i didn’t realize how deeply i’ve been craving warmth until i made this banana bread. i found myself brightening up this winter staple with tropical, summery notes, rather than my usual autumnal spices. this winter has felt infinite, and i’m sure i’m not alone in saying that i’m ready for it to end.i know i can’t talk; i didn’t even arrive back in cold new england until early january! but that simply made the adjustment in january all the more abrupt. and while my love of cozy knit sweaters and ski weekends and holing-up-with-a-bottle-of-wine-nights subsisted me for a while, spring can come now. really.it’s trying to, i can tell. the sun’s peeping out for longer these days. and instead of simply buckets of snow, rain is beginning to get mixed in there. the tundra-like wind is starting to abate, making way for a softer breeze. and any day now, we’ll start to see the resurgence of green, and all will be right again.in the meantime though, this banana bread is the perfect transition. hearty enough for winter, but with bright tropical notes that intimate summer is just around the corner. (it’s gotta be!)i’ve made this recipe [from choosing raw’s banana, oat & chia seed muffins] several times, making minor adjustments each time. it’s a good one. it’s perhaps not the simplest banana bread i’ve made though. there’s a food processor involved, but don’t be deterred. it’s worth the effort.made with whole wheat flour, this bread is heartier, denser & more cake-like than your average banana bread. in fact, it’s almost like a fruit cake, with its speckles of dried fruit. it’s sweet, bright & citrus-y with layers of orange, pineapple, coconut, vanilla & ginger.
it’s also vegan [coconut oil replaces butter, almond milk replaces milk and flaxseed replaces egg], and high in fiber, healthy fats & protein. plus – there’s only 1/2 cup added sugar in the entire loaf (i opted to cut down on what the original recipe called for, given the addition of sweet dried fruits).
adapted from choosing raw’s banana, oat & chia seed muffins
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1.5 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp ground flaxseed
- 4 tbsp hot water
- 3 ripe bananas
- 1 1/4 cup almond milk
- 1/3 cup coconut oil
- 1/2 cup organic cane sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp orange zest
- 1/3 cup chopped dried pineapple
- 1/3 cup unsweetened dried coconut flakes
- 1/4 cup flame raisins
- 3 tsp chia seeds
- (side note: i also think dried/candied ginger would be an awesome addition here, but didn’t have any on hand myself)
- preheat oven to 350.
- in a small bowl, mix flaxseed with 4 tbsp hot water and set aside. this will become your “egg.”
- in a large bowl, combine dry ingredients.
- using a food processor, mix together the remaining wet ingredients (banana, almond milk, sugar, coconut oil, vanilla + orange).
- fold the wet mixture into the dry mixture until just combined.
- add pineapple, coconut, raisins and chia seeds.
- grease a loaf pan with coconut oil and transfer batter to the pan.
- bake for 55-60 minutes, until golden brown and firm when you press on the top.