Well hey there. It’s been a hot second.
What’s new? Well, a lot and very little at the same time. To be honest, my weekdays aren’t particularly exciting (at least to an outside observer). I bike to lab in the morning, do ~engineering~ all day, and spend the rest of it cooking with my new mini instant pot (It’s incredible!!), or just hanging out with my boyfriend (who I’m officially living with, and loves his instant pot equally! Oh yeah, I have not one, but two instant pots now).
Right- the boy! That’s new, and not only is living with him pretty great, he brought his car down when he moved and now the whole of New England is at our finger tips. Last weekend we drove down to New Hampshire to check out the beach, and our plan for next weekend is to pick strawberries. Back when I lived in California, we’d go strawberry picking every summer, so I’m pretty excited to resume and maybe even make another strawberry pie (this time plant based for sure).
Luke and I have both been eating predominantly plant based (plus or minus a couple accidents) all year, and our banana has increased dramatically since. I’ve been trying out different banana bread recipes to use up excess bananas, and by now I have a couple to share. Pictured is a really interesting recipe from America’s Test Kitchen: Vegan for Everybody. Instead of using spotted, overripe bananas, the recipe calls for perfectly- if not a touch under ripe bananas, and claims the starch helps give the bread body.
I can see what they mean. This banana bread was lightly sweet, and less dessert-like than regular banana bread. It held up well and made a super tasty almond butter sandwich.
On the other hand, I also enjoy more dessert-like banana breads made with super ripe and caramelized bananas. Since it’s hard to chose which is superior, I’ll post this one now, and post another recipe I like later. My suggestion is to smother this bread with peanut butter and a healthy drizzle of maple syrup, but I bet it would be amazing with ice cream also.
Bonus pic of me walking across state lines into Kittery, Maine. I don’t think I had ever walked across state lines before! New England is pretty great (well, at least when it’s warm out).
Vegan Banana Bread
Adapted from Vegan for Everybody, a book I highly recommend for anyone looking to do more vegan cooking!
- 2 cups all purpose flour 10 ounces
- 3/4 cup sugar 5 1/4 ounces
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup toasted walnuts I omitted
- 3 firm ripe bananas 20 ounces
- 6 tablespoons oil
- 1/3 cup almond milk yogurt The book claims almond works best, so that’s what I went with, but I’m sure other plant yogurts would yield a similar result.
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- In a good processor, pulse the bananas with the oil, almond milk yogurt, lemon juice, and vanilla until the bananas are in pea-sized pieces.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and walnuts, if using.
- Pour the pulsed wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and fold together just until no flour streaks remain.
- Transfer to a greased 8×4 loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees until deep golden brown, approximately 1 hour. I recommend doing the toothpick test at 40 minutes, and then in 5 minute increments after that. In the past, I’ve found that banana bread cook times depends heavily on the oven you’re using, and while banana bread is a fairly forgiving recipe, it’s best to err on the side of caution! If the banana bread looks pretty brown at 40 minute but is not fully cooked inside, cover with aluminum foil for the remaining cooking time.