How many times I’ve made this vegan banana bread I cannot tell you. How many times I’ve made this vegan banana bread specifically to put on this blog, and then didn’t, I cannot tell you either. 5? 10? It inevitably gets cut into and eaten by the resident Banana Bread Monster before I have a chance take any decent pictures. And then last time, after I had so lovingly placed the batter in the little baking pans and popped them in the oven for 5 minutes, I realized I forgot the baking soda. That was awesome. But this time, I did it! Let’s have a party.
Everyone has their own idea about what makes the perfect banana bread. Some are into chunks of banana, some like it to taste like you’re eating a stick of butter with a slight banana flavor. Some like it to include eggs and cream and gobs of sugar. And let’s not pretend all those aren’t delicious – they definitely are (well, except for those chunks of banana…). But when I want banana bread to eat for breakfast without feeling like I might die of unhealthy before lunch time, this recipe is where I go.
I’m also not going to pretend it’s really healthy, because come on… it’s banana bread. But it’s probably 90% healthier than most (haha… also, 60% of all statistics are made up). This recipe is 1/2 whole wheat flour, and I’m pretty sure I’ve made it with all whole wheat pastry flour and it turned out great. It also has just a 1/2 cup of brown sugar, and only 4 Tbsp of vegan butter. It’s definitely doable for breakfast, especially when compared to my standard of Honey Bunches of Oats or Cheerios lately. Yup, Cheerios. I’m a grown-up.
Anyhow, I started putting garam masala in my banana bread a long time ago, and I haven’t made it without since. It adds just a subtle amount of extra spiciness that is noticeable, but not in your face. I find it in the bulk area of our local Whole Foods, but I’ve seen supermarkets cary it, too. I’m not entirely sure what’s in it, but Wikipedia has an idea. I think of it mostly as cloves and pepper. Sounds weird, but totally good. If you want to get real crazy you can also add a pinch of cayenne, but just a tiny pinch! It’ll be like a tiny little party on your tastebuds.
Vegan Banana Bread
A favorite banana bread recipe spiced with cinnamon and garam masala. You’d never know it is vegan and full of healthy whole grains. Chopped walnuts give it a bit of crunch!
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 60 mins
- Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
- Yield: 1-8x4" loaf
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup white whole wheat flour
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp garam masala
- 2 Tbsp ground flax seed + 5 Tbsp water
- 3 large ripe bananas
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup vegan butter (I used Earth Balance)
- 1/4 cup applesauce
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/3-1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350F. Grease an 8×4″ pan or 2 mini loaf pans. Combine the flax seed and water in a small bowl and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine the flours, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and garam masala.
- Place the peeled bananas in a large bowl. Use the back of a fork to mash them (I’ve tried many methods and this works best for me). Add the brown sugar and use a large spoon to mix well. Slowly pour in the butter while stirring, then add the applesauce and vanilla extract.
- Dump the dry ingredients on top of the wet and use your spoon to stir them until they are almost combined. Add the walnuts and fold in until all the flour is moistened.
- Pour the batter into your baking pan(s). Cook for 55-60 minutes (8×4″ pan) or about 40 minutes for the mini pans. Remove and let cool before eating. Enjoy!