Just because you are following a vegan diet does not mean that you have to miss out on your favourite sweet treats.
And those with a sweet tooth, whether vegan or not, will love this recipe for a delicious vegan banana, walnut and chocolate bread.
Banana bread is one of the easiest vegan cakes to make, without using any animal products, since bananas make a good substitute for eggs which are used in a traditional cake recipe. This is because they have excellent binding qualities.
Banana bread is also cheap to make and quick and simple to bake, taking around 20 minutes to prepare the cake mixture and around an hour’s cooking time.1
This is one of the simplest vegan recipes to make, as there are only a few steps to creating a delicious cake.
This loaf can be enjoyed as an afternoon snack with a cuppa or shared with visiting guests.
You can even have a slice for breakfast if you fancy it. It is rich in vegan protein with around 6g in each serving.2
The best bananas to use
One of the most important things with any banana bread recipe is to ensure that the bananas are at the right stage of ripeness to use.
Your bananas should be overripe, with the skins turning brown. Look for brown spots and freckles for signs that your bananas are good to bake.
Some people even use bananas which have gone black. These have a stronger smell and are oozy inside. As long as your bananas have no signs of mould, they should be fine to use.3
This will mean that they have a soft consistency, making them easy to mash and therefore mix into the cake batter. They are also sweeter and have a stronger banana flavour, making them tastier to use in baking.4
This is a good recipe for reducing waste as you can use up any bananas that you have which would not otherwise get eaten before going off.
The kids will never moan about eating overripe bananas again – they will love this cake!
How to speed up the ripening of your bananas
If you do not have overripe bananas available, you can buy ripe bananas and speed up the ripening process. Simply pop the bananas in a paper bag or perforated plastic bag and leave them overnight.
They should be ready to use by the next day as bananas give off ethene gas which makes them ripen, by converting the starch they store into sugar. Putting them in a bag will trap this gas and speed up the ripening process.5
Ingredients for vegan banana, walnut and chocolate bread
With these quantities, the recipe will serve eight people. Well, assuming you can keep to one slice each that is!
- 50g coconut oil (plus extra oil to line the baking tin)
- 200g self-raising flour
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- 75g light muscovado sugar (this can be swapped for a light brown sugar if you cannot find light muscovado sugar)16
- 3-4 overripe bananas
- 3 tbsp soya milk or another non-dairy milk alternative
- 75g walnuts, coarsely chopped into pieces
- 75g vegan chocolate chips or chocolate pieces. You can use dark chocolate for this, as this is usually vegan
- Preheat your oven to 200C/gas mark 6 or 180C if you have a fan oven.
- Prepare your loaf tin by brushing it with some of the coconut oil and line with baking paper.
- Peel the bananas and mash with a fork.
- Mix together the flour, baking powder and sugar.
- Beat together the mashed banana and the coconut oil.
- Combine this banana mixture with the flour, baking powder and sugar.
- Add the vegan milk alternative to loosen the batter mixture.
- Fold in the walnut pieces and the chocolate chips.
- Transfer the mixture into the loaf tin you prepared earlier.
- If you have extra walnuts, you can sprinkle these over the top of the loaf for decoration.
- Bake the vegan banana loaf for one hour. Cover the top with foil if it starts to look too brown as you do not want a burnt top and undercooked middle.
- To check if the cake is cooked, insert a skewer into the middle of it. If it is cooked, the skewer will come out clean. If it is not cooked, return to the oven and cook for another 10 minutes.
- Leave the cake to cool for 15 minutes before removing it from the tin.7
And there you have it. A delicious vegan banana, walnut and chocolate bread which you can enjoy.
Last updated: 10 February 2021
Author: Andrea Dobronszki, Regulatory Affairs
Andrea started her career as a clinical dietitian and lecturer at a university hospital, managing the dietetic treatment of patients with various diseases, and giving lectures in nutrition for medical students. Later she worked as a Product Developer at a sport nutrition company where she developed food supplements and fortified foods, and ensured that the products complied with the relevant regulations. Andrea joined Holland & Barrett as a Senior Regulatory Affairs Associate and specialises in food supplements, food regulations, nutrition and dietetics.