I didn’t realize I liked banana bread until I started experimenting with vegan baking in college. Come to think of it, I didn’t realize I liked vegan baking, either. Vegan pastries are so stigmatized as being rubbery, tasteless, or otherwise undesirable, that I took it as a challenge when I became vegan to produce scrumptious desserts that would trick even the most adamant animal-free opposers.
It was an easy transition into my prankster phase because my friends were accustomed to my bringing sweets to events and gatherings, anyway. Once I started baking vegan recipes, I shared the goodies as usual, and not until after I received feedback about the treats would I tell my guinea pigs *ahem – friends* that what they had enjoyed so thoroughly was in fact vegan.
Breaking the vegan-conventional pastry border always managed to make me feel accomplished when I was just starting to experiment with animal-free cooking and baking. This particular recipe was the first vegan baking recipe I made, and it has been on my list of all-time favorites since day one. Now, as I sell my own vegan recipes in a real NYC cafe, I still feel a great sense of pride when customers tell me they enjoy the products I make from scratch. Amazingly moist and chocolatey, these animal-friendly muffins prove to the world that vegan can be delicious, whether you’re a meat lover or not.
4 super ripe bananas, smashed (brown, over-ripe bananas are perfect for this purpose!)
1/3 c. melted vegan buttery spread (I use Earth Balance)
3/4 c. sugar
1 tbsp. ground flax
3 tbsp. water
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
3/4 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips (Guittard or Ghirardelli are both milk-free options)
Preheat oven to 350°F.
In a small saucepan, combine ground flax and water over medium heat. Stir until mixture takes on gelatinous consistency (about 1-2 minutes). Remove from heat. Set aside.
In a large bowl mash bananas. Mix melted butter into mashed bananas.
Mix in the sugar, flax mixture, and vanilla.
Mix in baking soda and salt.
Mix in flour.
Fold in chocolate chips.
Fill each cavity of a greased or lined muffin tin with approximately 1/3 c. of batter.
Bake for 18 minutes, or until muffin tops are cracked and golden brown and toothpick comes out clean of bread batter (note that chocolate chips will be melted, so chocolate on toothpick may be disregarded).
Let cool and enjoy!