Nov 28, 2014
Nonna’s Banana Bread
Simple. Homey. Cozy. Love. That’s what a good banana bread says to me. My earliest memories of baking involve banana bread. My mom, a.k.a. Nonna, taught me how to make banana bread. It was the first thing I ever baked on my own… after school and before she came home from work. I was so proud to fill the house with that amazing aroma. Of course, her version was not vegan and had white sugar and white flour. But, hey, just a few minor adjustments and it’s still a simple endeavor with a wonderful, whole-food, plant-based result.
Anyway, I wanted to create this down-home loaf to invoke all those warm fuzzies that multi-generational, passed-down recipes do… I have lots of baked goodies on this site but so many of them involve gluten-free flours and other ingredients that may or may not be easily accessible to many. This plump, moist, perfectly-risen bread uses easy-to-find ingredients; things you probably already have in your kitchen cupboard. Well, maybe not everyone has flax meal, but it’s easy to make—just grind some flax seeds in a nut/seed grinder. So… let’s get baking!
Makes one yummy loaf. Enjoy!
Simple, breezy recipe with minimal everyday ingredients. A multi-generational family favorite!
- 2 cups + 3 TBS whole wheat, whole wheat pastry or whole spelt flour (see notes)
- ½ cup coconut sugar, or other minimally processed, granulated sweetener
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- pinch salt (optional)
- 1 cup ripe, mashed banana (about 2 large bananas)… leave it a bit chunky!
- 1 cup unsweetened plant-based milk
- 1 TBS flax meal + 3 TBS water
- ¼ cup applesauce OR ¼ cup melted vegan butter
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- Lightly grease a standard sized loaf pan.
- Combine flax meal with water and set aside.
- Mix all dry ingredients together, reserving 3 TBS of flour.
- Mix all wet ingredients together.
- Pour wet ingredients into dry and stir well to combine.
- Add the final 3 TBS flour and mix well.
- Spoon batter into loaf pan, smooth the top and bake for 45-50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
You could probably use a gluten-free flour for this, though I haven't tried it. I've also used regular old unbleached flour, though I prefer a more whole grain. Keep in mind, all flours are a little different and it's important to add those last three tablespoons at the end for a good texture. You may need to experiment a bit to find the perfect texture for you. The batter should be pretty thick but still spoonable and spreadable.