If you're like me, baking can be kind of scary—it's much more an exact science than all the dashing and pinching we do on top of the stove. One wrong calculation, or the dreaded mix up—baking soda instead of baking powder—and you could end up with a whole lot of wasted effort and not a sweet bite of anything to show for it. But when things go right…oh there's simply nothing else quite like it!
This vegan take on a classic banana nut bread recipe adds the superfood maca for an energizing and delicious bread that's perfect for breakfast or as an afternoon snack.
Maca is a Peruvian tuber that grows at a higher altitude in the Andes than virtually any other food on earth! While not technically an adaptogen, it works very much like one (ginseng, rhodiola, schisandra) helping to balance the body's hormones, regulate energy levels, and boost immune function. It was revered by the Incan Empire as a food worthy enough for its warriors; they would eat maca in preparation for long journeys and battles because it provided so much stamina and strength.
Modern science has helped us see maca's other powerful benefits: hormone regulation. Whether you're adrenals are feeling overworked, you're having trouble "getting in the mood," or are facing fertility challenges, maca has been known to help.
Maca has a naturally sweet and spicy taste to it—kind of like a maple-y radish. When added to this rich recipe, the maca's flavor blends incredibly well with the soft sweetness of the bananas and the coconut.
Opting for organic ingredients is always recommended. And a word about bananas: They will only really grow in the U.S. in Florida and Hawaii, which means they're always imported. Look for Fair Trade bananas that pay farmers a livable wage. Ask your produce buyer to show you the most sustainable and ethical bananas in the store—and notice they taste incredible too!
What You Need:
- ¾ cup coconut sugar (it's lower on the Glycemic Index than cane sugar by about half! Find it at a health food store.)
- ½ cup coconut oil, softened
- 3 very ripe bananas, mashed well
- 1 ½ cups flour (you can mix whole wheat and regular flour)
- ½ cup powdered maca
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ cup vanilla almond, hemp, or rice milk, mixed with 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- ½ cup chopped almonds, pecans, or walnuts divided into two ¼ cup servings
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
What You Do:Preheat your oven to 350° F. Lightly coat an 8x4 loaf pan with coconut oil.Sift together flour, maca, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.Cream together the margarine and sugars. Add bananas, milk, half of the nuts, and vanilla.Add the wet ingredients to the dry. Mix well. Pour batter into pan. Sprinkle the remaining nuts on top of mixture. Bake for an hour to an hour 10 minutes. Let cool before serving. Makes 12 slices.Optional: We love options! Try adding ¼ cup hemp seeds or hemp powder for a protein boost. Add ¼ cup dried fruits like goji berries or raisins for a sweet and chewy texture, or you can add raw cacao nibs or ¼ cup of raw cacao powder to give it a hint of everyone's favorite superfood, chocolate.Learn more about Jill Ettinger
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