Vegan Banana Bread
by Meghan Rodgers
March 2, 2021
Did you bake bread at home this past year? You’re not alone.
Interest in baking bread skyrocketed this year, as people were quarantining at home under COVID restrictions. Many people looked to past culinary traditions to help them either make ends meet or simply to make the most of their time at home. Regardless of your reasons, chances are you baked some bread in 2020. And chances are even greater that if you baked that you baked a specific type of bread — banana bread.
Yes, the most commonly searched bread recipe recently has nothing to do with yeast. Searches have centered around that classic comfort food, banana bread. And it’s great news people are using up their extra bananas considering that bananas are the most likely product to be sent to the landfill. Banana bread is the tastiest way to use up brown, over-ripe bananas and save them from becoming food waste.
Interestingly, it’s not the first time tough times have inspired home cooks to get creative in the kitchen with bananas. In fact, banana bread was born during the Great Depression, when every scrap of food was considered too precious to waste — even an over-ripe banana. Flash forward nearly 100 years and banana bread is once again on everybody’s mind.
Whether it’s the effect that reducing food waste has on your wallet or on the world, everyone has a reason to reach for a good banana bread recipe these days. Here’s a classic recipe with a vegan twist that will fool just about anyone. The flavor and texture come super close to the non-vegan version, so you can enjoy this legendary comfort food regardless of your dietary preference.
A note on bananas
Ripe and spotted bananas are so important to this recipe because they’re packed with natural sugars that give the bread its sweetness. Choose bananas that are too green and you’ll regret it. Bananas that are beyond your comfort level of eating fresh are probably just about perfect.
You can omit the nuts for preference or over allergy concerns. You can also use a variety. In this loaf I used a mix of walnuts and pecans.
Don’t overmix the batter
Once you add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, mix only until no more dry ingredients are visible. Overmixing can cause loaf to become tough and chewy.
And because reducing food waste is so important, don’t toss those peels! Use your banana peels in my Vegan Banana Peel Bacon recipe from last week. Enjoy!
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
3 tsp baking powder (remember: it’s not the same thing as baking soda!)
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups mashed, ripe banana (about 3)
1/2 cup soy milk (or other non-dairy milk of your choice)
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1 1/4 cup walnuts or pecans
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Prepare a 9x5 loaf pan by lining the bottom with parchment paper, so ends hang over sides by at least two inches. Then spray the lining of the pan with non-stick cooking spray.
Add flour, sugars, baking powder, salt and cinnamon to a large mixing bowl. Mix until combined.
In a small bowl, add mashed bananas, coconut oil and milk. Mix to combined. Pour liquid ingredients into dry ingredients bowl, and mix to create batter.
Fold in nuts.
Use a spatula and transfer batter into prepared loaf pan.
Bake for 60 minutes or until you can insert a toothpick to the center and have it come out clean.
Let bread cool for at least 10 minutes before removing from loaf pan. Let bread cool completely on a wire rack.
Tip: Serve toasted with some vegan butter or a sprinkling of cinnamon for extra flavorful fun.
Freeze: Baked Vegan Banana Bread can be frozen. Just wrap tightly with several layers of reusable cling wrap and place in an airtight container for more protection. When ready to eat, thaw overnight.