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Monday, April 30, 2012

Vegan Banana and Pumpkin Bread

Left: Vegan Chocolate Chip Banana Bread, Right: Vegan Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

Sometimes all a girl wants in life is a warm piece of bread and some tea. I have been experimenting with different kinds of baked goods, especially breads, since the holidays. I made chocolate chip pumpkin bread, mint chocolate bread and regular old chocolate. All yummy in their own way!

Recently I have been trying to perfect different vegan recipes, including chocolate chip banana bread (bananas and chocolate are the perfect combination in my opinion) and pumpkin bread. The finished product of each went through my critical taste test, and unfortunately the pumpkin one still needs some improvement. However the banana one was great! I will experiment with the pumpkin further, but this time around it came out very tough and chewy. The recipe that I used was from The Happy Herbivore Web site. I have made other great pumpkin breads in the past that included dairy, so my scientific assumption right now is that pumpkins and dairy work well together and the pumpkin is lonely without it.

For the chocolate chip banana bread I followed the About.com recipe. It is a very simple recipe and I was able to find all the organic ingredients that I needed at Trader Joe's. I also used vegan chocolate chips which were from Whole Foods. The great thing about making banana bread is that all of the bananas that I never got around to eating during the week can still be put to good use. Also, a sweet treat is waiting for me in the morning or as a desert at the end of the day. Although it does contain sugar and flour, there is a boost of potassium that makes indulging in this treat seem a little less guilt ridden.

Below is the recipe that I followed, however I replaced the walnuts with the chocolate chips because I'm a rebel. And if anyone has a vegan pumpkin bread recipe worth trying, let me know!

Makes 1 9"x5" loaf
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
Ingredients:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cups white granulated sugar (I prefer unrefined cane sugar)
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 3/4 t. baking soda
  • 3/4 t. salt
  • 3/4 t. cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup plain soy milk or almond milk
  • 1 t. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups mashed banana, from about 4 large very ripe bananas
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 T. maple syrup
  • 1 t. vanilla extract
  • Walnuts (optional)
Preparation:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Lightly oil a 9"x5" loaf pan and set aside.
2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugars, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the soy milk and cider vinegar and let stand for 2 minutes. Add the mashed banana, canola oil, maple syrup, and vanilla extract, whisking until well combined. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, mixing until just combined (do not overmix!). Fold in the walnuts if using and pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake for about 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted into the center emerges clean. Allow the bread to cool on a wire cooling rack for 20 minutes before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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