Amazing Banana Bread – dairy, egg, gluten and oil free!!

bananabread2Ok, so I’ve been attempting to create a vegan, oil-free, gluten-free banana bread for years with little success.

UNTIL NOW!

Everything I have come up with in the past was fine, edible of course, but wasn’t reminiscent of true banana bread. You know, the super moist, dense, fattening-tasting kind (though I will say I could always taste egg in traditional banana bread and it really grossed me out). This recipe has a special ingredient to give it those qualities it was missing before.  Wait for it……

Almond flour!

I know quite a few people are using almond flour these days (think Paleo. Ugh. Pulease). Most people using it are avoiding grains (again, pulease), and using way too much of the stuff, making the baked goods super fattening. I have created this quick-bread with a combination of flours which helps cut down the fat but still gives it that yummy, dense and moist texture of traditional banana bread. Of course, the other trick to amazing banana bread is overripe bananas. I’ve tested this recipe 5 times and it’s come out great every time using 1 2/3 heaping cups of banana, which is the equivalent of about 3 large or 4 medium-sized bananas.

One of the best things about this recipe, other than the texture and flavor, is how quick and easy it is to make. I have the batter ready to go before the oven is even preheated! You can dump all the ingredients in one bowl and mix!

Again, this banana bread is vegan, oil-free, gluten-free, egg-free and refined sugar-free, using only 1/3 cup maple syrup to sweeten. It’s not nut-free of course, so if you must avoid almonds I’m so sorry!! I haven’t spent time experimenting with a substitute but I could if there is interest out there. Anyway, I hope you try this and love it as much as we do. Add 1/3 cup chocolate chips for a special treat!

Sunflower Banana Muffins || gluten-free + oil-free + vegan + no sugar added

IMG_9303These muffins are an excellent way to use those overly ripe bananas sitting on your counter. The flavor of banana and sunflower seed butter is a delightful combination. The texture is dense and very similar to banana bread (yum!). In addition to being tasty and satisfying, they are also healthy, void of gluten, dairy, eggs, oil or sugar. What’s left, you ask? Healthy and delicious whole foods, including dates as a sweetener, which are chock full of vitamins, minerals and fiber.

Fudgy Brownies || vegan | gluten-free | oil-free

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These delicious morsels are a cross between fudge and a brownie, hence the name Fudgy Brownies.  They are so rich and sinful tasting, it’s amazing they are low-fat, contain very little flour, no refined sugar, and BLACK BEANS.  That’s right, black beans.  A whole can.  I know it’s weird, just work with me.  And be sure not to tell anybody until AFTER they tell you how awesome the brownies taste.  🙂

Gooey Pumpkin-Oat Bars | vegan, gluten-free, oil-free, flour-free, low-sugar

IMG_9175I’ve said it many times – I.  Love.  Pumpkin.  All things pumpkin, whether it be savory or sweet.  I especially love the spices that are associated with pumpkin flavor – cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, allspice, etc.  These delicious bars have them all.  The bars are substantial and very moist (hence the name Gooey Pumpkin Bars).  I only used rolled oats so no need for flour here.  The only sugar in the batter is 1/3 cup and I used Sucanat which is minimally processed.  The chocolate chips add sugar, of course, and are optional (but, um, why would you leave them out?). Seriously, you may opt to leave them out if you plan on eating these for breakfast, or leave them in for more of a dessert item.  For gluten-free bars be sure to use certified gluten-free oats.

Pumpkin Pancakes – Cinnamon, Allspice, Cloves…Oh My!

pumpkinpancakes2I know it’s not officially Autumn yet, and it’s still miserably hot outside, but I’m longing for fall, dangit!! These pancakes hit the spot, and made me look even more forward to my favorite holiday – Thanksgiving!  I’ve seen several recipes for pumpkin pancakes out there but the difference between them and mine is the amount of spices; I tend to be heavy-handed in this recipe.  The stronger the flavors of cinnamon, allspice, cloves, nutmeg, etc., the better!  I’m tempted to crank up the AC, put on a sweater, and eat these by the fire.   Make these!  They’re easy and delish!  Let me know how you like ’em!

Non-Dairy Tapioca Pudding

I have always LOVED tapioca pudding. Actually, any type of pudding – I don’t discriminate!   Once I gave up health-harming dairy and animal foods however (best choice I ever made, btw), I figured tapioca pudding was a thing of the past since the traditional recipe calls for milk and eggs.  WRONG! I tinkered with a few ingredients and ended up with what I feel is a great alternative.  I try my best not to consume or prepare things with refined sugar, but I must confess  – I did use some here, the few times I made this.  Next time I will try date or coconut sugar, which aren’t refined in the highly processed way white sugar is.  They may alter taste somewhat, and color, but it’s worth trying.

UPDATE!!! I tried date sugar and it was an epic fail.  I do NOT recommend it.  I also tried Sucanat, which is dried sugar cane juice.  Much better result than date sugar but not nearly as good as white sugar.  It gave it a tan hue, and sort of a molasses flavor, which tastes nice but the texture ends up much thicker and not as creamy as white sugar. Next I will try raw/turbinado sugar, which I’m guessing will have the same result as Sucanat.   When choosing white sugar, organic is a must!  Not only is it free of pesticides, it is vegan.  Why do you care about vegan sugar?  Well, regular, refined white sugar requires the use of animal bone char in processing.  Gross?  Definitely.  Due to health concerns, the FDA prohibits the use of bones from the United States’ meat industry. Further, the bones are required to come from animals that die of natural causes. While this makes theoretical sense, the ridiculous reality is bone char is predominantly imported from countries like Brazil, India, Pakistan and Nigeria and there is no warranty to the American consumer that the bone char used is indeed from ‘clean’ animals.  I don’t know about you, but I like my sugar without potentially contaminated bone char! 

Banana-Oat Pancakes

In our house, Sundays are known as “pancake Sunday!” Normally, pancakes are seen as a treat, eaten only occasionally.  Since these are healthy, there’s no need for deprivation! Just go easy on the syrup, and if you must, use a tiny bit of Earth Balance instead of butter or trans-fat-filled margarine.