Healthy & Naughty Banana Bread
Vegan, Sugar Free, Gluten Free, Oil Free, Low Waste
The last couple of days I had a big craving for banana bread. As you can read in my bio I’m pretty big on chocolate and sweets in general. As much as I love them though I still want my treats to be healthy and wholesome. Even though banana bread is such a classic, many recipes often have a lot of oil or refined sugar in them. So I came up with this recipe for a healthy vegan banana bread that is also refined sugar free, gluten free, oil/butter free and yet still deliciously naughty. Go ahead and try it, I’m sure you’ll love it, too!
What’s healthy about it?
No refined sugar – all the sugar in this healthy vegan banana bread comes from natural wholesome fruit (dates and bananas)
The Power of Dates – dates are rich in antioxidants, fibre and potassium (1)
Nut Butter – unsaturated fats can help with weight loss, reduce inflammation and lower your risk of heart disease (2)
Flaxseeds – rich in omega-3 fatty assets
Buckwheat – high quality protein, high in fibre, gluten free (for those who are sensitive or have allergies), rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
Fun fact: Buckwheat, despite its name, is not a wheat product. It is actually a fruit seed of the buckwheat plant which is related to rhubarb (3)
What’s naughty about it?
From a health perspective pretty much nothing! But from a sweet indulgence perspective pretty much everything. It’s sweet, it’s fluffy and it’s filled with gooey warm bananas. Mmhh!
What’s low waste about it?
Anything I do, I try to do in a sustainable manner. Food waste is still a major issue around the world. It’s hard to grasp sometimes that 1/3 (!) of the food produced globally lands in trash, while more than 820 million people in the world still do not have enough to eat (5). Many people throw out fruits and vegetables if they are slightly soft or have a bruise. What I am doing here with brown bananas instead of tossing them out can be done with many other things. Have you ever tried making a pesto from carrot greens for example? Or put cauliflower leaves in a soup or smoothie?
Low waste goes beyond just the bananas in this recipe though. For example I buy the ingredients that I can in this recipe unpackaged and use my own bags to reduce the amount of waste going into the sweet dish. If you want to learn how to shop low waste, you can check out my post where I give you 5 ultimate tips on how to shop low waste at an ordinary supermarket.
The last low waste tip in this recipe is not to use a parchment paper for baking. I simply use some oil to grease the baking pan and it works fine. Let’s not make waste where we don’t need to, right? 🙂
Possible add-in’s & toppings for that extra yum
You obviously don’t have to add anything else if you don’t want to, but I decided to add some vegan chocolate chips and because who makes the rules about how much chocolate you can have – I topped it with a vegan chocolate spread. I love this organic one, which comes from Italy and is palmoil free. But there are many out there now. You can find them in any organic supermarket and even in some big supermarkets now. When I’m not in a “bathing in chocolate” kind of mood, I’ll top it with fresh coconut yoghurt or some jam. And honestly anything goes. It’s really just a question of what you enjoy 🙂
Bananas aren’t in season in my country, should I still buy them?
If you live in a country that produces bananas you’re obviously fine! But even if like me, you live in a country that does not grow bananas there are ways to make it more okay. Generally speaking you should always try to buy local and seasonal. This will almost always be the most sustainable and natural option (less pesticides, less transportation, no artifical environment).
However, I love bananas and that’s okay 🙂 None of us have to be perfect to live a more sustainable lifestyle. What’s important to look at is your overall consumption behavior. The most sustainable diet is a plant-based diet. So if you’re looking to live as eco-friendy as possible you should try to eat an abundance of plants and avoid meat and dairy. If you’re not ready for a full-time plant-based diet you can try being a part-time vegan and allow yourself to make a healthy vegan banana bread here and there 🙂
Healthy Vegan Banana Bread – Sugar Free, Gluten Free, Oil/Butter Free
Prep Time: 15 min Cook Time: 20-30 min Makes: 7-10 slices
- 1/3 cup (80ml) plant milk (I like oat)
- 1 TBSP apple cider vinegar
- 4-5 medium sized mashed ripe bananas (see important notes)
- 2 TBSP almond butter
- 1/2 cup (170g) date syrup (see important notes)
- 1 TSP vanilla extract (not sugar)
- 1.5 cups (195g) buckwheat flower (see important notes)
- 1 TSP ground cinnamon
- 2 TBSP ground flax seeds
- 1 heaped TBSP baking powder
- 1 TSP baking soda
- 1/2 TSP sea salt
- Optional: Walnuts & Banana Slices for topping
- Preheat your oven to 350F (180C°)
- Oil your baking pan (get every corner so the banana bread won’t stick)
- Combine plant milk and apple cider vinegar in a small bowl and leave it to react for 2 mintues
- Combine and mix all wet ingredients (plant milk with vinegar, mashed bananas, almond butter, date syrup and vanilla extract)
- Add in all the dry ingredients (buckwheat flower, cinnamon, flax seeds, baking soda and powder and sea salt) and mix it all together but be carfeful not to overmix.
- Pour batter into oiled baking pan (add walnuts & banana slices as topping) and put it into the oven for about 20-30 minutes – check after 20 min with toothpick or knive to see if batter is still wet and sticks. Baking time can vary quite a bit depending on your oven.
- When it’s done, cut around the edges with a knife, let it sit for 5 minutes before you take it out. Slice and enjoy! 🙂
Important notes for the recipe
N1 Bananas: To make this heathy vegan banana bread it is best to use super ripe bananas. They can be completely brown. The darker they are the sweeter they will be. Also please make sure to buy organic AND fair trade bananas! And if you have access to them in your country use services like sirplus.de that save food from the trash instead of buying new at the supermarket.
N2 Date syrup: You can make it from scratch by using soft (!) dates and cooking them for a couple of mintues with 2 TBSP of water until they become syrup or you can buy date syrup prepackacked. Alternativley you can use maple syrup.
N3 Flour & Gluten: If you are not allergic to gluten, making this recipe with wholewheat or any other all purpose flour will make it more fluffy (as gluten-free usually also means your baked goods will be a bit more dense). When using flour that is not gluten-free you can reduce the amount of baking powder to 2 TSP.
I’d love to hear from you if you made this recipe! Tag me (earthy_eco) on Instagram and use the hashtag #earthyeco. It would also mean so much to me if you leave some love in the comments if you liked it <3
(3) Organic Facts