Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Vegan sugar-free banana and pecan bread

Breakfast: Vegan sugar-free banana and pecan bread with yogurt

Lunch: Orzo salad and pumpkin-cranberry salad with a massive avocado

Dinner: Leftover pumpkin and feta tart - even better the day after!

I don't think I'd ever had banana bread before I moved to Australia, but that first slice of Sydney banana bread accompanied by a killer flat white changed my taste buds' opinion of all baked goods forever more. I had naively believed it to be somewhat good for you, so when I discovered that it was in fact banana cake cynically dressed up to appear healthier than it is, I was somewhat dismayed...but I still ate it.

I've been trying to formulate a healthier option that tasted just as hearty, and this recipe is actually good for you! With no sugar, no dairy, no honey and no eggs, the only thing remotely bad for you is the macadamia oil...and that's not really that bad for you either, compared to the lashing of butter you normally get. I also added some pecans, for protein and omega-6 content, plus that lovely crunch they give every bite. Walnuts work well too!

You'll need:
(Makes 1 loaf)
2 large over ripe bananas
2 cups wholewheat flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
1/4 cup macadamia oil (or oil of your choice)
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1/2 cup almond milk
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celcius and lightly oil your loaf tin
Put the vinegar and the almond milk in a bowl, stir once and set aside
Sift together the flour, soda and spices
After 5 minutes, mash the bananas and add them to the milk mix
Add the apple sauce and oil into the milk mix
Lightly fold the wet ingredients into the dry until only just combined
Stir in the pecans gently
Pour the mix into the loaf pan, even out and cook for 1 hour

You can make your own apple sauce by just cooking 2 chopped up apples in a little water until they resemble sauce and then mushing them up. This only takes about 10 minutes.

If you find after an hour that your bread still isn't cooked through, don't worry - you might just have a little too much banana in there. Wrap some foil over the tin and leave it in the oven as long as it needs to be in there. It shouldn't burn.

This is absolutely amazing with yogurt in the mornings, and leaves you full of energy! It's also great with almond butter, or any other nut spread, but be sure to use the good versions that are 100% nuts (I love a good pun) rather than the Kraft-style crap versions filled with soy and the like.

I'll be working on a gluten-free version soon enough and now I've actually bought a loaf tin, expect me to go bread mad. Which is the best kind of mad, next to quinoa mad.

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