Bursting with banana flavor, rich and caramel-y sweetness from dates, and super soft and moist, this is the perfect vegan banana bread recipe! It also happens to be completely naturally sweetened, vegan, gluten free and just 7 ingredients.
Happy New Year!! So, so excited you’re here. Welcome to a blog where healthy recipes will happen all year long, not just in January 🙂 And here’s the perfect recipe to start off your healthiest, happiest year yet! How could I NOT do a banana bread as Beaming Banana’s first recipe?! Other than the fact that it’s namesake of this blog and my fave fruit, I went with vegan banana bread because it’s such a classic, comforting bread that everybody loves. Perfect on rainy day with a cup of coffee, or for a quick breakfast heated up and smothered in almond butter. Or covered in chocolate…?! I’m getting carried away here. The point is, banana bread tastes just about perfect regardless of the occasion.
Banana bread should be moist and exploding with banana flavor. I put in 3 LARGE bananas – which measures out to about a cup and a half once you’ve smashed it with a fork. Mix those bananas with some almond milk, flax eggs, and date paste. Flax eggs, for those who don’t know, replace eggs in a lot of vegan baking. It’s a simple a 1:3 ratio of flaxmeal to water, so for 2 in this recipe, I just put flaxmeal in a bowl with some water. I put that in the fridge before my run, then came back and it was nice and gelled up when I was ready to bake. Nothing crazy complicated! Flaxseeds are tiny nutritional superstars – supa high in fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, and loaded with fiber. Sounds better than a silly old egg, no?
As for date paste, dates are my FAVORITE way to sweeten baked goods. No added sugar/foreign sweeteners necessary – and dates are SO good for you! Packed with natural, easily digested sugars, fiber, and minerals like calcium, iron, and vitamins A and K, and like a thousand other good things. Tiny, healthy, delicious sugar bombs! Try one plain with a little almond/peanut butter. Can’t deal. They give our banana bread a caramel-y, sweet richness.
For the dry ingredients, I use chickpea flour. It’s simply ground up chickpeas, so you can make your own at home if you’re a champ or buy it already made, which is what I do! I’ve found it’s at some grocery stores but not others, so you may have to look around but I’ve had success finding it at Meijer. You can use all chickpea flour, but there’s also a brand that makes a mix of garbanzo/fava flour, which would work just as well. I use Bob’s Red Mill.
I LOVE using chickpea flour in baked goods for so many reasons. Chickpea flour has no gluten, a ton of fiber and more protein than white flour. It’s got lots of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and iron, which is great for plant-based eating. It’s also better for digestion than white flour! Just a heads up though – it does taste like beans when it hasn’t been cooked, so if you take a taste of that batter and are about to freak out, take a deep breath and let the oven do it’s magic! You can’t taste the flour at all once it’s baked.
Do yourself a favor and make this vegan banana bread. It’s super easy and it’ll make your house smell like banana heaven. The top and sides get a to die for browned, crisp crust and the middle is so rich and gooey. Oh and it’s SUPER GOOD FOR YOU. Which means you can def have two (or five) slices. We ate almost an entire loaf the other day after we worked out – soooo gooey.
If you try this recipe, let me know how it goes/what you think!