vegan apple banana bread

A revision of my blueberry banana bread , this recipe calls for two and a half bananas and one apple, as that’s what was in the house.  You could make ‘normal’ banana bread and leave out the apple, using three bananas; apples are a nice fall or winter touch.  Toasted walnuts and tart dried cherries put the flavor over the top!  Feel free to switch that to pecans and raisins.  Pictured with homemade vegan butter and orange marmalade.



2 1/2 slightly overripe bananas
1 apple
1/3 c almond milk (original unsweetened)
4 T brown rice syrup
2 T lemon juice
1 c all-purpose flour
1 c whole wheat pastry flour
1/3 c raw wheat germ
3/4 t baking powder
3/4 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 c walnuts
1 cup dried tart cherries
coconut oil spray

Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray or grease loaf pan (9 x 5) with coconut oil.
Step One: Chop walnuts coarsely, then toast for about seven minutes over medium heat. Stir them every once in a while till fragrant and golden brown.
Step Two: Mix together in larger of two bowls the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
Step Three: Mash bananas well with a fork. Peel apple and cut into small pieces.
Step Four: Combine wet ingredients into smaller of two bowls: mashed banana mixture,apples, almond milk, brown rice syrup, and lemon juice.
Step Five: Pour wet mixture into dry mixture. Stir gently till it becomes a nice dough — don’t overdo it. Fold in walnuts and tart cherries.
Step Six: Bake at 350 till golden brown, 50 -55 minutes.                     20150302_082934

Slip the loaf out and cool on a rack. Serve warm, or toasted piece by piece (my favorite way to eat this)!

rosemary & cracked pepper onion rolls

Cold weather has brought on my breadmaking urge.  Found a scrumptious-looking recipe at SImply Scratch and decided to veganize it!  Olive oil replaces butter; brown rice syrup replaces honey.  Flax seed adds nutrition and an earthiness to these great-with-a-hot-bowl-of-soup rolls.  I grind up peppercorns with a mortar and pestle to get the flavor-burst of pepper I like.  If you have a spice grinder, you can get similar nice big pieces by grinding coarsely.  20131023_173342

Prep Time: 30 minutes, plus 1 1/2 hours rising time
Bake Time: 18 – 20 minutes

1 c whole wheat flour
2 c all-purpose flour
1 1/2 t salt
2 t cracked pepper (I used a tricolor blend)
2 T flaxseed
1 pkg active dry yeast
1 1/2 c warm water
1 T brown rice syrup
4 T olive oil
1 onion
3 cloves garlic
2 sprigs fresh rosemary

Step One:  Mix flours, salt, and cracked pepper in a large bowl.



Step Two:
Chop the onion and sautee in 1 T olive oil till golden; meanwhile, mince and add in garlic. Continue sauteeing till onion is caramelized. Set aside to cool.

Step Three: Stir brown rice syrup into warm water. Sprinkle yeast into water and brown rice syrup, and stir gently with a nonmetal spoon till disolved. In about ten minutes the mixture will be bubbly; in the meantime move on to step four.

Step Four: Grind flaxseed, chop rosemary (removed from stem) and add both to flour mixture.

Step Five:  Add yeast mixture, onions and garlic to flour mixture.  Stir with wooden spoon, then knead on a floured surface for about five minutes or till dough is springy.

Step Six:  Place dough in large bowl coated with olive oil, rolling dough slightly to cover with oil so it won’t dry out.  Let rise, covered with dishcloth, in a warm place for one to one and a half hours.


Step Seven:   Separate dough into twelve rustic round pieces, placing them onto lightly oiled baking sheet.  Let rise about fifteen minutes.  Preheat oven to 450 degrees as the rolls are rising.

Step EIght:  Bake for 20 minutes or a bit less, till golden brown; brush with olive oil halfway through baking.  Your kitchen will smell fantastic!  Serve warm.

three-ingredient essene raisin bread ‘muffins’

Sprouted wheat, raisins, and cinnamon — how simple is that?!  Dense-textured, naturally sweet, they do take some time but most of that is waiting time.  So get out of the kitchen and go for a run, forget you’re making sprouted wheat muffins, and on the third morning you’ll wake to see the wheat berries are ready to go.  Then it takes thirty seconds to grind them up in a food processor, one minute to mix in the raisins and cinnamon, another two minutes to put them in a muffin tin, and two and a half  hours to dehydrate in your oven.  I like to turn them over after about an hour and a half so they are fully dry on top and moist on the bottom.  You can tell when they’re ready to flip, as your kitchen will smell heavenly!

essene muffins

I first learned how to sprout wheat and make Essene bread from Ann Wigmore’s The Sprouting Book, in the 1980s.  I hadn’t made any Essene bread in a couple of decades, but now that I’m vegan again (for good!)  have been revisiting some of the earlier health pioneers’ ideas.  How’s this for ‘early’ — this is Bible bread!  See Raw Food Coach’s blog for more information on the excellent nutrition in sprouted wheat.  Note, these are not light and fluffy; don’t expect them to rise or to taste like flour-based muffins.  Also, the photo shows mostly the dry tops, with four upside-down muffins so you can see how moist the rest of the muffin remains.

Prep TIme:  4 days.  yup, 4 days.

Effort Time:  5 minutes.

‘Bake’ Time:  2 – 2  1/2 hours


1 1/4 c winter wheat berries 

1/2 c raisins

1 heaping t cinnamon


Step One:

Soak wheat berries overnight in water to fill a quart-sized mason jar.  (Start soaking them by 5-6 p.m. if you can.)

Step Two:

Drain and rInse wheat berries, drain again, and set them out, jar on its side, anywhere airy and without direct sunlight.  RInse them twice more during this day.  Repeat another day.

wheat sprouts ready

Step Three:

Examine your sprouts.  Somewhere around the third day of sprouting, they are ready to go.   The little stems are about the same size or a bit less than the berry itself (better to err on the side of less).  There will be little thin stringy roots too — don’t judge by those; they’re a little longer.  If you see green, they’ve gone too long — wheatgrass on the way!   Skip the last rinse; they’ll be drier and bake up faster.

wheat in processor

Step Four:

Place sprouted wheat berries in food processor.  Grind them up for about thirty seconds.  They will be textured and gummy, not pureed.

mix by hand essene

Step Five:

Place ground wheat berries in medium-sized mixing bowl; toss in raisins and cinnamon.  Mix together with your hands.  The dough will stick together nicely.  If it doesn’t, wet your hands and keep mixing for several more seconds.

Step Six:

Form patties, about two tablespoons each, and place into ungreased twelve-muffin tin.  Bake at 200 degrees for two to two and a half hours, turning them over about halfway through.  Muffins on right in photo below have been turned; see how they are moist underneath.  You don’t want to lose all that moisture; use your judgment as to when to take them out.

essene muffins baking

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