Thursday, December 08, 2011

Vegan Walnut Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

I spent most of yesterday at my desk, working on a revision of a story from this past semester. First, I read through all the comments and suggestions my classmates provided during workshop, and then I just started going through the story scene by scene, asking myself how much work each line was doing, what each paragraph was contributing, and then ruthlessly cutting whole pages and rewriting as needed. And oh, was it needed. Many darlings were sacrificed, and many more are on their way. Such is the life of a writer.

I did take one notable break from my work, and it was to bake a loaf of this bread. I had two sad, soft  bananas sitting in my hanging basket, and I knew I needed to transform them into something delicious. The kitchen and the desk have a lot in common, actually. In both places, you find ingredients that are okay on their own but, once you add a few things - a well placed adjective, perhaps, or a teaspoon of vanilla - and let outside forces work their magic (whether that's a preheated oven or a thoughtful reader), you end up with something that still has the core of whatever you started with, but is now, finally, palatable.

Which is to say: if you have some old bananas lying around, get to your kitchen and revise them, before it's too late.

Vegan Walnut Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
adapted from 

Note: This is by far the best banana bread I've ever made. I'm not a huge fan of bananas and the flavor here is subtle, balanced nicely by the chocolate chips and the walnuts. Best of all, it uses ingredients you probably already have which, in an emergency situation, is key. Who has time to run to the store when bananas are at stake? 

You will need: 
1/3 cup Earth Balance
1/4 white sugar
1/4 brown sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
1 and 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 very ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup soy milk
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Using a hand mixer, cream together the Earth Balance and sugars, then stir in the flour, baking powder and baking soda. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.

Pour into an oiled bread pan and bake for 50 minutes.