Apple, pecan and sunflower seeded vegan loaf

My new year’s resolution of learning to follow recipes has not been going to plan! Needless to say this loaf was a hit and my husband didn’t stand a chance on getting a slice after his lie in on Saturday morning. The kids and I demolished it!

What this was meant to be was an exact replica of deliciousness once I followed the recipe from the Baking Fairy for vegan banana bread >>> https://www.thebakingfairy.net/2015/05/the-perfect-vegan-banana-bread/ did not eventuate. At all.

The challenge of following the recipe became apparent when I didn’t have bananas but I did have apples!

I grated three into a bowl and added sunflower seeds and crushed pecans, for some texture to my loaf.

Then I realised I didn’t have almond milk but as oat milk is a hit for my daughter and I in it went. Brown sugar wasn’t available either, so I thought hey, how about coconut sugar? I’m still becoming acquainted with this tasty, complicated-to-bake-with, refined sugar replacement. I find coconut sugar dries out my bakes so I thought it could work well with my rather wet grated apple. For extra assurance that I wouldn’t bake a tasty brick I added some maple syrup and also sunflower oil – because I quite fancied having coconut oil instead of the Baking Fairy’s vegetable oil and oil does not dry evaporate or become absorbed by water hungry ingredients during the bake.

Oh, let’s not forget this is a predominantly gluten free household, so I also used gluten free flour which was quickly chased with an eighth of a teaspoon of xanthium gum for a bit of stretch. Then I added some resting time. Yes, time. I choose to look at resting time in my recipes as an added ingredient especially when using unrefined ingredients or gluten free flour. Allowing my recipes to rest, I find, changes the texture of my bakes, and I think makes them more enjoyable.

So here is my version. Give it a go and if you stray from the recipe I won’t be offended – but I would love to hear what you did and how your bake turns out!

  • 3 grated apples
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • I tablespoon of sunflower oil
  • ¼ cup gf oat milk
  • 1/3 cup coconut palm sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons of ground flax seeds
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups of gluten free flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • sliced bananas, for topping
  • 1 teaspoon of water
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Coat a 9×5 loaf pan with sunflower oil, then flour.
  2. Into a large mixing bowl, grate the apples. Add the coconut sugar, coconut and sunflower oil, vanilla, and oat milk, maple syrup, flax seeds, lemon juice and whisk to incorporate. My 18 month old woke up at this point and I ended up letting this mix sit, covered, overnight. To be honest I’m not sure how this affected the outcome but I would definitely have left this for at least half an hour predominantly to allow time for the coconut sugar to dissolve.
  3. Sift in the flour, baking soda, salt, xanthium gum and cinnamon into a separate bowl and use a fork to whisk spoon to mix until you can see the cinnamon is well distributed in the mix. Hopefully everything else is too!
  4. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients mixing as you go. Allow the batter to sit for 30 minutes. I put in two tablespoons at a time, stirred and then repeat until wet and dry ingredients are all combined.
  5. Rest the batter for half an hour
  6. Transfer the batter to your prepared pan.
  7. Bake for about 45 minutes, then cover with foil and bake for 10-15 minutes longer, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a couple crumbs.

As I was writing the recipe I remembered flax seeds. I added flax seeds simply because I always wanted to know how they influenced a bake. Quite possibly not a clear picture as I had tweaked so much in the recipe already but hey, the bake worked and didn’t really last long with it’s buttery, spongy goodness. I hope yours worked out too!

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