This recipe is the first vegan baking recipe I ever developed. I remember making it around 15 years ago for a vegan restaurant-owning friend of mine, much to his delight. Somewhere, sometime in my past (I can't recall where), I learned about flax gel and I have to say, this is the only recipe I've ever used it in (note to self: must experiment more!). To make flax gel you boil 2 cups of water with 2 tbsp of flax seeds for 10-20 minutes until it's thick and gloopy and looks a bit like egg white. Strain the seeds out and use 1/2 cup of the gel as a replacement for one egg in recipes calling for no more than two eggs (1 cup flax gel per recipe, maximum).
I usually make this banana bread with caster sugar, but this time I thought I'd experiment with palm sugar (gula jawa) instead. My, what a fabulously fudgy flavour the palm sugar gives the cake! Palm sugar (not to be confused with coconut palm sugar) is supposed to be a healthier natural alternative to refined cane sugars and has a lower glycemic index, releasing energy slowly. Since it's unrefined it contains plenty of vital minerals and nutrients and it imparts a fabulous caramel/butterscotch flavour to baking. Use it, measure for measure, to replace refined sugar in recipes. I found that the sugar was quite hard and moist, needing bashing up in a mortar and pestle before it could be used in the recipe. It's shape is rather unusual too; reminiscent of those rock core samples I used to find at various sites in the woods back in Cape Breton, Canada.
This is a very nutritious alternative to traditional banana bread, and it's a great way to use up any leftover frozen bananas you may have taking up space in your freezer. It makes excellent hill-walking fodder, even in January in Shetland!
Vegan Banana Bread
A delicious no-added-fat, vegan banana bread made with no refined sugar.
- 3/4 cups palm sugar
- 1/2 cup flax gel
- 4 tbsp lemon prune honey butter (or other concentrated 100% fruit puree)
- 1 1/4 cups plain white flour
- 1/4 cup wheatgerm
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 3 mashed bananas
- pinch salt
- 1/4 cup almonds, chopped or slivered
- 1/2 cup sultanas
- 1 tbsp ground almonds
1. Preheat oven to 180 C. Grease and flour a large loaf tin.2. Prepare flax gel by boiling 2 cups of water with 2 tbsp linseeds for 10-20 minutes until it forms a thick egg-white consistency. Strain out the seeds and leave the gel to cool.3. Blend palm sugar and honey lemon prune butter until creamy. 4. Stir in the mashed bananas and flax gel.5. Sift the flour, baking soda and salt together. 6. Stir in the wheatgerm.7. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet until well combined.8. Fold in the slivered almonds and raisins.9. Spoon batter into the prepared loaf tin and sprinkle with the ground almonds.10. Bake for 50-60 minutes, until golden and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
DetailsPrep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 1 loaf
I have entered this recipe in Javelin Warrior's Made with Love, Mondays food round-up of made-from-scratch recipes.