Healthy Flax Peanut Butter Banana Bread (oil-free, refined sugar free, vegan)

Any type of bread, sweet or savory, is my weakness. Banana bread is one of those quick breads that I can never turn down. I’m always in the mood for it and often crave it. Bananas are seriously something I cannot live without. I eat one everyday without fail, so when it is in bread form, I am truly in heaven. Bread + bananas + peanut butter = PERFECTION. Now can you understand why I’m so obsessed with this banana bread?! Most banana breads are packed with sugar and high in fat. I wanted to make a banana bread recipe that I could feel good eating lots of, because really, I can’t just have one slice. 🙂 This banana bread is packed with ground flax seed, whole wheat flour, natural peanut butter, and is only slightly sweetened with a little bit of pure maple syrup. Let me just emphasize, this banana bread is NOT sweet like most banana breads. It is just barely sweetened and that’s why I love it so much. There are no refined sugars and oil too, which is an added plus! This banana bread paired with some extra peanut butter and freshly sliced bananas makes for the perfect breakfast, treat, dessert, or snack. Also, the added sesame seeds makes it even better! Let’s just say it did not last very long in my house. 

Healthy Flax Peanut Butter Banana Bread (oil-free, vegan) 

3 extra ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 1/2 cups mashed banana)
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/3 cup all natural peanut butter (or any nut butter or tahini would be yummy too) 
1 flax egg (1 Tbsp ground flax + 3 Tbsp water, mixed and set aside for a few minutes)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk 
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (or white whole wheat flour)
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp white or black sesame seeds (I love the crunch and texture it adds)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper or spray with nonstick cooking spray.In a large bowl combine the wet ingredients: mashed banana, maple syrup, peanut butter, flax egg, vanilla, and almond milk until smooth.

In a separate large bowl whisk together the dry ingredients: whole wheat pastry flour, flaxseed meal, sesame seeds, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Do not overmix!!! Pour into prepared loaf pan and smooth top with a spatula.

Bake for 45-55 minutes or until tester comes out clean or with just a few crumbs attached. Remove from oven and allow pan cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove bread and transfer to wire rack to cool completely. Bread is very good toasted and spread with extra nut butter of choice.

Tip: Make the bread the day before, cool completely, then wrap in plastic wrap and put it in a big ziploc bag. Slice and eat the next day. The bread will be SO SO moist and the flavors will have had more time to mix. SO good the next day!!! But of course, still slice yourself some the day of if you can’t wait like me. 

(Recipe adapted from the Ambitious Kitchen)
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