Picture the scene: it’s day 2 of Veganuary, obviously dairy and meat is out of the question, our food shop isn’t arriving ’til the next day, and I’m hungry. Faced with a grumbling tummy and an empty fridge, I would normally snack on cheese and crackers. Obviously this isn’t an option now. I can’t whip up a quick scrambled egg either and the grey looking tub of hummus on the top shelf isn’t appealing to me either. I scan the kitchen and my eyes fall upon a bunch of black bananas that had been left festering under a pile of newspapers. It’s approaching witching hour for the kids which means the wheels will soon start to fall off and my tummy still grumbles on. I realise that there’s only really one possibility here: some sort of banana bread. Except it has to be vegan. And Sam is kinda anti-sugar. So it has to be sugar -free. And I fancied wholemeal flour rather than the typical refined type. So basically, a really boring banana bread.
But here’s the thing – this one tastes amazing with a lovely crunchy crust, is soft on the inside with no sweet sickly taste as some normal banana bread can be. The best part? Tucking into 3 chucks (with no topping – it doesn’t need it) makes you feel zero sorts of guilty. A win all round.
So here’s how I did it (with a helping hand from Jack). Sorry that the instructions are a little vague (#hippycook) – for example when I say ‘cups’, you could measure out 120g. I hope it works out deliciously for you – I’m sure it will.
2/3 (ideally 3) bananas mashed (Jack did this part – in other words, don’t worry if they aren’t too mashed!)
2 tablespoons chia seeds
6 tablespoons water
110ml olive oil (I also tried this with vegetable oil, and it turned out more than fine)
100ml maple syrup OR 1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup white flour + 1 cup wholemeal flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp each cinnamon
OPTIONAL: vegan chocolate chips – we used these ones
Switch the oven to 180’C and line a loaf tin with greaseproof paper or rub some (vegan) butter on a muffin tin (this recipe works just as well for muffins or a cake). Beat together the oil and maple syrup. In a separate bowl, mix together the chia seeds and water and add this to the oil/maple syrup. Then add the mashed bananas. In a separate bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients then fold this into the wet mixture. Pour into your tin and sprinkle over some oats. The mixture will seem thick and stodgy, but that’s perfect! Pop in the oven for about 35 minutes (or until a knife comes out clean – you know the deal) Enjoy with a big brew, and either have it on its own (my favourite), toasted or top with peanut butter, maple syrup, banana slices, jam, nutella…..Or freeze it. But I recommend, just on its own, whilst still hot (it tastes ten times more delicious), with a big mug of tea.