Easy, healthy and made exclusively with plants, this Vegan Banana Bread is soooooo good, no one will know you didn’t use butter!
Yup, kind of HUGE on butter here on Food Gypsy, but also big on trying new things, and getting as many plants into the family diet as possible. Sometimes I slip plants into things I know they love, like pasta (they eat a GREAT deal of zucchini that way, don’t tell them, it’s our little secret). It’s good to swap things out for a fresh take on a family favorite.
Today we swap butter for coconut oil, and for Banana Bread; it’s a marriage made in Flavourtown!
Plants are DELICIOUS. I’m not vegan, but I love the challenge of cooking vegan and making things taste sooooooo good, nobody cares if it’s vegan. Lucky you, I had a massive amount of bananas stockpiled, so now you have three takes on amazing vegan banana bread, in one convenient place.
It’s my Goldilocks approach to Vegan Banana Bread:
Classic Vegan Banana Bread. Just bananas, tough enough to stand up in school lunch boxes and adored by Baby Bears.
Vegan Coconut Banana Bread. Requested by Papa Bear, who then smeared it with Nutella.
Harvest Vegan Banana Bread. Momma Bear’s super healthy granola-muncher banana bread with dried cranberries and seeds.
Make them all at once, experiment with your own flavour combinations, or pick a favorite!
Best Banana Bread Advice
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, frozen bananas make the best banana bread. The sugar content is higher. The moisture content is higher. The colour is richer and the flavour is deeper. Plus, this way you can whip up a beautiful loaf of banana bread, at your convenience, not just when the bananas turn.
To be honest, I don’t have three identical loaf pans, so I popped out to the local Dollar Store to pick up a three-pack of aluminum pans. (Two bucks – problem solved.) I did this to make a point: thermally, aluminum pans are terrific. They’re affordable and if you’re making something as a gift (hello holidays!), very giftable.
Sometimes I feel like a great many recipe sites put a lot of emphasis on perfection. The perfect this, and the perfect that, in the perfect 1,400 square-foot, quarter-million-dollar kitchen with a ‘staff’ coffee station.
“OMG, you MUST USE (**insert outrageously priced kitchen accesory here**) or you are a NOBODY! Duh.”
Thanks Brittany, but I think I’ll pass on the $149 bread cloche on your Amazon store.
I don’t know about you, but in my kitchen, I AM THE STAFF.
More importantly, I want you to feel like any recipe you see here is achievable. Cook from where you’re at. I’ve spent the last (ahem) 30-something years collecting pots, pans, knives, and do-dads for my kitchen. The hubs is a former chef, we combined our BEST stuff. That takes time – and money. So if you don’t have what you need, adapt. Borrow. Find a solution that’s easily affordable. Haunt garage sales and online thrift stores. Please don’t go over budget to make a recipe.
And if it’s about perfection, results tell the tale, I mean, just look at that colour! Two bucks, three pans. You got this.
Switch up a family favourite. Easy, healthy, and made exclusively with plants, this Vegan Banana Bread (three different ways) is soooooo good, no one will know you didn’t use butter!
1 1/2 – 1 3/4cups very ripe bananas, mashed (previously frozen and thawed, preferred)
1/3cup coconut oil (in liquid state), or applesauce (fat-free)
1 teaspoon vanilla paste (or extract)
1 3/4cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/3cup raw, cane sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of Kosher salt
1/4cup coconut milk (If needed, see note)
Delicious Vegan Banana Bread Additions
1/2cup coconut (+ 1/4 cup coconut milk)
1/4 dried cranberries & 1/4 cup seeds (+ 1/4 cup coconut milk)
Pre-heat oven to 350⁰F (175⁰C). Prep one – 9 x 3.5 loaf pan with non-stick spray or coconut oil. As an added measure to protect the bottom from burning, line with parchment paper.
One Bowl Method: In a large mixing bowl mash defrosted, previously frozen (very) ripe bananas, add vanilla (paste or extract, fold three or four times, add coconut oil (in liquid state), fold a couple of times, then add sugar and fold until lightly combined. Now add dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. With your spatula, mix the top of the dry ingredients lightly first before folding the wet and dry together until just combined. If your mix looks dry, as you fold, add 1/4 cup of coconut milk.
Toss in your favorite banana bread additions (if using) along with 1/4 cup coconut milk and fold gently to combine. Optional: Finish top with your preferred ingredient, raw sugar, toasted coconut, seeds of your choice.
Scoop batter into the prepared bread pan and place on the middle rack of preheated oven to 350⁰F (175⁰C) for 45 – 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean.
Remove Vegan Banana Bread from the oven and cool on a baking rack for 10 – 15 minutes before cutting… and devouring!
You may or may not need the coconut milk. I did, largely because I was a little shy on bananas, so a bit of extra moisture was necessary. However, if you’re adding dry ingredients, like toasted coconut or dried fruit and seeds, that 1/4 cup of coconut milk becomes essential to give your bread good moisture and flavour.
Cooking in her home kitchen just outside Ottawa, Canada; Cori Horton is a food photographer and recipe blogger. A Cordon Bleu-trained Chef, Cori spent five years as the owner of Nova Scotia's Dragonfly Inn and has been sharing all things delicious - right here - since 2010.