I get legitimately bothered when I have to throw away produce. I buy it when it’s fresh and beautiful and then I just let it die. I’m ashamed of how much produce I’ve thrown away because I didn’t get around to using it before it went bad.
So to ease my guilt and reduce my waste, I’ve started putting veggies that I won’t use in time into a giant bag in my freezer to save and make a giant batch of stock with someday – 2 1/2 bags so far! I’m going to start turning fruits into jams, and I’ve taken to making banana bread when my bananas are getting speckled – chocolate banana bread, of course. It’s a fast, easy and tasty way to use up those squishy bananas.
I mash 7 speckled bananas in a large bowl until it becomes a smooth mixture with just a few bits of unmashed banana. Next, I combine all of my wet ingredients and whisk them up. I let that sit and thicken for a few minutes while I sifted my dry ingredients together.
Vegan surprise of the week: Banana bread typically doesn’t have eggs in it because bananas work as an egg replacement! The amount of moisture and starch in bananas acts as a binding agent.
I pour the wet mix into the mashed bananas and fold it in gently. When they’re fully incorporated, I add the dry ingredients and fold those in as well The batter comes out so luscious and thick, like a brownie batter! If your mix is locking up, feel free to add more coconut milk at this point – I’d suggest up to 1/2 cup. Some gluten-free flours just soak up all the liquid in a batter. Lastly, I toss in two big handfuls of chocolate chips and gently stirred them in.
I spread the chocolate batter into a well-greased baking dish, pushing it out to the edges of the pan. Then, I bake it for 60-70 minutes in a 9×13 pan at 350°.
NOTE: My oven is old as shit. I have a temperature reader in there that says that my oven is at 350°, but I would suggest that you check your banana bread every 30 minutes to be safe.
As the bread baked, the scent of warm cocoa and sweet banana was so enticing! I kept opening the oven to smell the chocolate bread and I was amazed to see how much it rose! It looked like it had inflated, and it didn’t poof back down after I pulled it out of the oven, like cakes do. When it was cool enough to cut, I sectioned the chocolate banana bread into wide hunks and took a huge bite.
It tasted more like a brownie than banana bread! I was thrilled with how rich and chocolatey it was. The bread was so fudgy and moist that I actually worried I hadn’t baked it for long enough! But that’s the glory of the bananas – they gave the bread that great chewiness that so many people love in brownies. The bananas are also responsible for the bread’s incredible elasticity and height – spongy and sturdy at the same time.
With this amazing recipe, there will never be another banana thrown away in my apartment!
Recipe for Chocolate Banana Bread – Vegan and gluten-free
7 speckled/brown bananas
2/3 c. coconut oil
1 3/4 c. coconut milk, unsweetened
1 tblsp. vanilla extract
2 1/2 tblsp. apple cider vinegar
1 1/4 c. brown sugar
4 1/4 c. gluten-free flour mix
2 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 2/3 c. cocoa powder, unsweetened
1 1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 c. chocolate chips, vegan
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mash bananas until smooth. Combine wet ingredients and whisk together. Let sit for 5 minutes to thicken. Pour wet mixture into mashed bananas, fold gently to incorporate. Combine dry ingredients and sift. Add dry ingredients to the banana mix. Fold gently to incorporate. Add chocolate chips and fold.
Grease a 9×13 baking dish. Pour batter into dish and spread to corners. Bake for 60-70 minutes, or until the center of the bread springs back when lightly pushed. Allow to cool in pan.