banana bread bonanza, round 1

One of my favorite breakfasts when I was little was banana bread. When it was fresh out of the oven, warm but not hot, with a chewy, muffin-top like crust and a super soft inside. Smothering that supple, soft bread with butter and watching the butter melt and soak into the bread. Savoring every bite of that butter-soaked treat.

I’ve always loved butter.

As a kid, whenever there was bread and butter with dinner, I would smother my piece with butter, lick all of the  butter off, and then add more butter. Until my family caught me, of course. Still though, there’s something about butter that’s so perfect. It’s salty and sweet all at once, and the fat rounds out any flavor that you pair with it.

Whenever I don’t feel well, I crave that buttery goodness.

Granted, now butter is off limits, but Smart Balance Soy-Free makes a convincing substitute. Ghee can also be used, if you’re looking for something less processed, with an ingredient list that’s not a gazillion miles long. It’s lactose, casein, and whey-free, but it doesn’t have the same salty smoothness as butter. You’re better off using it as an ingredient in recipes, as opposed to a condiment.

I used it to make banana bread.

And this banana bread was lovely. It rose so high, had a perfect crust, and tasted delicious by itself or with a dash of honey. Mind you though, it was a first attempt at grain-free, vegan, sugar-free banana bread, so it wasn’t perfect. A little dry, despite all of the fruit that went into it. This is definitely a work in progress. Stay tuned for more renditions.

This recipe was adapted from another food blog (www.lpbaker.com), the author of which created this bread as a low-calorie, sugar-free, vegan treat for his wife.

1/2 cup non-dairy milk (I used Living Harvest Temp Unsweetened Vanilla Hemp Milk)

2 tbsp honey

1/3 cup apple sauce

4 tbsp ghee, melted (Smart Balance will work too!)

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

2 tsp vanilla

2 large very ripe bananas, mashed well with a fork

3/4 cup fava/garbanzo bean flour

1/3 cup + 1 tbsp tapioca starch

1/2 Teaspoon Salt

1 tsp allspice

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 8″ loaf tin, or something similar, and line the bottom with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, mix all of the dry ingredients.

In a medium size bowl, combine all the wet ingredients except the mashed banana. Beat thoroughly with a whisk until the mixture is a little foamy (say, 60 seconds), then add the mashed banana.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until well combined. The dough should be pretty dense and rather sticky.

Pour the dough into the loaf tin and smooth out the surface.

Bake for 30 minutes (the original recipe said 60  minutes, but mine was done in 30). Use a toothpick of skewer to check for doneness – if it comes out clean, you’re done! Pull the bread out of the oven and place on the counter to rest for about 10 minutes. Then pop it out of the tin, smother with your favorite condiments (butter?) and enjoy!

Apparently sugaring season has arrived, which means that the nights are below 30 degrees and the days are above…for once I’m excited that it’s warming up…maybe we won’t all freeze during the snowshoe race tomorrow! The largest snowshoe race in the world is held every year in Pittsfield, VT. The 100-mile race started today, but we’re holding out for the shorter race tomorrow. As I’ve never been snowshoeing before, it should be quite the adventure!

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