The Best Healthy Vegan Banana Bread

November 2015 | by Jenn David Connolly

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Banana bread has always been one of my favorite things to bake, and is a great use of overripe bananas. It smells so good baking in the oven, and is so delicious to eat. What a wonderful way to start the day!

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve made banana bread in an effort to perfect this recipe. I’ve been experimenting with it for years. My recipe notebook has countless different versions of banana bread as a gradually tweaked it each time I made it.

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My ultimate goal, which I’ve finally achieved, is for this healthy version to taste just like or even better than traditional banana bread which is loaded with sugar. This bread rises to a perfect loaf shape and is:

  • Sweetened almost entirely with just bananas
  • Free of refined sugars
  • Low glycemic
  • Vegan
  • Made with spelt flours
  • Absolutely delicious!

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I’ve been experimenting more with incorporating white spelt flour, which I picked up in a pinch when my local natural foods store was out of whole spelt flour. White spelt is a great replacement in most recipes for all-purpose flour, and is much more wholesome. I like doing a mix of white and whole spelt flours for even more wholesomeness while having a light consistency you would expect from conventional recipes made with all-purpose flour.

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This recipe is so delicious. Be sure to use bananas that are spotty but not overly brown. They should mash up easily.

Ingredients:

2T golden flax seed meal (or regular if you can’t find golden) + 5T water, mix and let sit 5 mins
4 medium mashed ripe bananas (about 1 1/3 C)
3/16 C oil (I use La Tourangelle Roasted Walnut Oil—our client’s product which we designed!—but any oil of your choice will do)
1 C white spelt flour
3/4 C whole spelt flour
2 1/2 T coconut sugar
1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vital wheat gluten*
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp. pink himalayan salt (or regular salt)
2 pinches (about a scant 1/16 tsp.) pure stevia extract powder (or 2T more coconut sugar)
Optional: top with chopped walnuts to taste

*You can omit this but it helps add structure to hold the risen bread shape, since the spelt doesn’t have much gluten. If you omit it, replace with 1 more tsp. of flour and know that it may just fall a little flatter when it cools. I have not tried it without.

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350º and prepare your bread loaf pan (oiling the corners and lining with 2 strips of parchment paper in a t-shape to cover most of the pan makes it easy to remove when done).

Mix all the dry ingredients well in a medium bowl. Mix the wet in a large bowl. Add dry to wet and mix till just combined. Put in prepared loaf pan, sprinkle with the walnuts if using. and bake at 350º for 50 mins or till a knife inserted comes out clean.

Let cool 5 minutes, remove from pan and let cool another 5-10 minutes, then slice and serve.

Enjoy! Let me know how you like this in the comments below!


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