This bread was a total spur of the moment, “I have some extra ripe bananas that need to be used ASAP!” kind of deal. And the result? It turned out better than I ever could have hoped! Don’t you just love it when that happens?
I’ve been on a big kick of watching how much sugar (even the unrefined stuff) I add to my meals and recipes lately, because it really is crazy how much sugar we consume that we don’t even realize we are consuming! Which is why I didn’t add any sugar to this recipe, (that’s right, zero!) and let those extra ripe bananas do all the work.
So now that you know I didn’t include any added sugars, you should also know that this recipe is completely vegan and gluten-free as well! It would also be considered neutropenic (see more on that in my notes below), which makes me wish I had thought of this recipe when I was going through chemo and was so limited/confused on what I could and could not eat!
Vegan Chocolate Walnut Banana Bread
4 ripe bananas, divided
3/4 cup gluten-free flour blend (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
1/3 cup + 1 Tbs gluten-free quick cooking oats
1/3 cups + 1 Tbs almond flour
2/3 cup chopped walnuts, plus more to top
1/3 cup unsweetened cacao baking chips (see notes below)
1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 flax eggs (2 Tbs ground flaxseed + 6 Tbs water)
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp sea salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Make your flax eggs by whisking together ground flaxseed and water, then placing aside to let “gel”.
- In a larger mixing bowl, mash 3 out of the 4 bananas with a fork or potato masher. Then add in the almond milk and apple cider vinegar. Whisk everything together and let sit.
- In a separate mixing bowl, add in all dry ingredients (with the exception of walnuts and chocolate chips) and mix together.
- Add flax eggs to bowl of mashed bananas and almond milk and stir together, slowly adding in the bowl of dry ingredients. Next add in walnuts and chocolate chips.
- Line a loaf pan with parchment paper and pour in the batter evenly. Slice the remaining banana in half (from top to bottom) and lightly press into top of bread (see photo). Then add an optional sprinkle of oats and more chopped walnuts!
- Place pan in the oven uncovered for 45-50 minutes and check with a toothpick (it shouldn’t come out completely clean, but not super wet either). Chances are it will still have to cook for another 10 minutes or so, but if the top is getting brown you can cover with foil.
- Remove from oven and let cool completely before slicing into. Store leftovers tightly wrapped at room temperature for approximately 4 days, or longer if stored in the fridge.
- I used these unsweetened cacao baking chips to keep the recipe free of added sugars, but you could use any kind of non-dairy chips (cacao or carob based) you’d like or just omit them completely.
- This recipe is considered neutropenic, however, I would recommend storing in the fridge rather than at room temperature if you are currently following this type of diet. Also, always consult with your doctor if there is an ingredient listed that you were advised to stay away from.
- I would highly recommend this bread just as it is or toasted with some nut butter and a sprinkle of cinnamon + hemp seeds!
I hope you all give it a try and enjoy! Make sure to tag @NutritiousyNatalie if you do so I can see your yummy creations!