Okay, okay. I know I said I’d be better about updating this than I have been with previous blogging attempts, but (of course) my crazy life got in the way. Said crazy life has also impeded my ability to post a photo of my banana bread creation because the USB cable for my camera is still in a box somewhere.
In any case, I had some bananas that had reached the end of their useful life today, so I decided to make banana bread. I have yet to find a recipe I like as much as the one my mom has made forever, but I wanted to use this as a granola-bar-esque snack for when I’m sitting in traffic between work and getting home for dinner. Armed with my copy of Vegan with a Vengeance (which has an excellent baking section) and my own baking prowess, I tweaked my mom’s recipe and came up with this:
1/2 cup safflower oil (Mom’s called for shortening, so I used the butter-to-oil conversion from Vegan with a Vengeance.)
1/3 cup sugar in the raw (Mom’s called for 2/3 cup, but I usually cut the sugar in half when I bake anything that’s not a dessert.)
1/2 cup flaxseed meal mixed with 3/4 cup water (Mom’s called for eggs. I’m not opposed to eggs–I eat several a week–but I wanted to do a vegan/healthy fat experiment here.)
2 cups mashed bananas
1/2 cup soymilk (I like vanilla Silk. Again, I drink regular milk, but was experimenting.)
1 1/2 tsp. vinegar (I’m still not sure why the original recipe didn’t just use buttermilk.)
2 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour (I adore WW pastry flour. I use it in everything.)
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup golden raisins
1. Preheat oven to 375.
2. Whisk flaxseed meal and water together in a small bowl.
3. Mix the sugar (or whatever sweetener you like) and all liquid ingredients (including the flaxseed mixture) on low speed in a large bowl.
4. Whisk the dry ingredients in another bowl and fold them into the liquid mixture by hand. Don’t overmix!
5. Stir in the raisins.
6. Pour into four mini loaf pans and bake for 25-30 minutes (or until they pass the toothpick test).
Makes 24 servings (six slices per loaf).
Overall, I was really happy with how it turned out. It was really moist, kind of earthy, and just the right amount of sweet. It also tasted enough like my mom’s to satsify me (and my dad, who said he liked it both before and after I told him about the alterations :-p). I did lose one loaf to underbaking because the whole wheat flour seems to muck up the toothpick test. Next time, I think I’ll just make muffins to mitigate the underbaking risk.
Oooh, and I also made some pretty amazing brownies for my mom’s birthday! She bought The Ghiradelli Chocolate Cookbook (I’m not going to lie–we’re addicts.) a few weeks ago, and it has a recipe for brownies made with sweet ground chocolate and cocoa that have a layer of Ghiradelli caramel squares in the middle. We opted to go for the dark chocolate ones, and it was a good decision. Each brownie had a whole caramel square inside, and they were really rich (and surprisingly not too much of a nutritional splurge!).