Vegan Roasted Banana Bread

1:14 am

Bananas are roasted until blackened to enhance their aroma to make this simple, vegan banana bread- something easy to start off 2016.
I've always been a little bit apathetic towards making New Years Resolutions- or more specifically, revealing them for other people to know as well. I'm not that much of a cynic to ignore the significance of a fresh start and the motivation that gives us all. After months of sloth-like behaviour (i.e. napping everyday at three in the afternoon, because obviously that's what all teenagers do after they finish their exams), it's definitely nice to look forward to the future and be excited for what's to come. But I've always felt so much pressure to put a definitive list of 'Things I Must Do in 366 Days' down for fear that I won't complete it and the fear of disappointment from myself and others. That's not to say I don't have goals but somehow I'd rather leave them somewhat scattered in my mind, just for myself- but this year, they involve challenging myself in social situations, and creatively, encouraging myself to go beyond what I am familiar with and the obvious choices/combinations, particularly when it comes to food.

I know many people think differently when it comes to these self-promises at the beginning of the year and I can't help but love this energy and sense of determination that I think should be acknowledged and praised no matter how long it may last.

Maybe we can't all agree on New Years Resolutions- but we can all agree on banana bread.

I was curious to try Joy The Baker's Vegan Mango Banana Bread as I wondered how it would fare next to its non-vegan counterparts without the seemingly integral ingredient of buttermilk/Greek yogurt/sour cream to provide moisture. The first adjustment I made to Joy's recipe was to roast the bananas in their skins. The bananas I used were perfect for eating but not quite ripe enough to use in banana bread. This step was super simple.

While roasting the bananas made them infinitely easier to mash up, and the aroma of the banana bread was enhanced overall, I didn't feel like the banana flavour was more pronounced or poignant because of this step as my bananas weren't ripe enough in the first place. However, I would definitely recommend this if your bananas are looking much spottier than mine are in the picture above.

I loved the warmth the ginger and cinnamon gave- and being away for Christmas and missing my annual dose of gingerbread men, this made up for it. Omitting the mango in Joy's original recipe may have contributed to the drier texture of my bread- so I have made changes in my instructions below below. Overall, it was a lovely, tasty way to ease myself back into baking and a slightly healthier option for those of you with a resolution to eat healthier!

Vegan Roasted Banana Bread
Adapted from Joy The Baker

3 medium bananas, ripe
2 cups plain flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2-3/4 cup brown sugar (depending on ripeness of bananas)

2 tsp vanilla extract
Unsweetened Almond milk (optional)
Raw sugar for topping (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees celcius.
2. Place bananas on a parchment lined baking tray and roast them for about 40 minutes- they are done when soft and the skin is blackened.
3. In the meantime, sift the plain flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and salt into a large bowl.
4. When bananas are ready, remove them from their skins and mash with a fork. If you do this on the parchment paper, it makes for an easy clean up. Allow to cool slightly.
5. Add vegetable oil, brown sugar, vanilla extract to the dry ingredients and mix with a spatula until mostly combined.
6. Add mashed bananas to the mixture. If it appears dry and the flour is difficult to incorporate, add a splash of almond milk (~3 tbsp). Avoid overmixing.
7. Pour mixture into a greased and lined loaf tin (9x5inches). Sprinkle raw sugar for added texture. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean or with a few crumbs attached.
8. Cool in the tin for 20 minutes before removing it and finish cooling on a cooling rack.

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