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May 22, 2023

Plant-Based Oatmeal Banana Bread (No Oil)

by Anne Paddock

Everyone makes banana bread (what else would we do with those aging brownish bananas in the fruit basket?) but the typical recipe calls for some combination of white flour, refined sugar, butter (margarine, or oil) and eggs. The challenge is to make a banana bread that is moist and delicious without those ingredients, and it’s not easy.

Eight years ago I posted a recipe for whole grain banana bread made with whole grain flours and maple syrup but it still contained oil (albeit only 3 tablespoons).  So, of course, I kept thinking about how to make a great tasting banana bread without oil.  After many attempts, I came up with a recipe that checked off all the boxes:  the bread rises high but is moist, each slice tastes delicious, and this traditional favorite is actually nutritious.  Plant-Based Oatmeal Banana Bread is slightly sweet and full of banana flavor and scrumptious.

Plant-Based Banana Bread, Oil Free

  • 2 cups oat flour
  • 1/2 cup whole grain spelt flour (or whole wheat pastry flour)
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons flaxseed meal
  • 1/2 cup of unsweetened non-dairy milk (I use Milkadamia)
  • 4 very ripe medium-sized bananas
  • 1/3 cup Grade B maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1  teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 12-15 walnut halves, kept whole or chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of organic sugar and a pinch of cinnamon (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare three mini non-stick loaf pans (5.5 x 3 x 2.25).

In a small bowl, whisk the non-dairy milk, vinegar, and flaxseed meal for about 30 seconds. Set aside.

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 mash using a mix master on low-medium speed,.  Add the applesauce, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and blend well.  Add the non-dairy/flaxseed/vinegar mixture to the banana mixture and mix.

Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just blended (dough will be thick) and no flour is visible.  Don’t over mix.

Pour the batter into the mini loaf pans and smooth the top with a spoon so that the loaf top is level. Place 4 walnut halves across the center of the loaf longways or sprinkle chopped walnuts over the top.

Blend the teaspoon of sugar and dash of cinnamon and sprinkle the sugar mixture on the tops of the mini loaves.

Bake the banana bread for 25 minutes 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.

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