“Veganizing” baked goods can be somewhat tricky. Replacing the eggs are one thing, removing fats are another. Going a step further is attempting gluten free. I decided to forego testing gluten free flours in this recipe; however, I will let you in on my preferred choice of flour that seems to not bother those who are gluten sensitive and remains my flour of choice for all my baking.
Taking this directly from Jovial product statement and their website…”Utilizing organic einkorn flour is a wonderful way to improve your wellness by bringing nature’s original wheat to your diet. Einkorn is nutritious and the purest because it has never been hybridized. Today, we work with small organic farms in Italy to grow einkorn in a way that allows us to maintain its timeless purity. Pleasing sweet flavor and silky texture, rich content of the antioxidant lutein. Sustainably grown on small organic farms in Italy Jovial einkorn flour is high-extraction flour at 80%, which means most of the germ and bran have been removed for lighter flour that stays fresh for longer. Einkorn is a delicious, healthy alternative to modern, mass market wheat and can be an excellent solution for those with gluten sensitivity. Einkorn is packed with more nutrients, vitamins, and dietary minerals than regular wheat. Einkorn has 30% more protein and 15% less starch than commercial wheat, plus abundant B Vitamins and trace minerals like iron.”
Sounds too good to be true right? Exactly how I felt when I tried it several years back, but I have found that it holds up to its claims, in flavor, texture and digestion. I can use einkorn flour cup for cup for regular flour, but the amount of liquid sometimes needs to be adjusted and because the flour contains less gluten, very little kneading is required. Jovial offers some tips for baking with their flour that is very helpful. It is more costly than regular flour; I purchase mine through Amazon, in quantities or two or more and keep it in the freezer.
Okay, on to the banana bread. Feel free to use whatever flour you like though I dare you not to want to try out einkorn flour after that little intro! What I loved about this recipe when I first posted in June, 2011 is its very basic, simple ingredients. I like having recipes with a good foundation that I can seasonally add in ingredients or make adjustments.
Totally optional if you are not a coffee/caffeine drinker, is the addition of espresso. Normally coffee is added to chocolate as a way to enhance the cocoa flavor but I also like the enhancement when mixed with bananas. Unlike cooking with alcohol, caffeine does not get “backed out” so you will get a slight caffeine kick. Nice little touch for breakfast or afternoon pick me up snack. But again, swapping out the coffee/espresso for almond milk is completely doable.
¼ cup cold espresso or coffee (or unsweetened almond or dairy-free milk)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
To prepare ONE flax egg, mix 1 tablespoon flaxseed meal with 2.5 tablespoons water. For this recipe, you will need TWO, therefore, double up – 2 tablespoons flaxseed meal with 5 tablespoons water. Mix together and place in the refrigerator while preparing the rest of the recipe. Its important to allow the mixture to gel up and thicken, at least 5 minutes or longer.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine the dry ingredients; flour, sweetener, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a medium bowl and set aside. Using a large mixing bowl, combine the wet ingredients; flax eggs, bananas, applesauce, espresso (or dairy-free milk) and vanilla extract beating until smooth. Add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Pour into a greased, 9×5 loaf pan, place a half, horizontal sliced banana on top and bake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool on rack. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and keep in refrigerator. Slice and freeze for longer storage. One loaf makes about 10 servings.
The versatility of this bread is awesome from beginning to end. I could serve this banana bread warm from the oven or top a toasted slice with whipped vegan cream cheese and fresh mango for a special breakfast treat and later that evening, serve a grilled slice with sautéed pineapple, a scoop of banana nice cream and a sprinkling of nuts.
I love being in the kitchen. Early mornings, soft music, a hot espresso. Easing into the preparation of delicious meals. Glancing through cookbooks, gathering inspiration and planning my day. I look forward to the cycles of the seasons, the pleasures of tasting and savoring and sharing this with those dear to me. Weekends are special to me as my week days are often rushed, but still I create the ambiance, light the candles, set the table and uncork the wine.