banana bread (vegan and oil free)
in my fruit basket the other morning i spied a little pile of yellow and brown speckled bananas looking for all the world like they needed to be sent off to a leper colony lest they infect their citrus and kiwi neighbors with an overdose of fruit-maturing ethelyne gas.
gingerly i peeled the darkest one open over the sink, fully expecting a geyser of fermented banana liqueur to squirt me in the eye. instead, glowing up at me was a lovely ripe bit of flesh, perhaps just a little past its prime with a few age spots and a certain lack of integrity of form, but seducing me with its heady scent of tropical decay. such a one as this, i thought to myself, should be honored not with the trash heap but with the loaf pan.
tip tap tip tap, my fingers typed away until i stumbled upon this recipe somewhere on the net. it may have originated from bryanna clark grogan but i'm not sure. well, wherever it came from, it was the perfect use for the half tub of tofu i had lurking in the dark, cold recesses of my no-vegetable-crisper, broken-down, second-hand refrigerator. and for those whatever-happened-to-baby-jane bananas that were attracting the fruit flies in a frenzied orgiastic orbit.
this is a nice, light banana bread. due to the fact that there is no added fat (aside from that in the tofu and walnuts) the resulting loaf is not that dense, greasy monstrosity you find in coffee shops all across the country. instead the texture is a bit spongy and moist with a light banana flavor and a whisper of nutmeg. made with wholewheat pastry flour and tofu, it's a snack bread you can feel good about snacking on. unless you snack on half the loaf in one afternoon, in which case i guess it no longer qualifies as a snack.
oh, and the vegan-dessert-hating half of this household gave this banana bread two thumbs up with the caveat, "just don't tell anyone there's tofu in it". now that's saying something...
8 oz (1 cup) soft tofu, not silken
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
2 ripe bananas
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 orange, zest only
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
in a blender whir all the wet ingredients together (tofu, water, sugar, bananas, vanilla and orange zest) until very smooth and creamy. in another bowl sift all the dry ingredients together. using a wide rubber spatula fold the wet and dry ingredients together handling the batter as little as possible. pour into one greased and floured loaf pan (about a 9 x 5) and bake for about 40 minutes or until done at 350.