vanilla, salt, applesauce, baking soda, oil, and nondairy milk. Using your hands (which I did) or a potato masher; mash until the lumps are less than 1 centimeter (1/4 inch) or til desired smoothness. I like to leave tiny lumps so you get bites of banana, but this is up to you.
- Check your flax "eggs", if they are snotty in texture and thick; they are ready to go in the bowl. If they are not, let set another couple minutes, then add to large bowl.
- Mix in your flax eggs well. Now start to mix in your flour ½ cup at a time using the folding method. I suggest using a flexible spatula for this. Circle your bowl to scrap the sides down, and cut through the middle until your flour disappears and there are no huge pockets of flour in the mixture. Repeat this for 2 cups total of flour. Now look at your mixture, is it thick, kinda snotty and holds together well? If the answer is yes, then stop. If you think it needs a little more then add the remaining ½ cup of flour. If for some reason your bananas were huge and its still too moist, add ½ more flour. There really is no reason to use more than 3 cups. Once your batter looks ready, fold in slightly less than 1 cup of nuts, your choice; make sure they are evenly distributed.
- Get two regular sized loaf pans and spray generously with oil or grease well. Failure to do this will result in a bread you can't pry from the pan with a crowbar, you were warned.
- Divide the mixture evenly between the two pans and lightly tap on the counter to remove air pockets. Bake at 350 for about 60 - 75 minutes. A toothpick inserted in the middle of the loaf should come out almost clean (like 90%) if you wait for it to be completely clean, the bread will be crumbly and dry. Good with milk, not so much on it's own. Mine took 65 minutes.
- At this point you can store them at room temperature (cool completely before putting in a container) or freeze them. My grandma used to wrap her breads in aluminum foil, then plastic wrap. Don't forget to date them. I wouldn't keep them in the freezer more than 3 months for best results. Thaw at room temperature completely before serving.
** A word on choosing nuts. I used pecans, which is all I had left. Traditional banana nut bread is made with walnuts, however you can mix and match to your taste. Try a combination of both or go for something different all together. You could also use sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds if someone is your family has a tree nut allergy. Better safe than sorry!
*** A word on nondairy milk. In this recipe I used a homemade brown rice milk that was just rice and water with some vanilla, however you may use any type of nondairy milk. Be careful if choosing a strong flavored milk like mung bean or hemp milk. These will alter the flavor of the end dish. Also, coconut milk should be avoided unless you want coconut banana bread. (that does sound good though! 😉