vegan banana swirl bread


If you don't hate bananas (you don't, right?), then there's a good chance that whenever you've brought home a bunch, you've ended up with a few that didn't make it. We've all been there. But the thing is, if you don't hate bananas (because you have some right now, remember?), then you would also know that even if those dark brown/black bananas are no longer good for eating (um, maybe), they're the perfect recipe-starter for a number of tasty baked goods. Including this marbled banana bread, a small upgrade on a classic.

The first half of the upgrade is the addition of cocoa powder, hence the swirl. And as any good banana lover knows, chocolate and bananas are best friends forever. The other half of what makes this recipe awesome is that it's a vegan quick bread that lacks nothing in flavor or texture. Really. Grab some of those overripe bananas you were thinking about throwing away (gasp) and try this out.

For this recipe, you'll need:

1 cup very well-mashed banana (this will take about two or three, depending on size)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 cup almond milk (or any non-dairy milk that you like)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
6 tablespoons (very) hot water

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together your banana purée, sugar, oil, milk and vanilla. Whisk together until smooth. In the same bowl, add in your flours, baking soda and salt. Fold together until just incorporated.

Scoop out about 1 cups worth of your batter into a smaller bowl. In a glass measuring cup (or some other small heat-proof container), whisk together your cocoa powder and 3 tablespoons of your (very) hot water until smooth. Whisk into your separated batter until your batter looks deliciously chocolate-y.

In your larger bowl with the rest of your batter, whisk in the other 3 tablespoons of (very) hot water until smooth.

Lightly grease an 8"x4" loaf pan. Scoop in 1/2 cup increments of each batter until all of your batters are in the pan. Use a butter knife and swirl it through your batter in a circular direction for just a few seconds---you don't want to mix everything together completely, but it also doesn't have to be perfect. You'll probably know when to stop mixing just by eyeballing it.

Transfer to the oven for 55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. It's still going to be a little sticky when it's hot, but as long as the toothpick isn't wet or batter-y, it should be perfect once it cools.

Inspired by Post Punk Kitchen.

Looking for some other ways to use up those brown bananas?