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Oil-Free Vegan Banana Bread

Posted Oct 12 2011 7:36pm
The past couple of months my family has been hoovering banana bread.  I started tweaking my original recipe of  Maple Banana Bread from TEV .  Not that it needed much tweaking, it's pretty great as is.  But, I wanted to test subbing out the kamut flour and also omitting the oil.

My vegan recipes began largely from a low-fat approach.  Those of you that own my books know that I wrote my first book, The Everyday Vegan , after my father-in-law had a heart attack.  He lay in the hospital shocked and frightened.  I remember my mother-in-law looking at me in the waiting room, crying, saying "we are going to start eating vegetarian".  You see, when they talked to the cardiologist about treatments and recovery, they wanted real change for this condition, rather than undergo a medical procedure and then go back to living the same way only to have another heart attack several years later (as often happens).  His cardiologist was a vegetarian, and recommended he follow Dr. Dean Ornish's program for reversing heart disease .

My husband's parents changed their diet overnight, throwing out the meat and dairy and eggs, and switching to a low-fat vegan diet.  (And, there were no vegan meats or subs, just non-dairy milks and the basics like tofu; they ate a whole-foods plant-based diet from the start).  They also began exercising, slowly at first, and then more heartily (so to speak!) once they regained strength and vitality.  The transition wasn't easy for them, but I remember them asking me how to cook, what to eat, what to do?!  That was when I began putting all my scraps of recipes together into a proper manuscript and took on more testing and recipe creations - and that became my first book, The Everyday Vegan.

In TEV, my focus was to give healthy "everyday" recipes that everyday kind of folks (like my in-laws) could make.  Most (not all, but most) of the recipes I designed low-fat, and they all include nutritional analysis.  So, even the baked goods are primarily low-fat, with things like "Apple Cherry Crisp", "Banana Ice Cream", "Apple Swirl Loaf", " As-You-Like Muffins " (recipe link), and... Maple Banana Bread.

I've heard from some of you that follow a no-oil/low-oil vegan diet - one gal in particular that is needing a Banana Bread recipe - as in yesterday.  So, I'm posting it today.   Now, you see in the photos I've added chocolate chips (which aren't low-fat).  The chips are optional (not in my house, but optional)! ;)  But, the chocolate chips are a bit of a memory for me.

I used to babysit for my eldest sister, Debbie.  We have 6 girls in our family, all "D's".  Some early mornings when I'd babysit, there was homemade chocolate chip banana bread on her counter.  I believe she used mini-chips (which I can't get my hands on right now in vegan form).  Anyhow, I remember thinking that combination was the best. thing. ever.  Now, our kids eat this banana bread and I'm the best. mom. ever.  Until they have to clean up.
Enough said, here is my slightly revised Maple Banana Bread.  It is moist and sweet and delicious, sweetened only with the bananas and maple syrup, and as mentioned, no oil added.  Chocolate chips mood optional!
Maple Banana Bread
1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour (or a generous cup of spelt flour, about 1 cup + 2-3 tbsp)3/4 cup oat flour2 tsp baking powder1/2 tsp baking soda1/2 tsp cinnamon1/2 tsp freshly ground nutmeg1/4 tsp sea salt1 cup pureed overripe banana (puree bananas in deep cup with an immersion blender, or in a blender.  Puree first, then measure!)1/2 cup pure maple syrup1/2 cup plain unsweetened non-dairy milk (I like almond milk, but you can use soy or other)1 tsp pure vanilla extracthandful of non-dairy chocolate chips (optional - kind of) Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, combine mashed banana, maple syrup, soy milk, vanilla, and oil. Add wet mixture to dry (and chocolate chips, if using), and stir through until just well combined (don't overmix). Wipe a loaf pan lightly with oil.  Pour batter into pan and bake for 43-48 minutes, until golden and a toothpick or skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.  Let cool completely before slicing.  
Recipe copyright Dreena Burton.
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