I improvised this vegan banana bread recipe when a friend asked if I could bring a sweet treat for us to have after dinner. It was a rainy afternoon, this was a great excuse to get to bake something, and I had a couple of bananas to use.... it was a no brainer - banana bread. I didn't, however, have any eggs. So instead of buying more, even though I had to grab a few other extra ingredients, I decided just to replace the butter too and experiment with a vegan loaf.
Let me clear something up; vegan desserts do not mean healthy desserts. Many people often associate vegan recipes with a raw and gluten or sugar free diet, but in reality, vegan recipes have simply omitted any animal products, but can still contain flour, sugar and other fats, and definitely do not have to compromise on flavour.
This may actually have been one of the best banana breads I have made! You don't even notice the lack of real butter, and it rose perfectly even without any egg, thanks to the chia egg replacer I used as well as baking powder and soda.
If you don't like coconut, feel free to omit the desiccated coconut and switch out the coconut oil for regular margarine (check there is no buttermilk in the one you buy) or vegan spread. I, however, think the combination of banana, chocolate and coconut makes for a tasty tropical twist on this much loved loaf.
Vegan Chocolate and Coconut Banana Bread
- Prep Time:10 mins
- Cook Time:1 hr
- Total Time:1 hr 10 mins
- 1 1/2 cups plain flour
- 3/4 cup mixed brown/caster sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp bicarbonate soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 4 small ripe bananas or 3 large mashed
- 1/2 cup almond milk
- 1/3 cup coconut oil or margarine
- 1 chia egg optional see above
- 1/2 cup toasted desiccated coconut
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2/3 bar Lindt 70% chocolate broken into small chunks
Preheat oven to 180 Celcius/350 Farenheit. In a large bowl, combine the mashed banana, melted coconut oil or margarine, milk and chia egg.
In a separate bowl, sift the flour and add the sugar, salt, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and cinnamon, then mix well.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients bit by bit until fully combined. Then fold in the coconut and chocolate.
Pour the mixture into a greased and lined loaf tin then bake for around an hour until golden brown on top and a skewer comes out clean. Check after 45 minutes as oven temperatures may vary!
The key to a great banana bread is using really ripe bananas. The sugar content in bananas increases as they ripen, meaning you can cut back on added refined sugars in your bake. Getting your hands on ripe bananas last minute can be tricky, so check out this guide for some tips on how to quickly ripen your bananas at home.
This was the first vegan loaf I had attempted, and a very improvised recipe, so I was apprehensive before it was served after dinner. I needn't have worried, as the four of us managed to devour the entire loaf between us, which I think means it was a success? Try it for yourself and see!