Who doesn’t love a nice and moist (vegan) banana bread? I swear, I could eat a slice (or many!) for breakfast, lunch and dinner – and as snack throughout the day 🙂 I like it best when the banana bread is still a little warm with a tiny bit of margarine… pure deliciousness!
There’s a ton of vegan banana bread recipes out there, which are all very similar tbh; so I decided to spice things up a bit (not literally lol) and add a whole load of yummy seeds and nuts as add-ins to my recipe. The best thing for sure is the crunchy walnuts topping (also I love baked walnuts much more than when they’re fresh)!
If you’re a fan of some crunch and surprise ingredients, then this is the right vegan banana bread recipe for you. And on top of it, it’s not just super moist and plant-based, it’s also gluten-free and free of refined sugar.
I don’t suffer from celiac disease. However, I found that I tolerate gluten-free flour options much better than any white flour dough. Here’s the thing: I love white bread and pizza. But shortly after indulging in a savory (often vegan) pizza, I get bloated and sometimes stomach cramps chime in as well.
These symptoms vary greatly in intensity depending on the kind of food I had, but whenever I choose gluten-free options, I’m completely fine. There are studies that blame the rise of gluten levels through the cultivation of more “sophisticated” crops and the mass-production processes behind bread etc., and I guess that’s why more people than ever are more sensitive towards gluten.
So why no organic whole-wheat flour, Nina? I like whole-wheat (definitely less bloating here) and other grains for all kinds of savory breads, but don’t like the texture and taste of it in pizza dough let alone in banana bread. It’s too hearty and tends to crumble. Yep, I have yet to taste a great whole-wheat pizza 😀
To make the vegan banana bread gluten-free, I use white rice flour and nothing else. There’s a whole science behind mixing gluten-free flour options which I refuse to do. By adding the chia seeds (not ground) as an additional possible binding agent (I’m clearly not a pro haha), it turns out amazing and tasty nonetheless, so I’m happy 🙂 and I hope you’ll be as well!
At some point, I will also try this recipe with some organic gluten-free flour (if I find a decent priced option that is) and see how it turns out. Will definitely update the recipe if it’s also a good option. The most important thing for me is that the banana bread remains moist. I’m not a fan of crumbly or (even worse) stone hard loafs.
This banana bread version doesn’t rise as much as traditional cakes and breads yet still has a nice height which turn into easy to eat slices.
What baking does for me
I like baking because I like creating things with my hands and find it fascinating how you transform a bunch of loose ingredients to something edible and hopefully tasty.
It allows me to take my mind off things, it’s somehow a creative process, and I often find my inner child while baking. Maybe because I often try new stuff and mix up recipes until I fall in love with the outcome just as I did with my mum when I was a kid 🙂
I know that baking is much more like a science but here’s what I’d like to share: If you don’t like a particular ingredient or don’t have it at home at the moment, switch it with something else or leave it out completely (as long as it’s not the bananas or other essential ingredients like coconut oil lol). For example, use different nuts or seeds if you like to, feel free to be creative 🙂
Easy Vegan Banana Bread [Gluten-free, Sugar-free, 1-Bowl]
- 1 large bowl
- 1 hand blender or food processor (for the date paste)
- 1 hand mixer
- 1 rectangular loaf pan (23 x 13 x 6cm – I'd say this is the "standard" size)
- 330 g mashed very ripe banana (about 4 medium or 3 large)
- 15 g ground flaxseed
- 80 ml plant-based milk (I used the Alpro coconut milk)
- 90 ml coconut oil soft or melted
- 30 ml maple syrup (or agave but I recommend maple syrup since it seems to be the healthier option in terms of syrups)
- 4 pitted dates (to be used as date paste)
- 50 g rolled oats
- 30 g steel cut oats
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt flakes (or normal fine salt)
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 150 g rice flour
- 25 g pumpkin seeds
- 30 g cashew nuts
- 30 g raisins
- 40 g dark chocolate drops
- 35 g chia seeds
- 1 handful of crushed walnuts
- Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.
- Have a large bowl ready, we’re going to add the wet ingredients first:
- Mash the very ripe bananas (you can see, mine were almost black outside, inside were the sweetest and softest bananas ever!) inside the bowl, add the ground flax seed, the coconut oil, the syrup and the coconut milk.
- Blend the dates with the hand blender or food processor (whatever you have) until a thick paste forms and add that as well.
- Stir with the hand mixer until everything is combined and smooth. This might take a little because the date paste tends to ball up at first. Make sure that it spreads evenly.
- Now, we’re going to add the dry ingredients and stir them with the hand mixer – one by one – until we have a nice and moist dough without any dry ingredients sticking to the bowl.
- After that, it’s time for the add-ins: Distribute these evenly throughout the dough using the hand mixer (feel free to switch nuts and seeds if you prefer other combinations).
- Either spray the pan or use a tiny bit of coconut and spread it evenly across the pan (I do that by using a fresh paper towel).
- Fill the dough into the pan, it should fill it up almost entirely.
- Crush a good handful of walnuts and put them on top of the dough. Gently press them into the dough so they won’t fall out once baked.
- Put the pan inside the oven for about 45 – 50 minutes and enjoy how your kitchen is starting to smell like banana bread. I have a slightly unpredictable gas oven to deal with at the moment, but my perfect baking time is 47-48 minutes. Please don’t ask me why it’s that specific, I have no clue 😀
- Once baking is done, let the banana bread cool in the pan. When the pan is not too hot to touch anymore, carefully use a blunt knife (anything that won’t destroy your pan!) to loosen the banana bread and get it out of the pan. Let it cool down a bit more on a baking sheet.
- Enjoy it slightly warm with a piece of margarine or butter (depending on your diet) or completely by itself!
- If you (and your family, friends or roommates) don’t eat it within a day, wrap it in aluminium foil or put it into a food container. Don’t store it in the fridge but on the counter. Otherwise the banana bread will loose its moist much quicker.
- It’s good too eat up to 4 days – and honestly I don’t believe it’ll survive much longer anyway 🙂