Zero-Waste Vegan Banana Bread | Recipes
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Winter has just arrived in Australia, and that means I’m looking for any excuse to use the oven so the residual heat warms my house up…okay, I’m also really, really keen on baked goods! This week, I’ve baked some vegan banana bread.
A little, odd fact about me is that I despise ripe bananas. To me, the perfect banana is green, just on the verge of thinking about turning yellow. If they’re of that colour, I could eat an entire bunch of them. However, right as they start to turn yellow, I won’t eat them. Before focusing on how much waste I created, I’d just chuck perfectly good bananas in the bin, which obviously is not a good choice. Since there is such a small window of time that I’ll actually eat bananas, I decided to look up recipes that would work with my banana habits.
Turns out, there are SO many recipes involving overripe bananas, and many different ways to use them. The best bet is to peel them, chop them up, and put them into a container in the freezer. This way, they can be used for smoothies, for making banana ‘nice cream’, or my favourite, making banana bread.
Unlike your typical banana bread recipe that only uses one or two bananas, this recipe uses quite a bit more, helping you to use up the extra overripe ones that are lying about, instead of them becoming food for the bin.
One of the best things about this recipe is that it is so adaptable. You can add almost any nut to it for a bit of a different flavour, you can substitute different flours to suit your dietary needs, and you can top it with anything to give it a different twist. My favourite combination is making it with chopped walnuts added in, and sprinkling a bit of nutmeg throughout. Whatever suits you can suit the recipe!
Let’s get to it!
Starting out, the oven will need to be heated to 180 celsius. You’ll need to have out one large mixing bowl, two smaller mixing bowls, a sifter, a beating whisk, a measuring scale, measuring spoons and cups, a masher, a mixing spoon, and a larger loaf pan, greased with coconut oil.
In the smaller of the two mixing bowls, sift together two cups of plain flour, one teaspoon of baking soda, and one-fourth teaspoon of salt. Stir this with a spoon so that all of the powders are mixed together.
Next, in the larger bowl, add 115 grams of your favourite vegan butter substitute and 115 grams of brown sugar. Cream them together with a beating whisk (either electrical or manual) until the mixture is nice and fluffy. Then, add in two teaspoons of vanilla extract, and add in your favourite vegan equivalent of two eggs. For the eggs, I used two tablespoons of chia seeds that were mixed with six tablespoons of water. Letting them set aside for twenty, or so minutes, allows the chia seeds to become gel-like with the water.
In the other small mixing bowl, place 500 grams of overripe bananas. Using a masher, smash the bananas until they are quite smooth.
Then, add the dry mixture of flour to the wet mixture of sugar, and stir until the batter is fully combined. After that, gently stir in your mashed banana, and add a splash of whichever dairy-free milk you like, just to add a little more moisture.
Here is where you can be creative!
You can add half a cup of any of the following: chopped walnuts, chopped pecans, slivered almonds, desiccated coconut, dark chocolate chips, chopped apples, berries, cashews, dried fruits, the possibilities are endless.
After everything is mixed together, gently pour the mixture into your greased loaf pan – about half way full. Place the pan into the oven, and let it bake for around forty-five minutes, or so. I usually prick the middle of mine with a knife to see if it’s ready or not. If the knife comes out clean, then it’s done, but if it still has batter on it, then it needs some more time.
When it’s finished, allow it to cool completely before slicing, but you can always heat slices in the oven if you prefer it to be warm. With such a versatile bread like banana, you can please every palate by adding any flavour you prefer. Plus, it’ll keep you warm on these cold, wintery days.
- 2 Cups of Plain Flour
- 1 Tsp Baking Soda
- 1/4 Tsp Salt
- 115g Vegan Butter Substitute
- 115g Brown Sugar
- 2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
- 2 Vegan Eggs
- 2 Tbsp Chia Seeds
- 6 Tbsp Water
- Allowed to gel
- 500g Overripe Bananas – Mashed
- 1 Splash of Dairy-Free Milk (I used oat milk)
- 1/2 Cup of your choice of add-in (I used chopped walnuts)
- Heat the oven to 180 celsius.
- In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
- In a larger bowl, cream the vegan butter and brown sugar together.
- Stir in the vanilla extract.
- Beat in the vegan eggs until fully combined.
- Stir the dry mixture into the wet mixture, and mix until fully combined.
- Gently stir in the bananas, a splash of dairy-free milk, and whichever add-in you desire.
- Pour the batter into a greased loaf pan.
- Let the bread bake for 45 minutes.