Who doesn’t love banana bread? It’s a moist, sweet, and cake-like bread that smells like heaven. This raw version lives up to that description beautifully! I have made many raw breads and this combination of ingredients simply is amazing. My husband and I found the balance of flavors and texture to be just about perfect. The most important ingredient is the banana. I am serious :)… you must use RIPE bananas! It effects the flavor of the bread. To see if it is sweet enough, don’t be afraid to taste the “dough” before you shape the loaf and start dehydrating it.
You will notice in the ingredient list that I used 3 different sweeteners. Each one adds a specific type of flavor and sweetness. Dates offer a mild, rich sweetness, which lends a subtle complex flavor. They have a second purpose in the recipe as well, they work as a helpful binding agent. Stevia liquid offers sweetness without a particular flavor profile such as honey does. Stevia won’t affect the texture of the recipe either. Honey has a warm, grounding flavor, the sweetness of which varies due to where it was collected. Be sure to use raw honey because some manufacturers tend to add corn syrup in processed honey. If you are bee-gan (a vegan who doesn’t consume honey) you can use any other sweetener of your choice. Such as raw agave which has a balanced sweetness, with no strong undertones in flavor.
To accelerate ripening bananas at home, you just need ethylene gas. What aisle can that be found on in the supermarket? haha Think I am joking? The produce aisle! Luckily, tomatoes, apples, pears and bananas all produce it at an increasing rate as they ripen. If you put an apple or tomato in a brown bag with bananas, that will speed the ripening. Because bananas produce it, you can place the bananas in a bag to trap the gas and ripen them faster as well. If you use unripe bananas, the bread will taste bland. If you think that bananas only add flavor, you are wrong. The are loaded with; vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, C, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Zinc! I will take my supplements in the shape of Raw Banana Walnut Bread, please. Much easier and more enjoyable that a capsule, don’t you agree?
I often find that my raw breads don’t require any type of “butters” or spreads on them because they are so dense and moist but for my sweetheart I made a Coconut Date Butter which compliments the Banana Walnut Bread quite well.
Ingredients: 1 loaf
Hand mix in:
- 1 cup chopped walnuts, soaked
- 2 Tbsp walnuts, chopped for topping
- 1 banana, diced into chunks (optional)
- In the food processor fitted with the “S” blade, place the following ingredients: oats, flax meal, coconut flour, cinnamon and salt. Pulse together until combined. Place the dry ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
- In the same food processor bowl combine: nut pulp, mashed banana, date paste, sweeteners, vanilla and lemon juice. Blend till everything is well incorporated. Depending on how dry your almond pulp is, you may need to add water so the dough sticks together nicely. If you this, add 1 Tbsp at a time.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in the food processor and mix everything well.
- Transfer the dough to a cutting board and fold in the walnuts and diced banana. Shape into a loaf and place on the mesh sheet that comes with your dehydrator.
- Score the top of the loaf with a knife. I later use these score marks as a guide in slicing my pieces. Sprinkle the 2 Tbsp of crushed walnuts on top and gently press them in a bit.
- Dehydrate at 145 degrees (F) for 1-2 hours. This will create a crust on the outside.
- Remove from the dehydrator, place the loaf on a cutting board and slice pieces to a desired thickness. I did mine at about 1″. Return the bread to the mesh sheet laying the pieces flat.
- Decrease the temperature to 115 degrees (F) and continue to dehydrate for approx. 6-10 hours.
- As an indicator if it is dry enough, touch the center of the bread slices.
- You don’t want it to be doughy but you also don’t want the bread to dry out too much. You decide on how dry you want the end result to be.
- Shelf life and storage: My personal recommendation would be to store this bread in an air-tight container and in the fridge, for 3-5 days. The more moisture that is left in your bread, the shorter the shelf life. Therefore, shelf life will vary with your drying technique. Whenever I make this bread, it never lasts very long enough to spoil. Keep in mind, the whole purpose of eating a raw diet is to eat foods at their peak of freshness, so don’t expect this bread to have a long shelf life.
- To warm the bread before eating, place it in the dehydrator set at 145 degrees for 5-10 minutes.
The Institute of Culinary Ingredients™
- To learn more about maple syrup by clicking (here).
- Click (here) for my thoughts on raw agave nectar.
- Raw honey isn’t vegan but I still use now and again. Read (here) why I like to.
- Learn about the wonderful characteristics of Raw Coconut Nectar (here).
- Click (here) to learn why I use stevia.
- Why do I specify Ceylon cinnamon? Click (here) to learn why.
- What is Himalayan pink salt and does it really matter? Click (here) to read more about it.
- Are oats gluten-free? Yes, read more about that (here).
- Are oats raw? Yes, they can be found. Click (here) to learn more.
- Do I need to soak and dehydrate oats? Not required but recommended. Click (here) to see why.
- Learn how to grind you own flax-seeds for ultimate freshness and nutrition. Click (here).
- Why do I start the dehydrator at 145 degrees (F). Click (here) to learn the reason behind this.
- When working with fresh ingredients it is important to taste test as you build a recipe. Learn why (here).
One of the greatest joys when creating raw food recipes is experimenting with different ingredients… a practice that I highly encourage. Daily I get questions regarding substitutions. Of course we all might have different dietary needs and tastes which could necessitate altering a recipe. I love to share with you what I create for myself, my husband, friends and family. I spend a lot of time selecting the right ingredients with a particular goal in mind, looking to build a certain flavor and texture.
So as you experiment with substitutions, remember they are what they sound like, they are substitutes for the preferred item. Generally they are not going to behave, taste, or have the same texture as the suggested ingredient. Some may work, and others may not and I can’t promise what the results will be unless I’ve tried them myself. So have fun, don’t be afraid, and remember, substituting is how I discovered many of my unique dishes.
Below ~ Remove the dough from the food processor and place on a cutting board. Remove any rings that
you may have one so you can fold the dough together. Look at those scrumptious bits of walnuts and fresh banana!
Fold the dough, making in into a tight loaf.
Photo below ~ With a serrated knife make cuts on top of the load in the thickness you want.
These are score marks. I usually cut mine in about 1″ thicknesses. Sprinkle crushed walnuts, cinnamon
and dried banana bites (optional) on top.
This loaf is 8″ long, 3 1/2″ wide and 3″ high.
Dehydrate whole at 145 degrees for 1-2 hours. Remove from dehydrator and slice.
Place slices on mesh sheet and continue drying at 110 degrees for 6 hours or longer. You don’t
want to over-dry the bread. It should be firm on the outside and moist inside.