Photos by Rikki Snyder.
When I was in grade school, my mom used to make baskets full of homemade bread for me to bring to my teachers. I hated school and was pretty anti-establishment for a 10-year-old (yes, even back then, I was difficult — imagine that!), so bringing that basket of bread to school like I was a character in a Laura Ingalls Wilder book totally destroyed me. But I never complained about the leftovers we’d have at home because my mom’s quick breads were delicious. We’d have breakfast for days! Snacks for weeks! Desserts for fortnights!
I posted a vegan adaptation of one of her breads last year, but this is a version of one of my mom’s most popular recipes, Blueberry Banana Bread. My mom went vegan last year, so last summer I set out to veganize a bunch of her old recipes.
We’ve talked about veganizing breads and muffins before, and this one follows the standard pattern of swapping the eggs with ground flax. Easy! The original also calls for sour cream, which was trickier. I didn’t want to use a store-bought vegan sour cream, so I improvised with full-fat coconut milk for the creaminess and lemon juice for the sourness. I even cut down on the sugar in the recipe! I will be the first to admit that I’m not much of a baker, but somehow it all worked out.
In the year since I first adapted this recipe, I’ve made it several times and my mom has made it too and she says it’s just as good as the original, and I agree. Between the blueberries and the bananas, this is a dense, moist bread — exactly how I like my banana breads. It makes a nice weekend breakfast, but with a dollop of coconut milk whipped cream, it’s a fantastic vegan dessert option too. It also freezes well! Wrap it in a layer of plastic wrap, then foil, and pop it in the freezer until you’re ready to use it. I thaw it on the countertop overnight and it’s ready for breakfast the next day.
A super-moist, super-scrumptious dairy-free banana bread recipe studded with sweet blueberries. Even if you're not vegan, you will love this bread!
- 6 tablespoons warm water
- 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 cup coconut milk (the kind in a can—not the light kind either!)
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 3 large ripe bananas, mashed
- 1 cup fresh blueberries
- Preheat oven to 350ºF.
- Combine the warm water and ground flax seeds in a large bowl. Let them sit for a few minutes, until the mixture has the consistency of egg whites.
- Whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a medium bowl.
- Add the coconut milk, lemon juice, coconut oil, sugar, and bananas to the flax mixture. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and fold in the blueberries.
- Spray 3 small bread tins (or 1 large one) with an oil mister or grease them lightly with coconut oil. Pour the batter into the tins and place them on a baking sheet. Bake the small loaves for 30-40 minutes, or a large one for about an hour, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean; the bread will be dense and moist. Cool for 5 minutes, then remove the loaves from the bread pans and finish cooling on a rack.
- To store leftovers, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate.
To keep the blueberries from sinking to the bottom of the loaf pans, toss them in a light dusting of flour before adding them to the batter.