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.

tartcherrybread

Ingredients:

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

Method:
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)!

vegan apricot lemon tahini squares

I like to keep something sweet, nutritious, and easy to grab and go, in the house at all times.  Since the cashew cranberry carob squares  disappeared so fast, I decided to concoct another no-bake dried fruit and nut/seed square.  Tahini (sesame paste) is delicious with dates, chunks of apricot, and lemon.  Read up on tahini’s nutritional benefits at Gentle World.

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Makes 16 squares

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Chill Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:
1 cup raw cashews
1/2 cup (make it a heaping half cup) pitted dates
1 cup dried apricots
1/2 cup flaked coconut
1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
4 T roasted unsalted tahini
zest of two lemons
fresh juice of those two lemons
2 T sesame seeds, to sprinkle over top
just a little coconut oil for greasing pan

Method:
Step One:  Gather ingredients and zest lemons. Chop by hand 1/3 of the apricots and set aside.

tahinigathered

Step Two: Pulse cashews in food processor till they’re chopped up medium-fine. Be careful not to turn them into nut butter.

Step Three: Remove chopped cashews from food processor. Process dried fruits, coconut, tahini, rolled oats, and lemon zest for 20 seconds or until mixture is well combined but not completely pureed.

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Step Four: Squeeze lemon juice into the mixture; pulse another 10 seconds.

Step Five: Using your hands, mix cashews and reserved chopped apricots into tahini mixture in a large bowl. If it seems dry, wet your hands with just a bit of water. (Oil content in tahini varies, and amount of lemon juice in a lemon varies).

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Step Six: Press mixture into glass 8 x 8 dish lightly greased with a very small amount of coconut oil. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and press them into the top. Chill for twenty minutes and cut into squares. Store in ziploc bags or other container in the fridge or freezer.

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cashew cranberry carob squares

These nut, fruit and carob squares without added sugar remind me of the cubes sold in bulk bins at many health food stores20131003_141805, Chunks of Energy.  They’re perfect for when you want something sweet with coffee or chai, or a glass of almond milk, without going into the cookie jar or raiding the chocolate stash.  Simple to make, too!  The formula upon which these are loosely based comes from Maria Makes Muffins, a clean eating (nonvegan) blog.  You could form them into balls and roll them in coconut, but I like to press the mixture into an 8 x 8 square pan, chill, and cut them.  If you like the extra tang, toss 1/4 cup more dried cranberries in as you mix it all together!!

Update:  I wanted to make these for something sweet to pack in lunches, but had no cashews in the house.  So I substituted raw walnuts (1 cup) and added raw sunflower seeds (1/3 cup).  The results are incredibly yummy!  Pulse walnuts in food processor and remove them, just as you would cashews, and toss the sunflower seeds in with the remaining ingredients.

Makes 16 squares
Prep Time: 10 minutes (or less!)
Chill Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:
1 cup raw cashews
1/3 cup pitted dates
1/2 cup dried unsweetened cranberries
1/2 cup dried apricots
1/2 cup flaked coconut, plus a little more to sprinkle on top
2 T tahini
2 T carob powder
zest of one orange
fresh juice of that same orange
just a little coconut oil for greasing pan

Method:

Step One:  Gather ingredients and zest the orange.

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Step Two:  Pulse cashews in food processor till they’re chopped up medium-fine.  Be careful not to turn them into nut butter.

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Step Three:  Remove chopped cashews from food processor.  Process the dried fruits, coconut, tahini, carob powder, and orange zest for 20 seconds or until mixture is well combined but not completely pureed.

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Step Four:  Squeeze orange juice into the mixture; pulse another 10 seconds.

Step Five:  Using your hands, mix cashews into carob mixture in a large bowl.  20131003_134004

Step Six:  Press mixture into glass 8 x 8 dish lightly greased with a very small amount of coconut oil.  Sprinkle with a little flaked coconut and press it into the top.  Chill for twenty minutes and cut into squares.  Store in ziploc bags or other container in the fridge or freezer.