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#FoodieFriday -- Fall Into Baking

Posted on September 12 2014

To me, nothing says the beginning of fall like baking.  I adore baking.  I think I love baking so much because of the certainty that comes along with it.  While cooking can be more instinctual, baking is mathematical...follow the instructions, yield successful result, it's really that simple.  For one reason or another, I tend to associate baking with the fall season.  Something about fall, maybe the crisp air and falling leaves, makes me want to bake up a storm!  The smell of a delicious baked good warming in the oven gives me an all over cozy feeling.  So, in light of the upcoming season I present to you the following recipe -- Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Bread (say that five times fast) from the wonderful folks over at Minimalist Baker.

I love anything that incorporates bananas but banana bread may take the cake for me.  Add chocolate and peanut butter and consider me in cozy fall baking heaven.  This particular recipe requires just one bowl and accessible everyday ingredients that you most likely already have in your kitchen.  The very best component to this recipe is that it is completely gluten free and vegan friendly...what more could you want?  I'm not certain how much longer we have until baking season is in full swing but let's take this recipe on a trial run because after all, fall is just around the corner!

       Ingredients

  • 1 flax egg ( 1 Tbsp flaxseed meal + 2.5 Tbsp water | or sub 1 egg)
  • 3 medium ripe bananas (~1.5 cups)
  • 3.5 tsp baking powder
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1/3 cup salted natural peanut butter (creamy or crunchy)
  • 2.5 Tbsp grape seed or coconut oil, melted
  • scant 1/4 cup organic cane sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2-3 Tbsp agave or maple syrup, depending on ripeness of bananas
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened almond or other non-dairy milk
  • 1 1/4 cup almond meal
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup gluten free flour blend (my go-to blend, or I recommend Trader Joe’s all purpose GF blend)
  • 1 cup gluten free oats
  • 1/4 cup dairy-free chocolate chips
  • OPTIONAL: 1/4 cup Peanut Butter Chips
       Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 and line a loaf pan with parchment paper or spray with nonstick spray.
  2. Prepare flax egg in a large mixing bowl and let rest for 5 minutes to activate.
  3. Add banana and mash thoroughly.
  4. Add all ingredients through almond milk and whisk vigorously to combine.
  5. Add cocoa powder, almond meal, gluten free flour blend, oats and stir.
  6. Last, stir in chocolate and peanut butter chips (if using).
  7. Pour into loaf pan and bake for 1 hour – 1 hour 15 minutes. When ready, it should feel firm and be crackly on top. My sweet spot was about 1 hour 5 minutes.
  8. Let cool completely before cutting or it will be too tender to hold form (preferably overnight).
  9. Store completely cooled leftovers in a covered container for up to several days, though best when fresh. Slice and freeze for longer term storage.
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