Thursday, January 26, 2012
Save the bananas!
As part of my plan to reduce my sugar intake, bananas have been sidelined and set aside for times when I am in dire physical need of carb replacement such as at the end of a half marathon or triathlon. Since I haven't done either a half marathon or triathlon in at least 2 years, bananas have not been that commonplace. However, they are in the house and PB eats one every couple of days. Don't get me wrong I LOVE bananas and I LOVE baking. So you can surely put love and love together and get Banana Bread. I have found an excellent recipe for banana bread that is totally vegan and tastes amazing. All testers of said bread have been in agreement of its taste, texture and yummi-ness so it's time to post the recipe. I've made it probably close to 10 times in the past few months and though I am very tempted to eat the whole loaf, I usually take some into work or put half in the freezer for a later date. If freezing, I slice it first and then wrap well. If you have ripe bananas, but no time to make banana bread, just throw them in the freezer until you have time. They will go black but don't worry about it. Due to the frequency of making this recipe, I have determined the following things:
1) the more banana you use the better
2) I like a few chunks in there of partially mashed banana
3) frozen bananas go totally black but are perfect on the inside for banana bread
4)you must buy bananas in advance (usually at least a week) if you want them to be overripe enough for a good banana bread.
5)licking the batter from the bowl is still the best part of the baking process. This is one time where you don't want a really efficient spatula because that will remove all trace of batter leaving none for you to clean up.
6) Never leave freshly cooked banana bread un-attended. It WILL be compromised as demonstrated here:
The recipe is from what I have come to refer to as my vegan bible (For any newbie readers, I'm not vegan but I am allergic to eggs so I do a lot of vegan baking), "The Everyday Vegan". It's called Maple Banana Loaf and I like it because it doesn't contain any soy (if you use a non soy milk alternative), any hard to get ingredients and it's relatively healthy as far as cakes go.
Maple Banana Loaf
1 & 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinammon
pinch of sea salt (go very carefully here, too much will taste very strong)
1/2 tsp fresh nutmeg ( I used dried nutmeg spice-works just fine)
1 cup very ripe banana, mashed ( I usually add about 1 & 1/4 cups, approx 3 med bananas)
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup soy milk, ( I use rice or almond milk and I find 1/3 cup is enough)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tbsp canola oil
1 tsp Sugar or sucanut to sprinkle on top of batter ( this is not in the recipe but I find it adds a key element and really makes the recipe)
Preheat oven to 350F.
In large bowl, combine dry ingredients, sifting in baking powder and baking soda. Mix well.
In a separate bowl, combine mashed bananas with maple syrup, milk and vanilla. Mix well and add to dry mixture.
Stir through and add canola oil just as batter comes together (do not over mix).
Pour into lightly oiled loaf pan. (Sprinkle sugar on top if you wish!) and bake for 45-50 mins until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.