When my soul feels troubled, I turn to activities that comfort me. The first is running. This morning, I spent a meditative run thinking about the injustices in our world. I ran for Ahmaud Arbery. He was murdered while out on a run in his own neighborhood. We should not be hunted down and killed for simply exercising. My soul aches for my country. How can so much injustice happen in the land of the free? This topic certainly deserves much further discussion.
My other comfort activity is baking. And based on the fact that I’ve already used an entire 10 lb. bag of my favorite King Arthur Flour unbleached, all-purpose flour, I’d say I’ve done a lot of comfort baking. I opened this bag just before we had to quarantine. When I bought it, I actually felt a bit ridiculous; I never thought I’d use up all of that flour before it expired! The regular 5 lb bag wasn’t available. When I emptied the giant bag, I had to pause for a moment and reflect on all of the goodness that bag of flour has given my family over the past weeks.
I also found myself down to one little packet of yeast. In my maddening search for this elusive pantry staple over the past weeks, I began to realize how very lucky I was to buy what I did at the beginning of quarantine. Fortunately, I have a friend who scouted the Costco for yeast and found it! I had to send my card holding husband out to get some! It’s amazing how much my anxiety lifted just having that pack of yeast in my possession, though, as silly as that sounds.
My mom posted a picture of apple fritter bread to Facebook that she made the other week. It looked amazing! But I’m sure it’s not vegan. And I had already been mulling over another version of my favorite quick bread recipe. So after much thought, I executed the plan. Unlike the Tropical Banana Bread that took a few attempts to get it perfect, this time I nailed it on the first try.
This recipe calls for one banana, but as one of my “sole mates” reminded me, not everyone can eat bananas! Feel free to sub ½ cup applesauce for the banana.
For the applesauce in quick breads, it’s so easy to use the unsweetened applesauce cups. These are ½ cup each. Just about every grocery chain makes a multi-pack of unsweetened organic applesauce cups, so I buy them frequently, just for baking.
This bread is spicy, subtly sweet, full of apples, and almost custard like in its texture. Even with the single banana, this is not the dominant flavor of the bread. It’s definitely something reminiscent of apple pie. It is a denser bread than traditional banana bread. I will absolutely make this again! So if you’re already bored with your 10th banana bread under quarantine, give this one a try!
Vegan Apple Spice Bread
- 1.5 cups flour (can use any combination of all-purpose, whole wheat, bread, whole wheat pastry, oat flour; just make sure at least half is all-purpose)
- 1/3 cup organic brown sugar (can use regular organic sugar, but the brown sugar gives it more flavor)
- 1 ½ tsp. cinnamon, apple pie spice, or pumpkin pie spice
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 1/3 cup avocado oil (or other neutral oil)
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 ripe banana, mashed (you can sub ½ cup applesauce for the banana)
- 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 medium apple, peeled, sliced, and diced. (I used Honeycrisp, but anything besides Red Delicious would work)
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
- Mix all of the dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the mashed banana and/or applesauce, oil, and vanilla.
- Blend the dry ingredients into the wet.
- Fold in the diced apple.
- Pour into a greased loaf pan (non-stick spray works great!)
- Bake for 55-60 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, AND bread bounces back when pressed gently in the center.
- Allow to cool in pan for 10 minutes, then gently loosen the bread by running a knife around the edges, then remove from the pan. Allow to cool on a cooling rack.
- Store wrapped in aluminum foil at room temperature if eating within 1-2 days, or store in the fridge for up to a week.
If you try this recipe, let me know! I hope you all are safe and healthy.