Saturday, January 8, 2011

Vegan Banana Bread

[PSA:] Did y'all know that it's International Blog Delurking Week? Knowing who my readers are gives me a chance to visit them and return the kindness.  There's just one day left, so please, delurk yourselves ... as Serenity puts it, please give me a "hi, there!" or "go to hell!" or "I've tried your recipes and you are a horrific cook!"  [end PSA.]

I started to write a lofty post about yoga class this week and Ganesha and overcoming obstacles, and honestly, it was taking me days, so I've abandoned that idea for now, and thought I'd just post something mundane, so no one starts wondering if I left the blogosphere to go into labor.

I feel strangely like I've been tying up loose ends lately, and letting go.  While I don't think I'm exactly nesting (the frenzy of baby-clothes-washing was more like a methodical weeding out of I.'s old clothes), I feel myself beginning to detach from the world.  This is true at work (more about that in my next post, perhaps), but also true at home: even the outreach group I coordinate at our fellowship is coming over this week to talk about our committee policy and catch up with each other before I disappear.  I'm expecting about twelve of them for coffee and dessert, so I decided to heat up the oven again.  (Actually, I'm sure they don't expect coffee and dessert, but it's the group of people who care for others when there are crises like deaths and illnesses in the family, and when happy events like births and adoptions make preparing dinner feel like an insurmountable task, so I feel like it's important to bake for them for a change, to let them know how much their work--their ministry--is appreciated.)  I decided on a banana bread and some coffeehouse hermits, and maybe some blondies, none of which put you back in that post-holiday gluttonous regretful stupor.

The thing I like about banana bread (besides the fact that it uses up old bananas that you've tossed in your freezer) is that it's so versatile; you can make it healthy or not so healthy, as the occasion demands.  I posted a banana bread recipe before here, but that one is essentially a bag of chocolate chips disguised as a banana bread.  This one is really more of a banana bread, and vegan, to boot. It's good for breakfast, or snack, or whenever you need to be able to eat with one hand.

Vegan Cinnamon Banana Bread

1 cup flour (I used half white, half whole-wheat; gluten free folks can use 1 c. Bob's gluten free flour and 1/2 t. agar agar or xanthan gum)
1 t. baking soda
1 t. baking powder
1 t. cinnamon 
1/4 t. salt
3 overripe bananas, mashed
1/4 c. canola oil
1/3 c. agave nectar
1/3 c. unsweetened soy milk
2 t. vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350°. Lightly oil an 8 1/2-by-4 1/2-inch loaf pan. Line the bottom and sides of the loaf pan with parchment paper and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk the baking flour with the baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, xanthan gum and salt. In another bowl (or in your blender), whisk the bananas with the oil, agave nectar, soy milk and vanilla. Add the banana mixture to the dry ingredients and whisk until smooth. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the banana bread cool on a rack for 20 minutes before turning it out. Let cool completely before slicing.
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  1. I'm not a lurker but I'll comment anyway to ask if you're ignoring my comment on your last post re: organizing an online shower for you and Bean, and if so if you think you can really make me go away so easily?

    I promise to be very nice to your friends.

    Friends of Justine and Bean, my email is in my profile. Please come help me celebrate a wonderful woman and a very much wanted baby.

  2. I'm not ignoring your comment. I think a virtual shower of good wishes would be lovely ... can I bring the cupcakes? :)

  3. Oh! I like the idea of an online shower - and of cupcakes!!

  4. Ok, I don't know what's wrong with me. I just got completely choked up reading this post about you feeling like you should cook for these people who go out of their way to make others feel loved in their time of need. I'm such a dork! I LOVE banana bread, but for some reason when I buy bananas for the sole purpose of making bread, every time I turn around my husband has taken another one and I'm left without enough. Any other time when there are there for eating they sit and sit. Not such a bad problem I guess in the grand scheme of things :)

  5. Weeding, nesting, detaching - I think all of the above make sense. Battening down the hatches, even?:) And that banana bread sounds like a nice warm accompaniment to it.

  6. mmmmmmm I love banana bread. Especially a big warm and toasty piece early in the morning when the house is nice and quiet. Oh, and with a delicious hot cup of coffee, too.

    Thinking of you and wishing you much peace for all that lies ahead of you. xx

  7. Okay, after thinking about my last comment I have now talked myself into a hot cup of tea and a chocolate cupcake. Not exactly the same thing and it's not early morning, but the house is quiet and it'll do.

  8. Lovely post. And I can't stop thinking about that banana bread. I may just have to make myself some. I deserve it after my crap week, I think.

    Thank you for your kind words on my post- it's a true blessing to have received such wonderful support.


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