Vegan [ Cranberry Pecan ] Banana Bread

Banana bread has been on repeat lately, I love how versatile it can be when it comes to what you mix into it and how it can come together with minimal ingredients and falls into the realm of healthy baking. I was going to do make my classic cinnamon swirl banana bread when it suddenly occurred to me that I didn’t have a vegan banana bread up on the blog yet. Although I am not vegan ( I do keep a vegetarian diet) I find myself drawn to lots of vegan baked goods and have baked up a lot of vegan treats, I’m just not the best at keeping track of what I do in the kitchen … well until now!

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So I decided to do some experimenting and bake up a vegan banana bread and for a fun twist I wanted to add in some cranberries and pecans – perfect for the upcoming season.. F A L L – I see you around the corner. However, this can be enjoyed without the pecans/cranberries or they can be switched out for chocolate chips, walnuts, even some blueberries!

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This cup calls for two cups of flour. I made this loaf with both all purpose flour and whole wheat flour. I love the slight nuttiness that comes with using whole wheat flour however sometimes when using just whole wheat flour baked goods can come out too dense so I cut it half all purpose flour. You can also just use all purpose flour if you’d like. I haven’t tested out gluten free flours but will update this post once I have. Whichever flour you use, make sure to measure out your flour correctly, not doing so can drastically change your bread’s texture!

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How to Measure Flour

  1. Grab your measuring cup and a spoon. 
  2. Gently scoop your flour with a spoon into your measuring cup. 
  3. Once filled to the top, level off any excess flour over your flour bag with a flat edge like a knife.  
  4. Following these steps, rather than scooping the flour out of the big directly with your measuring cup will ensure you are not over-packing your flour. Over-packing it would result in much more flour than what is needed. 

Ingredients

Wet Ingredients

  • 4 medium bananas – super ripe
  • ½ cup brown sugar 
  • ¼ cup coconut oil, melted 
  • ¼ cup plus 1 tbsp almond milk 
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp ground flax/flax meal 

Dry Ingredients

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp cinnamon 
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • Pinch of salt 

Add-ins 

  • ¼ cup crushed pecans
  • ¼ cup cranberries 

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350F and line a loaf pan with parchment paper. I love using this parchment paper for all my baking, Thrive Market has a great deal on it! 
  2. In a mixing bowl, mash your bananas well. Then add in the following ingredients: brown sugar, coconut oil, almond milk, and vanilla. After all the ingredients are well incorporated, add in your flax meal and give it a good stir. 
  3. In a separate bowl combine your dry ingredients: whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Make sure you measure your flour correctly as outlined above!
  4. Add your dry ingredients to your wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Do not over mix, you just want to make sure the flour is incorporated. Your batter will likely be thicker than other banana bread batters. 
  5. Fold in your cranberries and pecans. Feel free to swap them out for other nuts of chocolate chips, but again, don’t over mix!
  6. Pour your batter into your prepared loaf pan and bake for 50 minutes. After the baking time, check the loaf with a toothpick and if it comes out clean after inserting it is all done. 
  7. Let your loaf cool for 15 minutes before slicing. Enjoy!
  8. Store in an airtight container. You can also pre-slice your loaf and freeze some slices for another time! Simply defrost and warm it up in your microwave for 30 – 60 seconds.

Lemon Blueberry Poppy Seed Bread

Looking for a spring time inspired recipe? Then this Lemon Blueberry Poppy Seed loaf is perfect for you! Loaded with fresh lemon juice, lemon zest and bursting blueberries, this is perfect for anyone looking for something bright and sweet but with a nice tart bite of lemon!

This recipe is also made gluten free by using a mix of Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Flour and almond flour. I have not tested other flours but I suspect you could use all-purpose flour as a direct substitute, however, do not sub in coconut flour. I also snuck in some chia seeds which mix perfectly with the poppy seeds while adding some extra nutrients into the mix.

If you want a lighter bread that’s less sweet, you could easily leave off the lemon glaze but in my opinion it adds the perfect amount of sweetness and ups the lemon flavor with another punch of fresh lemon juice and zest. Let me know what you think!


Recipe

Ingredients

Wet Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup Greek Yogurt
  • 1 tsp vanilla  IMG_2010 (1)
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1/2 tsp lemon extract (not lemon oil!)
  • Juice of 1 lemon (use fresh, not the bottled stuff)
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • 1/3 cup honey 
  • 1 tsp chia seeds

Dry Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp poppy seeds 
  • 1 cup gluten free flour
  • 1 cup almond flour 
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen) – dusted in cornstarch or arrowroot powder 
  • slivered almonds – optional

Glaze

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Zest of 1/2 lemon

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350F and prepare your pan. I use this pan (9” x 5”)and line it with parchment paper (love this one from Thrive Market!). Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl mix together your wet ingredients until well combined: eggs, Greek yogurt, vanilla extract, lemon extract, almond extract, lemon juice, and honey. Once everything is combined, mix in chia seeds and let sit for 2 minutes. 
  3. In a separate bowl mix together your dry ingredients: gluten free flour, almond flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and poppy seeds. 
  4. Carefully fold in your dry ingredients into your wet ingredients. You just want to mix until well combined – do not over mix!
  5. Cover your blueberries with a thin layer of cornstarch and then gently fold them into your batter. 
  6. Pour into your prepared loaf tin and bake for 35 minutes. Check the loaf with a toothpick and if it comes out clean take out to cool. If the toothpick comes out wet, bake for an additional five minutes. 
  7. While your loaf cools, prepare your glaze. Mix together your ingredients until you have a smooth glaze. If you want your glaze thinner, you can add more lemon juice or a teaspoon of water. For a thicker glaze, add less lemon juice or more powdered sugar. 
  8. Once your loaf cools, add the glaze and add optional almond slivers if you’d like.

Notes:

  1. This is also totally delicious without the glaze!
  2. If you’re adding the slivered almonds do it while the glaze is still wet so they stick to your loaf. 
  3. If you are using frozen blueberries I recommend giving them a rinse for a minute or so and then drying them with a paper towel. This helps prevent them from bleeding through the loaf and preserves the nice yellow color of the lemon loaf.
  4. I think this would also be delicious if you swap out blueberries for raspberries! 

Recipe adapted from Ambitious Kitchen