Our favorite way to use overripe bananas, this not-to-sweet loaf is a real lesson in being resourceful. Completely gluten-free and vegan, it's sweetened with dates that are blended right into the liquid ingredients. Note that the crunchy walnut mixture that finds its way both into and on top of the bread is completely addictive so we advise making a bit extra to snack on while the banana bread bakes. —Weird & Ravenous
Preheat your oven to 425ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a mixing bowl, stir together the walnuts and oats with a tablespoon of olive oil, a tablespoon of maple syrup and a pinch of salt. Place half the mixture onto the prepared sheet pan and reserve the other half. Place the sheet pan in the oven and roast the nut mixture until browned and crunchy, about 10 minutes. Set the roasted mixture aside and turn the oven down to 350ºF.
Combine the bananas, vanilla, almond milk and dates together in a blender along with 1/4 cup maple syrup and 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Blend until completely smooth.
Meanwhile, whisk together the flours, the baking soda and powder and the xanthan gum together in a large mixing bowl with a healthy pinch of salt. Stir in the banana mixture from the blender . Fold in the reserved toasted walnut mixture and transfer the batter to a nonstick loaf pan or a greased loaf pan. Scatter the reserved untoasted walnut mixture on top of the loaf.
Bake the banana bread until a wooden skewer tests clean and it's just firm to the touch, 50 minutes. Remove the loaf from the oven and let it cool completely before eating. If you're a flexible vegan, a swipe of cream cheese is really welcome on each bite.
Cleo Brock-Abraham and Julia Turshen are the two best friends behind Weird & Ravenous, a production company that makes fresh content about food and the relationships it inspires. With a careful understanding of the many factors that go into preparing a meaningful meal, Weird & Ravenous is stirring the pot.