Your favorite childhood flavor combination transformed into sweet, gooey, gluten free and naturally sweetened vegan peanut butter and jelly banana bread.
So you guys know I love banana bread, of any variety really. Chocolate, classic, or this peanut butter and jelly twist, all are absolutely delicious and so easy to make. Put the fact that they’re healthy and vegan on top of the amazing flavor, and I’m sold every time.
I love baking banana bread to share with others, as it’s easy to transport and made in a simple loaf pan. Trust, the flavor variations for this favorite dessert of mine will keep coming! But for today, we’re talking peanut butter and jelly. A peanut butter and jelly themed week, if you will, here on beaming banana! Did you catch the nice cream?? That recipe is a gem for sure, perfect for hot summer days. But if you’re feeling more cozy, hang in on a rainy day, or watch the sunrise in the crisp morning air with a cup of coffee, THIS pb&j recipe fits the bill. Or if you just want banana bread that tastes absolutely insane and takes less than an hour to make, it’s also perfect.
This vegan peanut butter and jelly banana bread is super easy to make, but unfortunately when testing the recipe, I made it about as difficult on myself as possible.
This vegan peanut butter and jelly banana bread was my first bonafide recipe disaster. I started by setting myself up for failure and not allowing enough time to bake, cool, and take pictures. I made this a couple weeks back when we were headed back to Columbus for Mother’s Day, and was running behind on time when I got it into the oven. I really should’ve just waited until the next day to begin with, but I figured I’d give it a shot. In addition to being short on time, the banana bread was pretty hopeless before it even made a trip into the oven.
My original plan was to do my plain banana bread and to put a layer of peanut butter, then a layer of strawberry jam, then more banana bread on top. “To like, make it even more reminiscent of the childhood sandwich!” I said. Wrong. The peanut butter layer set into a strangely hard texture, and the jelly was so liquid-y (didn’t let it cool, see previous mention of not enough time) that when I put the remaining banana bread batter on top, the jam oozed out all around the sides/top. Long story short, it was an absolute hot mess.
Since I didn’t have time to take pictures I figured I’d take the whole baked bread home and if it turned out well, I could just take pictures at my parents. As my trusted recipe testers reflected, the bread still tasted awesome but the layers were just weird. My mom literally said it looked like pate (google it), and I died laughing cause she was totally right. At that point, I knew it was back to the drawing board for this bread. Baking is a learning process, right!?
To redeem the banana bread, I stuck with my classic banana bread recipe, with the small change of adding a generous half cup of peanut butter and mixing it completely into the batter. Because of the addition of the nut butter I added a little more almond milk to keep the batter from being too thick.
This makes the most ooey, gooey, delicious smelling peanut butter banana bread ever. It’s perfect by itself! But the addition of the strawberry chia seed jam is perfection. A perfect balance to the thick, rich peanut butter banana bread, and the all important J component of PB&J!
We’re using the same strawberry chia seed jam that I showed in the peanut butter and jelly nice cream I posted a few days ago. It’s really easy to make – just blend some fresh strawberries and water, add chia seeds, heat up for a few minutes, then chill until it thickens up like jam. So pretty and pink! Pretty is important for food, and pink is always a plus.
This time around instead of doing a layer and baking the jam, I found it was much more appetizing looking when drizzled on top of the whole loaf or an individual slice, and Joe said the flavor was much fresher/sweeter too. Redemption – check.
The flavors of PB&J on top of the already amazing banana bread is seriously to die for. Who doesn’t love the combination of peanut butter and bananas, and when you swirl in that sweet, slightly tart strawberry jam it’s seriously the perfect bite. The chia seeds add the tiniest element of perfect texture, and the strawberry jam is the perfect fresh, sweet complement to the thick, gooey and rich peanut butter banana bread.
How is it possible this vegan peanut butter and jelly banana bread is healthy?! I’m not going to question it, and neither should you – just go make it!!
Trust me friends, you have to try this fun, childlike twist on classic banana bread. Then drown it in more peanut butter because, peanut butter. Plus, there’s no way you’ll mess it up since I already did in such epic fashion, I made sure the new recipe is EASY in addition to being healthy and ridiculously delicious.
Now go make peanut butter and jelly banana bread and enjoy your weekend 🙂 I’m off to the zoo with my kindergarteners tomorrow – wish I had a fat slice of this bread to pack in my lunch box!
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!