Banana bread. Is it breakfast or dessert?
I'd say, YES. Eat it whenever and wherever you can.
Toast it just a touch to warm it up. Or, eat it cold. Great for snacks while you're out running errands. And, perfect with a cuppa hot tea or coffee.
I'm eating a slice cold straight out of the frig as I type for... inspiration. Yeah, that's it. I need inspiration. Excuse me as I wipe the crumbs from my face.
How do you make banana bread vegan?
The main substitutions to make banana bread vegan is the butter and eggs. We have substituted the butter for applesauce and this bread rises using a combo of vegan buttermilk and baking soda. This easy vegan banana bread recipe with applesauce makes it oil-free and low fat, too.
Yes, applesauce. And, no, it doesn't taste like apples. Applesauce is a fantastic substitute for oil or butter in baked goods like quick breads, banana bread, zucchini bread, pumpkin bread, muffins or brownies. Always opt for the unsweetened, original applesauce. It's plenty sweet by itself.
While this recipe does include sugar (gasp!) I have made it often with coconut sugar instead and it works well with the substitutions, if you are trying to cut back on your refined sugar.
I've also successfully substituted up to ¼ of the flour for almond meal, although this does increase the fat content. Typically I use a white whole wheat flour to make this, but you can also use straight whole wheat flour or white wheat flour.
If you've never made vegan baked goods, be aware that they take longer to bake than their traditional counterparts. So, don't be surprised when it takes well over an hour for your bread to bake and be done in the center. This is normal.
How does it rise?
Okay, now, the cool, science-y part of this recipe that makes the bread rise happens with the combination of the plant-based milk mixed with the apple cider vinegar (kinda like homemade vegan buttermilk) plus the baking soda.
I hope you weren't wanting a scientific explanation for how it works, because I don't have that. I almost failed science in high school. But, all I can say is that it does work. And, it's cool. Even though apple cider vinegar stinks, you do not taste it at all in the bread. Don't worry. It'll be okay.
Feel free to throw in a handful of chopped walnuts or pecans to the batter, for a vegan, oil-free banana nut bread (I love both in mine!). Or, for those who don't like nuts, this bread is delicious nut-free.
My favorite, indulgent way to amp it up is to chop up a handful of dark chocolate covered walnuts and throw them in. The rich dark chocolate speckled in the bread is just scrumptious. It really does become dessert and I'm totally cool with that. Vegan banana bread with dark chocolate walnuts? A thousand times yes.
Okay, onto the recipe!
- 2 cups white whole wheat flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon allspice
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 very ripe bananas, mashed well
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup white sugar
- ½ cup apple sauce
- ¼ cup unsweetened almond milk, mixed with 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ cup chopped walnuts, pecans or dark chocolate covered walnuts (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Use a non-stick 8×4 bread pan. (I use the pampered chef stoneware bread pans and the bread always comes out glorious and does no stick. No need to grease the pan.)
- Mash the bananas with a potato masher or fork.
- Sift or whisk together flour, baking soda, salt and spices.
- In a small cup, mix together the almond milk and apple cider vinegar. Let sit for 2 minutes.
- In a separate bowl, cream together the apple sauce and sugars. Add mashed bananas, almond milk and vanilla.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry. Mix well. Add in nuts, if using.
- Pour batter into pan. Bake for an hour to an hour 10 minutes or until a butter knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
You can substitute either or both sugars for coconut sugar, for a refined sugar free version.
You can use white flour or whole wheat flour (or any combination of these flours).
You can substitute up to ½ cup of the flour for almond meal (I like the Trader Joe's brand)
Any plant based milk can be used (almond, cashew, soy)