Confession: I don’t really like plain ol’ sitting-on-the-top-of-the-fridge bananas
Blend it up in a fruit packed smoothie, dip frosty pieces in chocolate, or freeze it and make banana ice cream, but the plain, in a peel banana…shoot, give it to me in Walnut Topped Chocolate Vegan Banana Bread form instead.
Everyone has their favorite banana bread recipe. For me in college, it was from the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook my mom gave me before I moved into an apartment, arming me with all the necessary basic formulas for the dishes that would get us through all the nights and weekends of hard socializing (er, studying). My roommates and I would bake up loaf upon loaf of banana bread, deeming it a baked good appropriate for all occasions. Study snack! Breakfast! Dessert! Dinner? Yes!
This version is a little more dessert-y, incorporating cocoa powder into the batter and giving the top a liberal sprinkling of chopped walnuts.
The key to a wonderfully smooth banana bread batter is mashing the banana. If the banana is not mashed thoroughly your bread ends up looking and tasting like a big mouthful of lumpy smoothie crossed with pancake batter gone wrong. So mash it up..then, mash it more! The smoother the better. Mix it up, bake it, let it cool (hardest part, right?!), slather a thick slice with butter, and watch it melt into the nice pockets of scrumptious banana chocolate goodness.
Walnut Topped Chocolate Banana Bread
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup mashed very ripe banana
3/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/3 cup almond milk (or your preferred non-dairy milk)
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tablespoons hot water
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Mash the banana in a large mixing bowl until relatively smooth. Beat in the sugar, canola oil, milk and vanilla.
Now add the flour, baking soda and salt and gently mix just to incorporate. Make sure not to over mix, once you can’t see the flour, you are good to go.
Mix together the cocoa powder and hot water, add the rest of ingredients and incorporate thoroughly.
Lightly grease a loaf pan, pour batter evenly into pan, sprinkle with chopped walnuts.
Bake for 55 minutes. Use a butter knife to test for doneness. Let cool before removing from pan, slice, and enjoy!