As I strolled around my kitchen, staring at the sad image of limited items in my pantry, I wondered if I should even attempt to make banana bread. The 3 limp and dark bananas laying on my counter top had an imminent death and I wanted to make use of them because all bananas deserve to turn into something beautiful rather than end up in my backyard’s soil. I’ve successfully made healthy banana bread in the past, but I had some source of fat replacement such as Greek yogurt or applesauce. But today, I had neither. However, my food science course has taught me a lot this year, making me more knowledgeable than ever on how I can ingeniously utilize my pantry staples. And with some playing around, I somehow created my BEST ever healthy banana bread. It was so surprisingly moist and flavorful versus an expected dense and dry bread. Well, science really does wonders…
Healthy Banana Bread (Oil-Free, GF, Vegan)
yield: 1 loaf OR 3 mini loaves
- 2 c. oat flour (I made my own; instructions below)
- 3 ripe medium bananas
- 1/3 c. sweetened soymilk, unsweetened may also be used, just add more of the sugar source
- 8 dates (medjool or regular) soaked in hot water for 5 min. (use 12 dates if you used unsweetened soymilk)
- 3/4 tsp. baking powder
- 3/4 tsp. baking soda
- 2 tbsp. ACV or lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- To make oat flour (if necessary), blend 2 cups of oats in batches in a high speed blender. Blend until a fine flour is formed and sift all the flour! The sifting is necessary for the bread to be as flaky and smooth as possible. Discard any extra chunks left behind or blend until it’s able to sift through the sieve.
- In a large bowl, combine the oat flour, baking powder and soda, and salt.
- Mix the soymilk with ACV or vinegar in a small bowl. It should curdle in a minute or two.
- In a blender or food processor, blend the dates until a caramel paste is formed. You can add a tsp. of the hot water to help the mixture blend as well.
- In a medium bowl, mash the bananas and add the curdled soymilk, date paste, and vanilla extract and stir to combine.
- Pour the wet mixture into the dry mix and stir until the batter is completely homogeneous. OPTIONAL: Add in some nuts, dried fruit, or chocolate chips:)
- In a greased loaf pan or one lined with parchment paper, pour the batter in. If using a loaf pan, bake for 50 min. If using mini loaf pans, bake for 20-25 minutes.
- Remove loaves from the oven and cool on a cooling rack for a minimum of 5 minutes.
I honestly cannot contain my excitement over how scrumptious this banana bread is. If you take a moment and consider what your are eating, you’re basically eating a bowl of oatmeal in solid form! All the fiber, antioxidants, and minerals from the oat flour, potassium from bananas, and Vitamin B6 and B12 from the soymilk help to keep your body full of energy without any ounce of fat! It’s hard to believe, but this banana bread is actually gluten-free, vegan, refined sugar-free, and oil-free!! It’s a long pretentious list of “healthiness”, but why not make a delicious, moist cake-dessert healthy? It’s a win-win right here.
And thus, I sat at my table and feasted on the best-ever healthy banana bread with a cup of cold milk. As you could tell, it was a beautiful moment.