Monday, February 22, 2010

Vegan CHOCOLATE-chip Banana Bread

This is a modified version of the "How it All Vegan" recipe. I cut the sugar and the fat further, because I don't like my banana bread to make me feel queasy, and also I like it with CHOCOLATE-chips because CHOCOLATE beats dates, hands down.

CHOCOLATE-chip Banana Bread (spiced!)

2 ripe bananas, mashed

1 tbsp lemon juice

¼ cup oil

¼ cup sugar

¼ cup applesauce

1 cup flour

1/3 cup wheat germ

¼ - ½ tsp garam masala (or cinnamon, allspice, pumpkin pie spice, etc)

¼ heaping tsp salt

¼ heaping tsp baking powder

¼ heaping tsp baking soda

1/3 cup CHOCOLATE-chips

Preheat oven to 375.

  1. Mash the bananas in a bowl until desired mushiness – I like mine kinda lumpy – and then stir in lemon juice, oil, sugar and applesauce.
  2. In a separate bowl combine all dry ingredients.
  3. Add the dry mixture to the wet and mix. Stir in CHOCOLATE-chips.
  4. 'Pour' into a lightly oiled loaf pan and bake for approx. 30 - 40 min. When toothpick comes out clean, you're done! De-pan and cool on rack, ideally.

I'm really into garam masala right now, partly because I have somehow acquired a ton of it (Santa likes to get me spices for Xmas) and partly because it adds a really nice depth of flavor to sweet things. It's more complex than cinnamon, with the heat of peppercorns and cumin along with the more traditional sweet-related flavors of cardamom, cloves and anise, among others. It's often used in Indian dishes, so if you don't have it on hand and you're interested, that's the go-to cuisine for using up the rest. Also good on oatmeal in place of cinnamon.

Another thing – I cut the original recipe by a third because it calls for 3 bananas and I only had two. That's why those measurements at the end are “heaping”; they were originally ½ tsp, which doesn't get cut by a third neatly. I sort of eye-balled it. It all worked out just peachy, except that it wasn't quite enough batter for my 9 ½ X 5 in. loaf pan. So I would either double the recipe or use a smaller pan if you want a loaf that doesn't look squat.

The bread is lighter and spongier than your average non-vegan variety, but it has a really nice flavor and once it cools completely it gains a lot of integrity. It also has CHOCOLATE - the only word I think one should ever be allowed to yell via typing.

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