Gooey, rich vegan almond butter banana bread! Healthy, naturally sweetened and gluten free.
With a blog named beaming BANANA, I always hold my banana bread recipes just a little closer to my heart than the rest. I love how warm and comforting it is, not to mention the versatility! It’s good in the morning, for a pick me up snack during the day, or for dessert.
Or all of the above.
When you combine banana bread with almond butter, it’s like my two favorite food worlds colliding. Like the most beautiful food baby ever to exist! If you didn’t know already, I have a ridiculous obsession with almond butter. It’s a bit out of control, but I just can’t get over it, and I don’t want to.
Ya know how people play the whole, “if it was your last meal on earth, what would you pick” game? Well, mine would without a doubt be a big slab of banana bread, smothered with almond butter, dunked in chocolate for good measure. Oh and a big sweet potato on the side.
But, I digress. The point is, I LOVE almond butter. Forever and always. When paired with the sweet bananas in this bread, it is absolute perfection!
This vegan almond butter banana bread unfortunately was not one of my lucky “it came out perfect on the first try!” recipes. Oh yes, I have baking fails, on the regular. And my husband could definitely tell you how many times I’ve cursed/cried/pouted over of a good old failed recipe. Except he wouldn’t tell you that because he’s seriously the sweetest.
But anyways, I spent a lot of time both baking and deciding how I wanted this recipe to come together, and it was all so worth it when this beautiful loaf emerged from my oven. Also, it only took me 2 tries, which isn’t so bad.
Vegan banana almond butter banana bread trial #1: an atrocity. An embarrassment. You may think I’m being dramatic, and that’s probably true. But I’ll leave it at these few notes: I wasn’t in my kitchen (there’s just something so different about being away from where you normally bake, regardless of ingredients!), and it got baked in a silicone loaf pan inside a metal pan to avoid spillage (again, wasn’t familiar with the oven). The pan thing was my husband’s idea, and I said as it went in, “it’s going to bake weird because of the pans…”
It came out literally like a freaking cylinder of brown goo. SO gross. Super moist, rich, and banana-y? For sure. But SO not up to my aesthetic standards. I did set myself up for that failure though, so I couldn’t be too mad. Plus, we were with other people so I couldn’t be too noticeably pouty.
But honestly, it was awful!! Like, “Oh yes I have a vegan dessert blog, try this banana bread I made, don’t mind that it looks like a strangely unidentifiable brown log that rolled up out of the garbage.”
Trial number 2: started by ruminating over where I went wrong with the first try on our 2 hour car ride back to our apartment after visiting family for Christmas.
The end result? Banana bread bliss.
On my first try at this vegan almond butter banana bread, I used banana flour. I LOVE everything about banana flour, but I think it contributed to the undesirable brown color of the first loaf. I decided to go with one of my other favorites – oat flour! It gives a slightly nutty flavor, great texture, and the perfect structure to the banana bread.
I thought back to my other banana breads that I had based that first loaf on, and figured that since this was a version focused on almond butter (my literal obsession), I’d leave out the dates. Both almond butter and date paste add so much moisture to the batter, so I decided to see if it would be sweet enough with just really ripe bananas, no dates. Success! The banana flavor comes through perfectly – just make sure they’re ripe and ultra sweet.
Plus, no whipping out the mixer to make date paste! Some days we all feel a little lazy and I think that’s okay. Plus, fewer dishes is always the way to go.
This recipe also calls for a little bit more almond milk than my past banana breads, to bring the batter together since it lost some moisture without date paste. That’s literally it! Oat flour, some flax eggs for binding, ripe mashed bananas, almond butter, and almond milk.
Bake time for me was about 40 minutes, but ovens may vary! Just watch it closely after 30 minutes. The edges will get slightly browned, and when you touch the very center it shouldn’t feel gooey, but will give to your touch just slightly.
I made that sound as weird and complicated as possible. Basically there’s nothing wrong with under-baking this vegan almond butter banana bread (I looove the soft and gooey center!), but if you like it more done, lean more towards 40+ minutes. You can’t mess it up!
Another thing, how awesome is it that banana bread can be healthified?! Totally plant-based, vegan, made with minimal ingredients, but still so comforting, soul-warming, and insanely delicious.
This vegan almond butter banana bread is such a wonderful combination of my favorite flavors – I hope you love it, too! Each piece is soft, super moist from the almond butter and bananas, and the flavor is out of control. Almond butter and the sweet bananas both come through perfectly – and if you thought banana and peanut butter was a match made in heaven, wait until you try almond butter.
Have a sweet week, friends!
If you try this recipe, let me know how it goes/what you think! Take a picture and tag me @beamingbanana on Instagram. Happy baking!