Behold the oil-free vegan banana bread recipe of our dreams! This banana bread is made with peanut butter instead of oil or butter, and it looks and tastes just like the banana bread from your favourite bakery. A cacao butter and peanut butter glaze is the perfect compliment. Enjoy this wholesome loaf for breakfast or as an afternoon snack.
Oil-free vegan banana bread, made with peanut butter instead of oil or butter, spelt flour instead of white, naturally sweetened with coconut sugar and maple syrup, and packed with nutrients that you wouldn’t find in your typical banana bread?
Oh yes, you’d better believe you’re making this.
I went off on a limb when developing this recipe. I really had no idea if an oil-free banana bread was possible, never having made one myself. But to my pleasant surprise, this banana loaf turned out perfectly on my first attempt.
I have nothing against unrefined or minimally refined oils, such as coconut, olive, sunflower, avocado, flax, hemp, and grapeseed. However, if I can replace oil with a whole food option, all the better. Most oils are low in micronutrients, so if you can replace them with a whole food source of fat like nut butter or avocado, you’ll be getting lots of micronutrients along with healthy fat.
This recipe is inspired by the classic banana bread recipe from Canadian Living magazine. In the method for that recipe, it is recommended that you combine the mashed banana with buttermilk and baking soda, which helps to break down the fibre in the banana and results in a smooth loaf without any chunks of banana. I’ve included that method in my version; however, in place of buttermilk, I’ve used almond milk combined with a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar.
The other changes that I made to the original recipe are not insignificant: I replaced all of the butter with smooth peanut butter (Maranatha brand organic smooth peanut butter works best here, as it is nice and runny–I wouldn’t recommend using a thick peanut butter), and cut way back on the added sugar. And, of course, to make it vegan, I replaced the eggs with flax eggs, and to boost the nutrition even further, I swapped out the all purpose flour for light spelt flour. (If you don’t have any light spelt flour, you can certainly use whole spelt. Just note that your loaf might be a little bit more dense.)
The resulting banana bread is moist, nutty, and rises higher than any banana bread I had ever made until now. It has a nicely browned exterior and a tender interior. You’ll squeal with excitement when you take this one out of the oven.
I decided to fancy things up even further by adding a simple cacao butter, peanut butter, and maple glaze. To do this, you just melt the cacao butter over low heat and stir in peanut butter, maple syrup, and a pinch of salt. I highly recommend it, as it makes the banana bread even more of a treat!
Because this loaf is so healthy, you can most certainly enjoy it for breakfast. It’s also lovely with coffee or tea in the afternoon!
If you enjoy cooking and baking with peanut butter, be sure to check out my peanut butter tempeh salad recipe for something savoury, as well as my salted peanut butter caramel bars for something sweet (and overlook the decidedly poor food photography in both posts! 😉 ).Print
Oil-Free Vegan Banana Bread
A nutrient-rich oil-free vegan banana bread recipe made with peanut butter and sweetened with just a little bit of coconut sugar and maple syrup, topped with a peanut butter and cacao butter glaze!
- 3 medium very ripe bananas, mashed
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp almond milk
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground flax mixed with 2.5 tbsp water)
- 3/4 cup smooth runny organic peanut butter (I recommend Maranatha organic smooth peanut butter for best results)
- 1/3 cup coconut sugar
- 3 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 1/4 cups light spelt flour
- 1 1/2 tsp aluminum-free baking powder
- 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
PEANUT BUTTER GLAZE
- 1 heaping tbsp chopped cacao butter
- 2 tbsp smooth peanut butter
- 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
- Pinch of fine sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and lightly grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan with a small amount of coconut oil.
- Place the mashed banana in a medium bowl. In a smaller bowl, combine the almond milk and apple cider vinegar and set it aside to “curdle” for a couple of minutes.
- Once the almond milk and apple cider vinegar have “curdled,” add them to the bananas along with the baking soda. Stir and set aside. The baking soda will gradually start to break down the bananas, resulting in a smoother mixture.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flax and water. After two minutes, add the peanut butter, coconut sugar, maple syrup, and vanilla; stir to incorporate.
- In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Pour the banana/milk/baking soda mixture into the peanut butter mixture and stir. Finally, add the dry ingredients and stir just until incorporated.
- Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the middle of the loaf comes out clean.
- Allow the loaf to cool in the pan for 30 minutes, then turn out onto a wire cooling rack and allow it to cool completely.
- Once the banana bread has cooled, make the glaze: In a small saucepan, melt the cacao butter over low heat. Add the peanut butter, maple syrup, and salt; whisk to incorporate. Pour over the loaf. The glaze will gradually solidify once on the loaf.
Cacao butter can be found in most natural food stores. It’s often sold in chunks, so simply chop the amount that you need and store the rest in an airtight container in the pantry.
I was chatting with a coworker yesterday about some ideas for Christmas recipes for the blog, since I haven’t fully realized how close we are to the big day! We decided that I should definitely endeavor to create a homemade “Beyond Meat” meatloaf with miso gravy as a Christmas main course, so that’s my mission for the next couple of days. I also hope to develop a raw vegan Nanaimo bar and ginger cookies, plus a more extravagant holiday dessert, over the next week or so. It’s going to be a busy time of creating and eating around here, and I can’t wait to share it all with you. 🙂
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