vanilla bananas

Some guessed I was making vanilla extract.  That is something I’ve wanted to do for awhile now, but haven’t gotten around to it.

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Some guessed more vanilla farro or another new vanilla nut butter.

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Good guesses, but not correct!

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Hmmm, just vanilla?  Nahhh, let’s throw some cinnamon in the mix while we’re at it.  If I had to choose 5 of my favorite ingredients, it would go something like this…

  1. cinnamon
  2. vanilla
  3. oats
  4. almonds
  5. bananas

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No oats were included in this recipe, but maybe next time that will have to change.

Any guesses yet?

flax egg : oil + almond butter mixture : mashed banana

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Vanilla bean cinnamon banana bread anyone?

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Never knew you could make banana bread fancy??  Well now you can!

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I was worried the vanilla wouldn’t come through enough.  However, once it started baking I knew everything was going to be okay.  It smelled amazing!  I only used 2 bananas so they wouldn’t overpower the vanilla + cinnamon flavors.

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When I was coming up with the recipe, I wrote down 2c whole wheat pastry flour.  When I looked in the cabinet, I realized there was only about 1c left.  In a slight panic I checked my flour stash and found that I had spelt flour.  I’m pretty sure you can use either interchangeably in this recipe.  I’ve never used spelt flour for baking, but with this bread, it turned out perfectly!

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It had a nice light texture.  Not too dense or too airy.  It was just right.  The bread was perfectly moist from the bananas + vanilla infused almond milk.

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Oh.  And this recipe is vegan.  Although I’m sure, you can just swap out a real egg instead of the flax egg and get great results!  It will probably even rise better.  One thing I don’t like about vegan baking is that muffins + breads tend to look flat. 

However, I also read that spelt flour does not rise as well as whole wheat flour.  Interesting!

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A mellow banana flavor with a nice balance of vanilla and cinnamon.  I was extremely pleased with the way you could taste + smell all three ingredients! 

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Vanilla Bean Cinnamon Banana Bread [vegan]

  • 2c whole grain spelt flour
  • 2 very ripe bananas [medium size]
  • 1/4c almond butter [I used my vanilla maple]
  • 1/4c safflower oil
  • 1/2c unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2c + 1T sucanat
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 2t cinnamon
  • 1t baking soda
  • 1t baking powder
  • 1 flax egg [1T ground flax meal + 2.5T water]
  • 1/4t salt
  1. Cut a slit, lengthwise in the vanilla bean pod.  Scrape beans out with a spoon or butter knife.
  2. Place scraped beans + milk in a small bowl and whisk until combined.
  3. Add milk mixture and the vanilla bean pod to a small pot and heat over med-low, whisking every minute or so, bringing to a simmer.
  4. Let simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. Discard pod and let mixture cool while preparing the loaf.
  6. Preheat oven to 350*
  7. In a small bowl whisk together flax meal + water and let sit for 5min, until thickened.
  8. In a large bowl mix together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and sucanat.
  9. In a small bowl mash banana with a fork until fairly smooth.
  10. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together oil + almond butter.
  11. Whisk together flax egg, banana, and milk mixture with the oil + nut butter mixture. 
  12. Empty wet ingredients into dry and stir with a spoon until just combined.
  13. If the batter looks really dry and thick, add 1-2T more milk.  If it’s too thin add 1-2T flour.  It should be easily poured, but not runny.  See process photos.
  14. Grease a loaf pan [9 or 8”] and bake for 45min – 1hr.  Bake time varies depending on the pan size.
  15. Toothpick test bread.  It should be clean but moist when you pull it out.

The only substitutions I recommend making [but can’t guarantee] are as follows:

  • sub whole wheat pasty for spelt flour
  • sub 1 egg for flax egg
  • sub pure cane sugar for sucanat and decrease liquid by 1-2T [sucanat is drying]

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Fancy banana bread.  Who knew?

<3 Ashley

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