As I’ve mentioned before, I am not a vegan but I seem to attract people who are to some degree or another. Many of my friends are devoted vegans, others just until dinner, or on mondays, or until they travel to Argentina, or vegan because that’s how they justify their french fry consumption, in other words vaguely vegan….Vague-An. Regardless of how flexible my friends are in their commitment to eliminate all animal products from their diets, I still really enjoy having a recipe in my arsenal that I can offer them when they come over or when I’m invited to their homes.
This banana bread is vegan but you wouldn’t know it. It’s so easy to make, it’s moist, chocolatey, and even the non-vegans in the group will love it. It’s free of animal products but contains (are you sitting down?) WHITE all purpose flour because whole wheat, gluten free, and sawdust flour really alter the magical texture of this recipe. Also, just how annoyingly healthy do you want to be? The secret to this banana bread’s texture: coconut oil. Oh and the (vegan) chocolate chips don’t hurt one bit.
Yields 1 loaf (or 2 mini loaves)
3 medium very ripe (almost gross) bananas
1/2 cup coconut oil melted gently in the microwave
juice of 1/2 lemon (remove pits)
1/3 cup sugar
2 cups all-purpose unbleached white flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinammon
1 cup vegan chocolate chips/chunks (I used dairy free Chocolate Dream semi sweet chips) mixed with 1 tbs flour
2/3 cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans (optional) mixed with 1 tbs flour
2 tbs of turbinado sugar
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. I use the convection setting but it doesn’t matter.
Using Earth Balance (or some other vegan spread) ‘butter’ and flour (or spray with non-stick spray) the bottom and sides of the loaf pan(s). Cut a rectangular piece of parchment paper that fits the bottom of the loaf pan (7, 8 or 9 inches..it does not have to be the exact size) to prevent the cake from sticking.
In a big bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon and mix well with a fork or a whisk. In a medium bowl, mash the bananas, leaving some small chunky bits. Add the oil, lemon juice and sugar to the bananas, and combine well. In a small bowl combine the chocolate chips and one tablespoon of flour and mix well so they don’t sink to the bottom of the batter. Do the same with the nuts.
Add the wet ingredients, the chocolate chips and nuts to the big bowl with the dry ingredients, and combine well until just mixed. Do not overmix to avoid tough bread.
Pour the batter into a loaf pan or 2 mini loaf pans. Sprinkle the top with the turbinado sugar. For the big loaf bake on the middle shelf for 45-50 minutes. The small loaf should take about half the time. Check the loaves by piercing with a toothpick. When it’s golden on top and the toothpick comes out clean of batter (melted chocolate is ok), it’s done.
Have it for breakfast, dessert, afternoon snack, whenever. Once completely cooled this bread freezes beautifully. If you’re like me and can’t control yourself around great banana bread freeze half, freeze it in slices, or lock yourself in a closet and eat it in one sitting.
Enjoy and always let your taste buds soar!