There they sat, on my counter, three sad, wilting bananas - growing blacker and mushier by the day. I had no intention of making banana bread bars, but it seemed like my only option at this point. Black-peel bananas need an urgent recipe intervention to thrive.
I certainly didn't want to toss those poor little bananas and have to live with the guilt!..
My redemption: moist and delicious "fall season" banana bread. My vegan recipe for Pumpkin Spice Orange Banana Bread ahead. It's yummy folks..
My bananas were even riper than these, fyi..
The Flavors. Moist pumpkin banana bread warmed by fall spices like cayenne and cinnamon. Gooey ripe bananas are laced throughout. A hint of orange juice and a sweet accent of orange zest and maple or agave on top. The sweetness is subtle. Crunchy, healthy pumpkin seeds add texture. Optional fall cranberries and pecans add further 'oomph' to this hearty banana bread recipe. And a subtle silky hint of 'the tropics' comes from a splash of coconut milk.
"Banana Bread" gets a bold, fall, vegan makeover as citrus-spiced notes mingle throughout these spongy golden breakfast-approved bars.
Take THAT Starbuck's! ..I don't need your 'I wish it was vegan' Pumpkin Spice Latte to get my dose of fall spice-appeal.
Healthy Vegan Ingredients. Potassium and fiber-rich bananas. Nuts and seeds rich in fiber, healthy fats, protein and vitamins. Hearty spelt grain bread. Warming spices. Vitamin C infused orange juice. Canned pumpkin, rich in vitamin A and fiber.
Even the ghosts are ogling this banana bread..
Pumpkin Spice Orange Banana Bread (or muffins)
vegan, makes 12 squares or 12 muffins
2 cups spelt flour
1 cup white flour
3 extra-ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup canned pumpkin (or applesauce)
1 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp orange zest
1 large orange, juiced (about 1/4 cup)
2-3 Tbsp canola oil
1/2 cup coconut milk (or preferred 'plant milk' for lower fat)
1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
1 tsp salt (omit if using salted nuts/seeds)
1/3 cup agave or maple syrup
1/2 cup crushed pecans/nuts (optional)
1/4 cup dried cranberries (optional)
2 tbsp crushed/whole flax seeds (optional)
*Preheat oven to 375-400 degrees*
1. Add flour, dry spices, salt and baking powder to a large mixing bowl. Stir well.
2. Add in the soy or coconut milk, oil, vanilla extract, bananas, pumpkin or applesauce, orange juice and maple syrup. Stir well.
3. Fold in pumpkin seeds, 1 tsp of the orange zest, and additional nuts and/or dried fruit like cranberries. If you add in lots of dried extras, you may want to increase the liquid by a few Tbsp. I added coconut milk to mine. You may also want a few more dashes of flour if the chunky batter seems 'heavy and thin' to you.
4. Lay a sheet of parchment paper over a shallow 8 x 14" baking pan/dish (for bars) or line muffin tin.
5. Pour batter into baking dish. Smooth out for bars.
6. Over top the batter sprinkle pumpkin seeds, cinnamon, the other tsp of orange zest and an extra drizzle or agave or maple syrup.
7. bake for 15-20 minutes depending on how thick your bars/muffins are. Should be lightly browned on edges.
8. Remove. Cool. Serve! I love this bread chilled in the fridge for morning munching with a mug of hot tea. Freeze to store for more than a few days.