July 10, 2013

Recipe: Vegan Morning Glory Bread



I'm not going to lie. When I wake up in the morning to go to work, I do not crave a healthful tofu scramble, bowl of oatmeal, or smoothie. Instead, my body cries out for a latte and a pastry. Loudly. My mind attempts to reason with it, voicing stern reminders of the importance of a wholesome breakfast. Most mornings they compromise on a soy latte (a non-negotiable), a piece of whole grain toast smeared with nut butter, and whatever fresh fruit I have on hand. But every once in a while about once a week, the call of the pastry quiets all reason and I indulge - gleefully - in a freshly-baked treat.

The funny thing about my homemade breakfast "indulgences" is that they're actually quite healthy. The recipes are always vegan and often call for whole grain flours. My perspective on fat and sugar is this: They are exquisite ingredients which, used wisely, are what make life worth living. A proponent of non-fat, sugar-free diets, I am not. But lower-fat, reduced-sugar baked goods? I can get behind that in the morning. Take, for example, these Grapefruit Ginger Scones. Perfection. Much like today's Morning Glory Bread.

This bread is vegan, 100% whole wheat, and completely freaking delicious. Think of it as the best of two classics: morning glory muffins and hearty banana bread. The bread is lightly sweet, with flecks of carrot and apple, warming cinnamon and ginger, and just enough fragrant coconut oil to create a rich, moist crumb. A generous sprinkling of sugar on top melts into a crackly, candied crust that I highly suggest you savor as your last bite.   

I'll see you soon, toast and fruit. But in this moment, there is only me, this bread, a latte, and the morning sun. It's going to be a great day.

Vegan Morning Glory Bread
Inspired by Joy the Baker's Coconut Pineapple Vegan Banana Bread
makes 1 (9x5-inch) loaf

3 extremely ripe medium bananas
2 medium carrots, grated (about 1 cup grated carrot) 
1 medium tart apple, grated (about 1 cup grated apple)
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1/3 cup natural cane sugar, plus additional 1 tablespoon for dusting top of bread
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray or a bit of oil and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, mash the bananas well - the mash should be very smooth in texture. Add the grated carrots, grated apple, melted coconut oil, sugar and vanilla to the bananas and mix well to combine.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and ginger. Add the dry ingredients to the mashed banana mixture and gently mix together with a wooden spoon or spatula. The batter is going to be very thick - close to that of chocolate chip cookie dough - and it will take a minute or so  for the wet ingredients to absorb all the flour. I find that a folding motion works best to bring the batter together, as it prevents the batter from getting tough.

Once the batter is combined, scoop it into the greased loaf pan and spread out to an even thickness. Sprinkle the top of the batter with a tablespoon of sugar and bake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick or knife placed in the center comes out clean. Do not overbake! Once the bread is done, let cool in the pan for 10 minutes before carefully turning out of the pan to finish cooling on a wire rack.

4 comments:

  1. Made this for breakfast today. Yummy!

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    1. Yea! I'm so glad you enjoyed it. Happy New Year!

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  2. Can I use almond flour in place of whole wheat flour?

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    1. Replacing wheat flour with almond flour is tricky - almond flour has no gluten (wheat protein that provides structure in baked goods) and absorbs less liquid than wheat flour does, so a one-for-one substitution generally doesn't work out. If you'd like a gluten-free option for this recipe, I might try a gluten-free flour mix (I've heard good things about the "Cup4Cup" brand).

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