In my last post, I wrote about the vegan Artichoke Spinach Dip I was going to bring to a holiday party. We went to the party on Saturday and no one there knew I was vegan or that I brought a vegan dish. They must have liked the dip because there was barely any left at the end of the night! I also went to a holiday party on Friday night and brought vegan, gluten-free banana bread. This, too, went over very well. Personally, I LOVED it. I found the recipe on Gluten-Free-Vegan-Girl, a blog written by a very smart, beautiful 17-year-old girl in Norway whose English is far better than most Americans’. Solveig just started her blog in June of this year (same as me!) and already she has posted a wealth of information as well as her own vegan, gluten-free recipes. This girl is going places! I wouldn’t be surprised if she wrote a book or make a yoga DVD before she’s 20 ;)
This is not your average banana bread (which is usually full of sugar and butter). This is a much heartier, denser (yet still very moist) version… and it’s MUCH better for you. No sugar, no oil, no butter, no eggs. Just the good stuff. And I promise – it’s DELICIOUS! I wouldn’t share it with you if it wasn’t great.
Usually, when I have very ripe bananas that won’t get eaten before they go bad, I peel them and freeze them for smoothies. However, a friend just gave me some of her homemade vanilla (one bourbon-infused, one vodka-infused) and I was anxious to give them a try… so why not make banana bread?! Too bad I didn’t save her any. Guess I’ll just have to make more!
YIELDS 1 LOAF
2 cups gluten-free oat flour (or make your own)*
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 cup pitted dates
½ cup unsweetened non-dairy milk (I used almond milk)
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 large very ripe bananas (if they aren’t soft and the skin isn’t turning brown, they are not ready)
You can customize this bread any way you like with the following:
fresh ground nutmeg, chopped nuts, raisins, cranberries, vegan/gf chocolate chips
Original recipe called for 2 cups of gluten-free oat flour. I made one loaf with all oat flour, and one loaf with half oat flour, half spelt flour. I liked the latter better. However, if you are allergic to gluten, you should use all oat flour. If you are sensitive to gluten, it’s possible you will be okay with the mixture of both flours.
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Lightly coat the bottom and sides of a 4×8 loaf pan with coconut oil or non-stick spray.
Skip this step if you’re not making your own oat flour. If making your own, place 2 cups of gluten-free oats into food processor (with S blade) and process until finely ground. This takes a couple of minutes or so (depending on your food processor). Mine doesn’t get super-fine, but I think that’s what helps to give this bread such a hearty texture.
In a large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients (oat flour and/or spelt flour, cinnamon, baking powder, salt).
Using a food processor, blend together the dates, non-dairy milk and vanilla extract until smooth.
Using a potato masher or fork, mash bananas in a separate bowl.
Add date mixture and mashed bananas to dry mixture; stir until combined. Add in optional ingredients (I added fresh ground nutmeg, ½ cup chopped walnuts and ½ cup vegan, gluten-free Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips); stir until combined. Scoop/pour mixture into prepared loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour at 350°F.
In the last 10-15 minutes, check the bread by inserting a toothpick in the middle. When it comes out clean and the bread has come away from the edge of the pan, the bread is done. Allow the bread to cool in the pan on a cooling rack for 5 minutes. Remove bread from pan and allow it to cool another 10 minutes on cooling rack before slicing.
Wrap up a loaf with some simple parchment paper, tie it up with some red twine and a sprig of holly – and you’ve got yourself a beautiful, delicious, HEALTHY homemade gift. Great job with this recipe, Solveig – I can’t wait to try more of them!