I didn’t think I’d ever have banana bread again. But this recipe for date-sweetened banana bread – oh, my goodness, is it good. It is so good that it’s now the bread I make for Pascha. Just spread it with paska cheese spread and pour a cup of tea. Heaven.

This bread has no added sugar, no honey, no maple syrup. Just the natural sugars in the fruit. It’s also gluten-free and dairy-free. It does contain eggs, but you can make it Lenten/vegan/egg-free by using your favorite egg substitute.

Date-Sweetened Banana Bread

Ingredients

2 cups gluten-free oat flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup medjool dates, pitted (pack the dates in the cup)
½ cup cashew milk or coconut milk
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
3 large bananas, a bit overripe
½ – 1 cup dried tart cherries

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Spray a 9×5″ loaf pan with cooking spray, then line it with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.

Put the dates, cashew milk, vinegar, and vanilla in a blender or food processor. (I use a Vitamix.) Process or blend until the mixture is reasonably smooth. Add the bananas and eggs and continue blending until it’s smooth.

Add the date and banana mixture to the flour mixture and stir until it’s combined. (But don’t over-stir. A few lumps are okay.)

Stir in the cherries.

Scoop the mixture into prepared loaf pan and smooth the top with a rubber scraper. If you happen to have one more slightly overripe banana, slice it in half lengthwise, and press it into the top of the bread, cut side up, just to make it pretty.

Bake for 60 to 75 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the loaf comes out clean.
Let the bread cool down completely before you cut it. It won’t cut well when it’s hot.

If you like, you can spread your date-sweetened banana bread with peanut butter or coconut butter. But it’s rich and moist enough that you don’t need anything with it except, perhaps, a cup of tea.

Read More

Paska and kulich: A traditional recipe for kulich, with a not-quite-so-traditional recipe for paska.

Love and Food Allergies at Church: Your parish undoubtedly includes people with dietary restrictions, and perhaps even life-threatening food allergies. Providing food they can eat is one way to show your love.

Peeps in marshmallow nests: A decidedly non-traditional Pascha treat that your little ones will love.

Charlotte Riggle, author of Catherine's Pascha and The Saint Nicholas Day Snow
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