Fluffy, tender, lightly sweetened banana bread studded with blueberries. Made healthier with whole grains and oil-free, but still addictingly delicious.
Banana bread is hands-down my favorite breakfast treat. I love any type of sweet bread, but banana bread in particular just screams “breakfast“ at me. I think my banana bread obsession started in elementary school, with my friend’s mom who baked a lot of (really good) banana bread that my family and I would just gobble up. I don’t think my mom baked banana bread that often, so really my only banana bread reference was the one my friend always gave me. But it was good. In middle school I started trying to eat “healthier” and attempted to make my own banana bread following various “healthy” (a.k.a. fat-free, sugar-free, stevia-sweetened, etc.) recipes I found online. Needless to say, they tasted like cardboard (maybe even worse) and it took me years to finally develop a recipe that was tasty, still healthy (but doesn’t taste fat-free-sugar-free-healthy), vegan, fluffy (I’ve had entirely too many dense breads), and satisfied my craving for banana bread. But rejoice! The day has finally come.
This banana bread is fluffy with a nice bite to it, completely oil-free, low in added sugars, and made with 100% whole grains!
So what’s in it? Actually very basic ingredients you probably already have in your pantry! (At least if you’ve done some vegan baking in your life.) (Please don’t be intimidated by the long list.)
- bananas – make sure they’re ripe and spotty; the riper they are, the softer they are (easier to mash), and the sweeter they are
- sugar – I opt for coconut sugar for taste and lower GI, but white sugar will work as well if you’re not a fan of coconut sugar
- almond butter – other nut/seed butters work as well, but may slightly affect flavor
- applesauce – this helps binds the ingredients (as egg would in a traditional recipe) and also adds a touch more sweetness and moisture
- whole wheat pastry flour – if you can’t find pastry flour, you can try subbing with whole wheat flour but the result may be more dense
- baking powder
- baking soda
- apple cider vinegar: or sub with white vinegar or lemon juice
- soy milk – sub with other plant-based milk if you don’t have soy, but I personally love soy milk because it’s creamy, high in protein, and low in carbohydrates/sugar
- almond extract – this gives a wonderful nutty flavor and aroma, but vanilla can be substituted if necessary
- cinnamon / nutmeg
Tips & Tricks to Making Perfect Vegan Banana Bread
Baking is definitely a science and (despite my food/nutrition science background) I’ve had my fair share of failed experiments. But the good news is that banana bread is actually pretty easy to make (with a good recipe)! Just a few tips to keep in mind:
- Use ripe, spotty, even brown bananas. The riper they are, the sweeter they are, and therefore the more delicious and banana-y your bread will be!
- To develop a more banana flavor, mash the bananas and let them sit for a couple hours before making the loaf.
- If your bananas are still completely yellow (not green), but you are absolutely craving banana bread, you can quickly ripen them by either baking in a 300°F oven until the peels are shiny and black, or pop them in the microwave for 30 second intervals until soft (they will turn brown/black as they sit after taking them out of the microwave).
- Do not over-mix the batter! Over-mixing will develop more gluten than you want, resulting in a dense, rubbery loaf. You really want to mix just until all ingredients are incorporated and the batter is just moistened. Tempting as it may be to keep stirring, stop!
Check out these other sweet breakfast options!
- chocolate chip banana muffins
- Japanese Melon Bread (メロンパン)
- coffee cake
- chocolate marble bread
- oatmeal cookie granola
If you do try out this recipe, don’t forget to share, tag me in your photos on instagram @ellielikes.cooking, and/or leave a comment down below and let me know how you liked it! I love seeing all of your tasty recreations 🙂 Happy baking!
Blueberry Banana Bread (Vegan, Oil-Free)
- 3 bananas mashed (about 1 1/3 cup)
- ¼ cup sugar*
- ⅓ cup almond butter
- ½ cup applesauce
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 3 tbsp soy milk
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 1 ⅔ cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ⅛ tsp salt
- dash of cinnamon & nutmeg
- ¾ cup blueberries
- 1 tbsp whole wheat pastry flour
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a loaf pan or line with parchment paper and set aside.
- For a fuller banana flavor, mash bananas and let them sit out a couple hours before baking.
- In a large bowl, mix together bananas, sugar, and almond butter. Add applesauce, vinegar, soy milk, and almond extract and mix.
- Add remaining ingredients, except blueberries & 1 tbsp flour, to a separate bowl and mix until well incorporated.
- Coat blueberries with remaining 1 tbsp of flour.
- Add dry ingredients to wet and mix until just combined and moistened. Gently stir in blueberries. Do not overmix.
- Pour batter into loaf pan and bake for 1 hour if using a 9" pan, or 80-90 minutes for an 8" pan. Bread is done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (or very few crumbs; the batter should not still be wet). Let the bread cool completely before cutting.
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