February 23rd is National Banana Bread Day!
There are probably a million and one recipes online for banana bread, and while I love my Banana Bread recipe, I thought I would remove the organic sugar and replace it entirely with a natural sweetener. I chose medjool dates because I love them and because they are nutritional powerhouses, albeit high calorie ones.
I also wanted to pair the bananas in the bread with my favorite combo with bananas – peanut butter. No this isn’t an Elvis thing. I just think the best snack is a banana with a couple of tablespoons of fresh ground creamy peanut butter spooned on. My current love affair/favorite is 365’s Creamy Peanut Butter as it’s a bit salty. Sweet bananas and salty peanut butter. Yum! Date Sweetened Banana Bread with Salted Peanut Butter Swirl fits the bill.
This bread goes together really quickly so first off, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Next, place 14 medjool dates in a pyrex measuring cup or small bowl with some warm water to soak and soften for about 15 minutes. I would also go ahead and prep your pans now, too. You can go the smear of coconut oil and dusting of flour route, or my preferred parchment lined pans.
I threw this bread together in my food processor but you could use your blender or mixer just as easily. Once your medjool dates are softened, then spoon them into the bowl of the food processor. Remember to reserve your soaking liquid.
Begin blending your dates into a paste by processing for about 20-30 seconds. I added 1/3 cup of the soaking liquid to make the dates easier to blend.
I then began adding the wet ingredients to the date paste: the coconut oil first as it melted right into the warm medjool date paste, then the plant-based milk ( I used Trader Joe’s Original Almond Milk), aquafaba, vanilla, and the bananas. I need to start weighing my ingredients as I know that is helpful for some folks, but what I used was one cup of bananas which was 2 medium bananas that I packed into the 1 cup measure.
I then always add the spices to the wet so the cinnamon and salt went in. I do this so they are very well blended into the batter. I blended this for about 30 seconds.
Once blended, in goes the dry ingredients: the flours and the baking powder.
I blended this in the food processor for about 30 seconds until it was just blended. The taste was divine! I have tried to bake date sweetened only in the past and was never pleased with the level of sweetness. This was perfect! The 14 dates (I’ll get a weight on that next time, too! I promise!) combined with the sweetness of the ripe bananas gives you perfectly sweet Banana Bread! In fact, next time I may reduce it down to 12 medjool dates and see how that works out.
Oh my…check this photo. I seriously could just forget about the baking and get busy with a spoon.
This recipe makes one large loaf or 2 medium, and I opted for the duo!
Pour the batter into prepared pans.
Swirl 1/3 cup of melted natural, creamy peanut butter into the top of the batter with a knife.
Bake for 30 – 35 minutes in a 350 degree oven, turning half way through. The bread is done when a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
The Date Sweetened Banana Bread with Salted Peanut Butter Swirl, just out of the oven shows the baked peanut butter swirl that can be served as is or you can go one more and top with crushed peanuts and chopped medjool dates.
Now you can stop here and wait for the Bread to cool completely before slicing. Or…if you top with crushed peanuts and chopped dates, then return to the oven for another 5 minutes.
This bread was incredibly moist, even more so than my regular banana bread. The texture was wonderful and I loved the just sweet enough Banana Bread with Salty Peanuts Butter on top. The added texture of the crunchy, crushed peanuts and sweet date pieces pushed this bread to one of my all time favorites.
How did I make Date Sweetened Banana Bread with Salted Peanut Butter Swirl…healthier?:
- I replaced the one cup of organic sugar with 14 medjool dates for the additional fiber, potassium, and micronutrients
- Bananas! Hello! I feel best when I eat at least one banana a day as I find I need the additional boost of potassium to combat leg cramping
- Natural 365 Creamy Peanut Butter consists of roasted peanuts and salt. That’s it. Peanut butter provides lots of protein, fiber, and a healthy fat.
- 1 cup of the 2 1/2 cups of flour is King Arthur Soft White Whole Wheat for additional nutrients and fiber
- I’m super proud of myself that I exerted maximum control over myself and made only a 2-loaf batch of this bread
- The wet ingredients:
- 14 medjool dates, pitted
- ⅓ cup of soaking water or enough to make a Paste
- 2 tablespoons Coconut Oil
- 4 tbsp Aquafaba - (or 1 Ground Flax Egg [1 tablespoon flax meal plus 3 tablespoons water]
- ¾ cup plant-based milk (I’m using Trader Joe’s Original Almond Milk)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 1 cup mashed bananas - this is 2 - 3 medium-sized bananas.
- 1½-2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- The dry ingredients:
- 2½ cups flour (1½ cups AP White Flour and 1 cup King Arthur Soft White Wheat Flour)
- 3½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Swirling top:
- ¾ cup Salted Peanut Butter (I love 365 Creamy Peanut Butter) - for swirling - if your peanut butter is not salty, add a ¼ teaspoon or to taste
- Optional topping:
- ⅓ cup peanuts, crushed
- 4-6 dates chopped
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- First begin by pitting your dates and soaking them in some warm water for about 10-15 minutes. I keep my dates in the fridge so they are usually cold and not entirely soft. Warming them up in some warm water to soften them will make it easier to blend.
- While your dates are soaking, prepare your loaf pans with either a smear of coconut oil and a dusting of flour, or my favorite method, baking parchment lined pans. I would advise doing this step first when you have more patience.
- In a food processor or blender, spoon your medjool dates in, remembering to reserve the soaking liquid, blend your medjool dates until you have a thick paste. I added ⅓ cup of the warm soaking liquid to get a smooth consistency.
- Add the coconut oil to the warm date paste and blend.
- Then add the remaining wet ingredients: Aquafaba, plant-based milk, vanilla, and bananas.
- You may choose to add your cinnamon and salt at this time to ensure this is blended in.
- Blend the wet ingredients until evenly incorporated, about 30 seconds.
- Add the dry ingredients: the flours and baking powder (add the salt and cinnamon if not added earlier) and blend for an additional 30 seconds, or until the batter just comes together.
- Pour your batter into either one large or two medium-sized prepared pans.
- Melt ⅓ cup of salted peanut butter and divide over the pans.
- Swirl the peanut butter over the top with a butter knife and bake for 30-35 minutes, turning half way through.
- The bread is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Optionally: after baking sprinkle crushed peanuts and chopped medjool dates over the top and bake an additional 5 minutes.
- Cool completely before slicing for cleaner slices.
- Serve warmed or room temperature.
- Leftovers can be stored wrapped in the parchment in sealed plastic bag for up to one week. Additional uneaten loaves may be tightly wrapped and sealed in plastic and frozen.
The post Date Sweetened Banana Bread with Salted Peanut Butter Swirl appeared first on Designing Vegan. If you make this quick bread, I’d love to see any changes you made to suit you. Post to Instagram or Facebook and tag it with #designingvegan