Whole Grain Oatmeal Banana Bread
Finding healthy and delicious recipes for traditional favorites is a challenge but after I discovered Fran Costigan’s Vegan Chocolate cookbook, I realized that desserts we all grew up on – chocolate cake, brownies, and cookies – can be just as delicious without dairy, copious amounts of oil, or eggs. The trick is to search for recipes, use alternative ingredients and be fearless (you really do learn from mistakes in baking). Search, read, make, taste, adjust, and try again.
A few years ago, I consulted the Happy Herbivore cookbook and found a recipe for banana bread that I adjusted to make less sweet (click here for the recipe). Never satisfied, I consulted a cookbook called Thug Kitchen (whose motto is “Eat Like You Give A Fuck”) that has a recipe for Maple-Oat Banana Bread (page 193), which is also excellent but I still wanted a bread with something more. Making some minor changes (more cinnamon, apple cider vinegar, baking soda, and substituting whole grain spelt flour for whole wheat pastry flour), I came up with a variation that is both pleasing to look at and hard to show restraint for.
Thinking this recipe would appeal to a vegetarian or a vegan but not a mainstream eater who was used to eating a banana bread made with eggs and butter, I was a bit skeptical to share the recipe but the flavor and texture of the banana bread squelched any doubts because everyone who tastes this bread, loves it. Moist and flavorful, Whole Grain Oatmeal Banana Bread is even adored by those who don’t eat like they give a fu*#. So, give it a try.WTF
Whole Grain Oatmeal Banana Bread
- 2 cups oat flour
- 1 cup whole grain spelt flour (or whole wheat pastry flour)
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup of unsweetened almond milk
- 4 very ripe medium-sized bananas
- 1/3 cup Grade B maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive or grape seed oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon (or 3 teaspoons) organic sugar
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Spray non-stick on the interior of a non-stick standard bread pan (8.5 x 4.5 x 2.75) or three mini loaf pans (5.5 x 3 x 2.25).
Place the flours, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a medium-sized bowl and blend with a whisk.
Peel and place the 4 very ripe bananas in a separate large mixing bowl and completely mash with a mixer. Add the almond milk, maple syrup, olive oil, vanilla extract, and apple cider vinegar. Use a mixer on medium speed until completely blended (1-2 minutes).
Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just blended and no flour is visible.
Pour the batter into the standard bread pan or mini loaf pans and smooth the top with a spoon so that the loaf top is level.
Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of organic sugar on the top of the large loaf or one teaspoon on the top of each mini loaf (this is crucial as the small amount of sugar adds a slight crunchy sweetness to the bread).
Bake the banana bread (40-45 minutes for the standard bread pan or 30 minutes for the mini loaf pans) until a toothpick placed in the center of the loaf comes out clean. The bread will rise quite high. Do not over bake.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
Gently use a rounded knife in one corner to lift the bread out of the pan and allow to continue to cool.
Slice and enjoy. The bread is best if eaten within 3 days. Freeze extra loaves.