I had a beloved banana bread recipe from the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook (great cookbook!), but unfortunately, it calls for an egg (and 3/4 cup white sugar), so I went looking for a new banana bread recipe. I decided to try both the recipe from the Veganomicon cookbook for Lower-Fat Banana Bread and the recipe for virtually Fat-Free Banana Bread from The Happy Herbivore cookbook. What’s crazy is how completely different the ingredients lists for these two breads are.
Anyway, I made both and then my husband and I judged them. The loaves looked, smelled and tasted very different. The Happy Herbivore bread was soft on the outside and inside, smelled mostly of spices and had an almost spongy quality. The Veganomicon bread was more crusty on the outside, soft on the inside and smelled of bananas. Both were tasty. I will say, however that the Veganimocon recipe calls for oil, which is okay by some vegans, but someone following a whole foods, plant-based diet would disapprove. I think next time I make it, I will try to replace the oil with ground flax (I am loving the usefulness of ground flax!) or with more applesauce. The Happy Herbivore recipe uses no oil. I will list both ingredients lists here, in case you want to try both.
Veganomicon Lower-Fat Banana Bread
2 or 3 very ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 cup applesauce
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup sugar (white, raw, brown, or sub part stevia)
2 tablespoons molasses
2 cups flour (white, whole wheat, or part white, part whole wheat)
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
Mix and bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 min.
The Happy Herbivore Banana Bread
1/4 cup non-dairy milk
1/4 tsp lemon juice
4-5 spotted or browning bananas
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup raw sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp pure maple syrup (I omitted, and it was still plenty sweet!)
Whisk together milk and lemon juice and set aside. Cream bananas with sugars by hand and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk spices, flour, baking soda and baking powder together. Add wet ingredients, as well as all remaining ingredients, to the flour mixture and stir until just combined. Pour into loaf pan and smooth out top. Make a tent over the pan with a large piece of aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.