These are the wise words from our team chef, Owen Blandy. We take that motto pretty seriously, especially after we’ve had his freshly baked vegan spiced banana bread. This recipe is a particularly delicious (and healthy) one —straight from the team van. Owen also gives you options so you can make it both sugar and gluten-free.
Regardless of what sweetener or flour option you go with, it will pair nicely with your morning cup of java or afternoon tea. Plus, these nutrients and minerals will certainly fuel you for your next ride or will satiate you after a long one.
“The loaf is meant to be a versatile way of using up ripe bananas and packing in a varied nutrient profile by mixing flours, ground seeds and nuts along with a variety of sweeteners,” said Blandy. Well, now that we’ve got you excited, let’s get started:
*Measurements were given in grams and converted to cups*
3 ripe bananas
100g vegetable oil or about ½ cup. Other options: nut butter or coconut oil
100g maple syrup or about ½ cup. Other options: dates, figs, apricots, sugar
230g flour or about 1 ¾ cups. Owen recommends you use the best flour you can afford. Try heritage wheat such as spelt, rye, einkorn and kamut for a nutty more wholesome loaf. Gluten free flour can be subbed in, and he recommends any of the following; gluten free flour blend, ground almond meal, polenta, coconut flour and buckwheat
30g ground flaxseeds/almonds or about ¼ cup of either
50g plant milk or about ½ cup
15g baking powder or about 3 teaspoons
7g salt or about 1 ½ teaspoons
10g nutmeg or 2 teaspoons
10g cinnamon or 2 teaspoons
10g cardamon or 2 teaspoons
Sliced banana and demerara sugar to finish
Prepare a rectangular baking tin by greasing with vegetable oil and cutting a piece of non-stick baking parchment paper to cover the bottom and two long sides of the pan. (Think of the paper as a sling that you can use to remove the bread easily once it’s baked.)
If using dates or dried figs as your chosen sweetener, they’ll need to be rehydrated slightly so they will blend easily into the batter. Leave in a bowl with boiling water for 10mins, then drain off the liquid and add the fruit to a food processor. If using honey, syrup or sugar instead of the fruit, simply cream this together with the bananas and the oil in the processor
Once the wet ingredients have been mixed together, weigh out all the other dry ingredients and add to the mixing bowl.
Combine with a spatula until the batter is uniformly even. The mixture should be of a heavy pancake battere consistency.
Spoon into the baking tin and smooth out the top with a spatula.
Then place slices of banana on top of the cake and sprinkle with salt and demerara sugar for a sweet, salted caramelised finish.
Bake for 45-50mins at 170C/340F. Insert a clean knife or skewer to test if the cake is baked through. If it comes out clean, it’s done!