Soft, moist, rich and fruity – this easy vegan banana bread recipe adds wholemeal flour and walnuts to the mix, but it’s still the classic answer to using up a bunch of over-ripe bananas.
Got some soft bananas and don’t have time to make the bread today? Just peel, slice and freeze them for later. Thaw them completely before making the bread and they’ll work exactly the same.
What to do with old bananas has been an ongoing issue this summer. They ripen so fast in the heat! Wanting to avoid food waste took me back to a banana bread recipe I created – but set aside – years ago. It’s no accident I’ve let the recipe sit all these years. It was a good banana loaf, I just didn’t really love banana bread in general, good or not … at least not until I created this recipe!
Crucially, I wanted to address the flavours and give it more depth. The original recipe’s white sugar, white flour and bananas was quite monotone.
Switching to golden sugar, wholemeal flour and adding walnuts changed everything. Combining these with a long, slow baking gives a deep, rich, caramelised crust. The crust on this loaf is one of my favourite flavours!
However, my old recipe needed more than flavour adjustments. It also needed veganising. The main issue being the eggs. Replacing eggs and making vegan cakes is an ongoing interest of mine. Fortunately, banana is an excellent egg replacer in vegan cakes and baked goods … provided you’re happy with the flavour. Making a vegan banana bread is of course no problem!
However, we’re not exclusively limited to making banana flavour baked goods with them. Bananas can assimilate in to rich, fruity, spicy recipes without overtly changing their taste. I use bananas to replace eggs in my Christmas pudding (recipe here), and in Christmas cakes with excellent results. It enhances their flavours wonderfully, but nobody directly spots the banana in them.
This loaf still includes some ground, soaked flaxseed however. My original recipe had a firm texture that was ideal for slicing, and I wanted to retain that.
Crucially, let this loaf sit overnight before serving to really let the texture and flavours develop. It’s worth the wait!
Serve in thick slices with your favourite cup or tea or coffee. Perfect for a vegan teatime, picnic or lunchbox.
Vegan Banana & Walnut Bread
- 6 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
- 200 g wholemeal flour
- 150 g light brown sugar
- 50 g walnut pieces
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 450 g ripe, soft bananas (peeled and mashed to purée)
- 75 g light olive oil
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- Pre-heat the oven (180 °C, Fan 160 °C, 350 °F, Gas 4), and line a 900g (2lb) loaf tin, 17 x 9 x 9cm baking tin with baking paper.
- Make the flax egg-replacement by combining the water and ground flax seed in a bowl and lightly whisking to wet the flax. Set aside for 10-15 minutes to thicken.
- Put all of the dry cake ingredients (flour, sugar, walnuts, baking powder and salt) into a large bowl and stir with a spoon until evenly mixed and free of any lumps. Stir in the liquids (banana, oil, maple syrup and flax gel).. Do not beat heavily, just stir briskly until a smooth batter forms.
- Pour batter in to your lined loaf tin and bake in the centre of the oven for 60-80 minutes, or until well risen and a cocktail stick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Set aside on a wire rack until cooled to room temperature, then wrap in a tea-towel and leave for 12-24 hours before serving.
I used to throw so many bananas away, as I bought them for smoothie bowls and smoothie drinks, but then kept forgeting and then they went black.
I did it again, so I used this recipe last night. It’s now one of my favourites for helping me reduce waste, but I also like the fact it’s quick, with a few steps, basically, just thrown things in a bowl.
I wasn’t sure if I should take it out of the tin or leave in the tin for cooling. I thought it may break if I took it out of the tin straight away. So I left it in the tin.
I think I may have overcooked it, my oven is pretty fearce. It was quite dark brown on top after 60 minutes.
I wanted to use all my bananas, so I think I added 6, I can’t remember, that’s about two more than the recipe weight listed. I haven’t tried it yet, as it’s still wrapped up like a baby.
Great that this recipe is helping you reduce food waste! I’ve recently written a whole blog post about this – ways to reduce food waste.
Banana bread is one of my favourite ways to use older bananas, but you can also freeze them for use in smoothies too.
The banana bread does go quite dark, which is great for developing flavour, but you’ll have to go with your sense of taste on this issue and adjust next time if needed. Ovens that brown a lot can be worked around by loosely placing some aluminium foil (shiny side up) over food if it’s brown enough but still needs more baking.
Thanks for your feedback,