Vegan Banana Bread with Oats and Raisins
Rich, melt-in-your-mouth vegan banana bread with oats and raisins is a super moist, gluten free bread that doesn’t compromise on flavour. It’s rich, delicious, and a significantly healthier alternative to the old-fashioned variety we all grew up with.
Recently, my husband and I have been on an elimination diet to detox and identify an food sensitivities that may be affecting our health. This diet requires that we eliminate seven categories of foods from our diet, namely:
- Nightshade vegetables, and
As with any new regime, it’s a challenge. Detoxing makes everyone irritable, and preparing meals and snacks becomes stressful because you have to approach the entire process differently.
We don’t consume a lot of corn or peanuts at our house. However, every other item on the list has been part of our family’s staple diet! Thus, the elimination diet has forced me to get creative in the kitchen and try new things — which is a terrific plus, as far as I’m concerned!
Due to this diet, I was obliged to create the recipe for this nutritionally dense, gluten free, vegan banana bread which is every bit as good as the old-fashioned variety. And, it’s a whole lot healthier!
All About Oats
Because of the ban on gluten, I replaced the traditional wheat flour with healthier oat flour. Oat flour is super nutritious has lots of proven health benefits. Furthermore, it contributes a delicious flavour to baked goods, which is similar to butterscotch and pairs beautifully with bananas.
So, what’s so great about oats, you ask? Actually, lots of things.
For one, oats are very rich in natural antioxidants, particularly a special category of antioxidants called avenanthramides. These particular antioxidants are almost totally unique to oats and they have some important demonstrated health benefits, including:
- Blood Pressure. Avenanthramides may lower blood pressure by dilating the blood vessels, which helps blood circulate in the body.
- Anti-Inflammatory: They may also help to reduce overall inflammation in the body, which not only improves overall health, but may also reduce flare-ups of certain chronic diseases such as lupus and arthritis.
In addition, oats is an abundant source of beta-glucan, which is a powerful dietary fibre. It has been scientifically proven to:
- Reduce LDL cholesterol. Consuming at least 3 grams of oat fibre per day can help to naturally lower LDL cholesterol and reduce overall cholesterol levels.
- Insulin Resistance. Oat fibre has been scientifically proven to help reduce insulin resistance and improve blood glucose control.
So, clearly a banana bread packed with oats can’t help but be a reasonably healthy choice!
About this Recipe
It will come as no surprise that this recipe is a little different because of a couple of other choices I’ve made to keep it vegan and gluten free. However, have no fear. I’ll walk you through them, and they’re very easy to implement. In fact, after trying this recipe, you may find yourself using one or two of these techniques more often.
If you’re new to vegan baking, you’re probably wondering if I’ve fallen on my head. However, this is a little trick I picked up a few years ago, and it’s incredibly useful if you’re short of eggs for a baking project. Flaxseeds (also known as linseeds) are incredibly good for you. Additionally, they make a quick and easy egg substitute when mixed with water and allowed to sit for a few minutes prior to incorporation in your recipe.
I have used almond butter as a replacement for butter or oil in this recipe. This is another great trick for vegan baking and for boosting the nutritional quality of your baked goods while adding another layer of flavour. Any nut or seed butter would work. However, I prefer the almond flavour in the bread and that’s why I’ve chosen it.
I know. Xanthan gum sound like a hectically unnatural chemical ingredient. However, it is actually a natural fermented product which helps to stabilise gluten free baked goods. Without xanthan gum (or gluten), the same bread would tend to be crumbly and difficult to serve or eat. However, rest assured, that this is a time tested ingredient which is 100% safe and natural.
Finally, I hope you and your family enjoy this healthier vegan banana bread every bit as much as mine does. Bon appétit!