Sometimes there really is nothing else to do with squishy bananas than to make a delicious sweet bread. I was debating whether to do a raw dessert but a few pokes told me what lay beneath the skin was well beyond that. Plus, it’s April soon, meaning we’re edging closer to winter. The leaves are falling and crunching underfoot, the doors have to be closed earlier in the day, and I’ve brought out my big, white and puffy gown from seclusion. All in all, banana bread weather. I decided that this would go perfectly with the decadent and delicious cauliflower soup I made yesterday, and it also gives Man-thing something to swoon about during tea-time.
Ingredients (10 slices – approx 100kcal per slice)
- 2 medium/large ripe bananas, mashed well
- 1/3 cup mashed & steamed pumpkin
- 1 cup grated carrot (you can either go chunky or not)
- 2 TBSP agave syrup
- 1/8 cup unrefined sugar (OR 1/4 – 1/2 cup dates, soaked and mashed)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp caramel flavour extract (optional)
- 1/3 cup non-dairy milk
- 2 cups ground oat flour (choose gluten-free)
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- pinch salt
- cinnamon & ginger spices, splashed liberally
- Preheat to 180C and spray a loaf pan.
- Combine dry ingredients in one large bowl.
- In another bowl, mix together your wet ingredients, well with a fork.
- Pour the wet into dry and mix well but not excessively.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes, or longer if you like a less squishy inside. Cover the top with foil once it’s browned but not yet as well baked as you’d like.
- Let the loaf cool once removed from oven, turning it oven in the pan after 10 minutes so that the underside can also breathe.
- Slice into 10 bits (or more if you have a steadier hand).
- I like to keep mine in the fridge for a chilled taste but you can also freeze the loaf for another day!
Lovely, rich, moist and tasty! The oat flour gives it body, and the pumpkin and carrot ensures one gets a little boast of veggies, just for extra cheer 😉
So, what to put on the bread, you ask? Well, I love hummus, stew, grilled eggplant slices, and all other manner of delicious things, but I was recently reminded of this vegan, no-nut “cheddar cheese” from the Bunny Kitchen, and heck yes! 😀 Man-thing is extremely impressed with it as well – it’s kind of cheddar-y, but not exactly. Either way, delicious! I had some on wheat rice crackers yesterday with avo and some chili jam and it was *awesome*. Melted atop this banana bread with some chili jam? Utter bliss, and not a cow or nut in sight! As much as I love nut cheeses they are very dense and high-cal, which has its place but not for an every-day longing for a bit of cheese. This cheese really hits the spot and I can tell it would work like a dream on some pita pizzas, which is my plan for later this week. I used two mini loaf pans to set my cheese in, and froze the one for another day.
I know there are some who scoff and ask what a vegan would want with cheese, because doesn’t that defeat the whole purpose? I briefly touched on this yesterday, but sometimes it’s a question of “recreating” certain meals, combinations and memories. Cheese sandwiches are a large part of why I became obese, but they also shaped a part of my brain that associates them with comfort, contentment and appreciation for the basics. The reason I’m so excited about vegan cheese is because I can appreciate every bite – one slice of banana bread with some slivers of cheese is more than enough to sate my longing, whereas half a loaf of fluffy white bread and a block of dairy cheese would have made a light snack, back in the day. My toaster never stayed cold for long! Rediscovering or re-visiting former pitfalls with a new approach to health is always a challenge, but one can quickly realize that it doesn’t have to be the trigger for binging or any such thing, but rather something to be savoured and enjoyed for its own sake, and in moderate portions!
How AWESOME is that?? CHEESE! 😀 😀 Yes, I really did just spam you with four different angles of the same thing, because I am THAT excited! This pulls down the pants of any previous cheese attempts I’ve made and spanks them to oblivion. Because I’ve ignored recipes that include cheese for so long, I’m actually stumped as to how to use this recipe other than on banana bread, to be honest. Any ideas?