Monday, 1 September 2014

Zaza's Banana Bread (Vegan Version)

A few weeks ago, I was at a family party and I was chatting with my Grandmother's sister, reminiscing about "Zaza" as we fondly called her. We were talking about my latest new recipe, and I exclaimed what a fantastic baker Zaza was. Her sister unabashedly corrected me, saying, "no, your Zaza wasn't that great of a baker..." But simultaneously, we both agreed that her most memorable recipe was her Banana Bread.

Some families pass on heirloom furniture, others china plates. My family seems to pass on recipes. My grandfather's mother, Gran, passed on a real English shortbread recipe, and I left my father's family with a true Swedish recipe for Pepparkakor (both recipes to follow at a later date). Zaza, who we lost just last year, left her legacy of Banana Bread.

It is a simple, no-fuss recipe, with just a few easy tricks that make it out-of-this-world delicious. It is perfect to bring as a "comfort food" to a friend that needs it. It also freezes very well so it can be prepared in double batches, with one loaf saved for later. I served it at my "midnight table" at my wedding, so we could have a little memory of Zaza there. 

Enjoy this recipe that is very dear to my heart - bake it with love!

Below is my adapted vegan version of the recipe from my grandmother. For the original version of this recipe, click here.

Zaza's Banana Bread - Vegan Version

These are the kind of bananas that you're looking for!
1/3 cup of organic virgin coconut oil
2/3 cup sugar
2 "vegan eggs" (recipe below)
1 1/3 cups all-purpose or nutri flour
2 3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup ripe, brown bananas (about 3) 

Tip: the bananas make this recipe. The best kind are those you'd turn up your nose at if offered as a snack: browned, bruised bananas. If you have any, pop them in the freezer. Once you've collected three, you're ready to make a batch of this ooey-gooey banana bread. To defrost your bananas, use my trick found here

  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. In your stand mixer, beat coconut oil until creamy and glossy (about 2 min on electric beater). 
  3. Gradually add sugar, beating until light and fluffy after each addition.
  4. Add "vegan eggs" and beat until thick: 
  5. Coconut oil + "vegan eggs" should look like this.
  6. In a large bowl, Sift dry ingredients (DO NOT skip this step!)
  7. In a small bowl or measuring cup, give the bananas a good mash.  
  8. Alternately add dry ingredients with mashed bananas - about 3 additions of each. Blend thoroughly. 
  9. If adding chocolate chips or nuts (see below) do so now. 
  10. Grease bottom ONLY of a loaf pan with coconut oil (23.5x13.3x6.99cm / 9.25x5.25x2.75in loaf pan recommended). 
  11. Turn batter into pan.
  12. Bake 60-70 min at 350° until inserted toothpick comes out clean (top of loaf will crack).
  13. Let bread partly cool for 5 minutes, then turn onto wire cooling rack. Flip so that the top of the loaf is facing up. 
  14. Serve warm with butter, or refrigerate for easier cutting.

Vegan Eggs:
Voila! Egg-like consistency!
For each "vegan egg" in this recipe (i.e. make 2 for a single recipe), you'll need:
- 1 tbsp flax seed
- 3 tbsp water
  1. Grind your flax seed. I used my coffee grinder for 2 tbsp at a time
  2. Option 1: simmer flax seed in water until you get an egg-like consistency
  3. Option 2: Add ground flax seed and water to a microwave-safe dish, microwave on high for 30 seconds at a time, stirring until you get the egg-like consistency: 

Chocolate chip (my favorite!): add one cup+ of  vegan chocolate chips after bananas. Stir well.
Adding nuts/raisins: add 1/2 cup coarsley chopped nuts/raisins after bananas. Alternately, sprinkle 1.4 cup chopped nuts on top of loaf just prior to baking. 

Freezing your loaf:
Wrap whole loaf in a layer of plastic wrap, covering well. Wrap with a layer of aluminium foil, then a final layer of plastic wrap, pulling the layers tightly together. Freeze 6 months + if it's well-wrapped (but I doubt it will last that long in your freezer). 

Vegan version of the recipe, just prior to baking: you get some extra goodness with the flaxseed "eggs" in there. 

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