I made this compact banana bread recipe for Monbento, using their handy Silicase mould – just the right size for a bento box. I wanted the recipe to be as minimal as possible, one I could remember by heart. I think I succeeded – I've lost count on how many times I've made it in the last month! And most importantly, everyone who's tries a piece wants another one :)
This banana bread reminds me of the typical Swedish 'oven pancake' my mum used to make us as kids. Something very satisfying and moist about it ... Sweetened with dates and banana only, not too sweet, under 10 ingredients – easy as pie!
I never really managed to make a egg-less cake before but Delicious and Healthy by Maya shared the secret on her brilliant blog: you need to make one dry, and one wet mix and gently fold them together without mixing tooo much. Thanks Maya, you've opened my cake horizon!
Many vegan cakes call for chia or flax to replace egg as a 'binder' but I wanted to leave this sort of fussy ingredient out. I can say there's absolutely no need for it in this cake! Similarly, many 'clean' cakes calls for coconut oil – I've used the easier-to-find, cheaper and less air-mile european olive oil. If you want to make this banana bread gluten free, replace the spelt with the same amount of (gluten free) oats.
Vegan mini banana bread: 8 ingredients, no-fuss
Enough for one large bento-shaped mould (I used @monbento silicase). For a normal bread tin, double the recipe and line the tin with baking paper.
25g (50 ml) rolled oats
25g (40 ml) almonds
25g (50 ml) spelt flour, white or whole both work well
1 pinch vanilla powder (optional)
1/2 tsp baking powder
A few squares dark chocolate, roughly chopped
1/2 ripe banana
5 (25g) natural dates, soaked in a little hot water if hard
2 tbsp (20g) extra virgin olive oil
100 ml water
- In a blender, blend dry ingredients except chocolate to a flour. Don’t worry if there are still some nut or oat pieces. Transfer to a bowl.
- Without washing your blender out, blend banana, dates, olive oil and water.
- Fold the wet blend gently into the dry, without mixing too much. It’s fine if there are still some lumps of flour. The consistency should be like loose porridge.
- Pour into your mould or tin.
- Scatter with the chopped chocolate, and use the remaining half banana to decorate.
- Bake at 180ºC for 30-35 minutes – it's better slightly under-baked than over-baked.
- Let cool upside down in mould to keep the moisture in.
Tip: If you soak the dates to soften them, you can use warm or hot water for speedy soaking – then use the soaking water as part of the 100 ml water as it'll taste sweet! I like giving my dry fruit a quick wash under the tap before soaking or using, they may have been dried outside or collected dirt or debris on their long way to your kitchen.