This Bread is Bananas

Banana bread. It doesn’t need much of an introduction… this classic quick bread recipe has been on American breakfast tables since the 1930’s.

Beyond its special place in American History, banana bread will always hold a place in my heart as it is the first thing my mom taught me to bake. Using a recipe passed down by her mother, I was in awe that browned bananas could turn into a finger-licking worthy batter. Every weekend we would take our old bananas and bake the passed down recipe, topping it with our favorite… cream cheese.

Due to my love for the original, it has taken me a while to health-ify this classic bread. But it was time. This easy Vegan and Gluten-free version even had my mom convinced it was just as good as the original.

Check out the recipe below, let me know what you think!

BANANA BREAD

Yields 1 loaf

 Wet

  • 3 Tbs chia seeds

  • 6 Tbs water

  • 3 Ripe Bananas (optional: additional ½ banana for garnish)

  • 1/3 Cup Coconut Oil, melted

  • ½ Cup Almond Milk

  • 2 Tsp Vanilla

  • 1 Tbs Agave

  • ¼ cup Coconut Sugar

Dry

  • ½ Cup Almond Flour

  • ½ Cup Coconut Flour

  • 1 Cup Gluten Free Mix

  • 1 tsp Baking Soda

  • ½ tsp Baking Powder

  • ½ tsp Salt

  • 2 Tbs Hemp Seed

  • 1 ½ tsp Cinnamon

  • ½ tsp Ginger


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1.     In a large bowl, combine chia seeds and water. Let sit for at least 5 minutes until chia seeds have started to thicken and form a gel.

2.     Once chia seeds have gelled, mash the bananas into the mixture. Mix in the rest of the wet ingredients until well combined.

3.     In a separate bowl sift together all of the dry ingredients.

4.     Gradually fold dry ingredients into the wet mixture, until well combined.

5.     Prepare loaf pan with nonstick spray and add batter.

6.     Garnish loaf with chopped nuts or a banana sliced lengthwise sprinkled with coconut sugar.

7.     Bake for 25- 30 min. Until the center is cooked through.

8. Allow to cool before slicing. Enjoy it as is, or with dairy-free cream cheese or butter.



Chickpea is the New Black

Classic, transformable and the perfect choice for any occasion, chickpeas are the little black dress of the legumes. Just as New Yorkers have deemed black the fashion staple that slims your figure, while providing just enough edge to be worn day and night. Chickpeas have mastered the same sex appeal. Now don’t get ahead of yourselves, I am not saying lets all go rogue and cover ourselves in chickpeas BUT I think it is about time we fully appreciated the versatility of the protein and fiber packed bean. 

A chickpea is so much more than a substance to be blended into a creamy, delicious hummus. The chickpea has a unique consistency that makes it the perfect ingredient to roast, fry, mash, bake and even turn into meringue! 

The Skinny

Like all beans and legumes chickpeas, or garbanzo beans, are packed with protein, fiber and complex carbohydrates are the perfect addition to your diet. In fact only 1 cup of chickpeas provides half of your daily recommended fiber and 15 grams of cholesterol- free plant based protein. 

The boost of protein and fiber will have your GI tract groovin’. The fiber found in chickpeas is primarily insoluble fiber, which means it is not broken down during digestion helping your gut move the excess waste more easily and quickly. The remaining soluble fiber found in chickpeas is broken down by the bacteria in the colon to be digested into extra energy stores for the surrounding cells, improving colon health and decreasing the risk of colon cancer.

The high concentration of fiber and protein in chickpeas guarantees that you’ll be satisfied and nourished for whatever you day has in store.

Dress it Down

Chickpeas don’t require any accessories to make it delicious. you can simply eat them straight out of the can or boil them at home with an assortment of your favorite aromatics to reach full flavor potential. Simply toss them into a salad, side dish or alone. I am loving this Buddha Bowl by Minimalist Baker, its the perfect way to pump up your protein routine. 

Looking for a little more crunch? Toss your the chicks with a touch of oil and your favorite spices and roast them at 350 degrees until light golden brown and start munching. 

 

 

Dress it Up

Just like a good hair day, sometimes you need to cook up a little something special to add some va va voom to your plate. And chickpeas can do just the trick. Transform your beans into veggie burgers packed with your favorite spices and vegetables, bake them into falafel or a delicious creamy chickpea salad. Test out a few of my favorites like chickpea gyros, smashed chickpea salad and falafel!

 

The Show Stopper

So we have covered the obvious ways to add chickpeas to your daily routine without losing their identity. But we all have those days when we need to pull out the LBD that will slay like Beyonce. Luckily the chickpea holds the power to make Sasha Fierce weak at the knees.

Aquafaba is the newest vegan trend that is revolutionizing vegan baking. Aquafaba, refers to the soaking liquid from the chickpeas, either homemade or canned. The starches and proteins left in the liquid after soaking provide enough structure that it can be WHIPPED like egg whites! The whipped aquafaba is perfect for meringue, macarons, cakes or even mayonnaise! I have to admit I was a skeptic. Thinking, “even if this does work, it is going to taste like beans.”  But boy was I wrong! When I tested the classic meringue they came out light, fluffy and delicious. I did notice aquafaba is slightly more temperamental to work with than egg whites, but an awesome dairy free substitution. Check out these berry pavlovas!

But the transformation does not stop there, chickpeas can be ground into a delicious gluten free flour that can be added to quick breads, cookies, cakes, pancakes, waffles, you name it! The flour has a sturdy texture and nutty flavor that adds body to gluten free baking. However, using 100% chickpea flour can make your sweets taste chalky, so make sure to cut the chickpea flour with another flour such as rice or oat flour. For a savory twist check out these Farinatas or go classic with this Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe. 

Don’t take my word for it. Take the #FreshChallenge and explore the versatility of chickpeas without losing your unique sense of style. Share your recipes photos and thoughts on social @TheFreshSlice.