Choco-Banana Bread with Quinoa
One of the advantages of going vegan is that it knocks us out of our usual wheat-fat-salt-sugar rut and into the realms of culinary imagination. This bread is surprisingly delicious, is gluten-free, has lovely fiber, and contains chocolate – what could be tastier or more virtuous?
Prep time is 20 minutes; baking time is one hour, for a total of one hour, 30 minutes before you can tuck in. It is, of course, vegan; this quantity makes 9-12 brownie-like servings.
Two ripe bananas
1 cup quinoa, soaked overnight
½ cup (about 3 oz) raisins – add more if you like it sweeter
½ cup (about 2 oz) high-quality cocoa powder
½ cup (about 2 oz) unsweetened desiccated coconut
1 tsp vanilla or orange extract or flavoring
3 Tbsp chia seeds soaked in ½ cup hot water
¼ tsp sea salt
1 cup water
Optional: 1 tsp cardamom, 1 tsp cinnamon
For the topping: two ripe bananas, 2 Tbsp good cocoa powder, 2 Tbsp hazelnuts or coconut
1. Soak the quinoa the night before; when ready to make the bread, drain and rinse.
2. Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease a medium pan – 8” x 8” works well, but you can also use a loaf tin. Line the bottom with greased parchment.
3. Soak the chia seeds for five minutes while you assemble the other ingredients in a food processor. Process until well mixed, add soaked chia seeds, and process again until smooth.
4. Bake for hone hour until a toothpick comes out mostly clean.
5. Leave to cool in the pan while you make the icing. The loaf will firm up as it cools.
6. Using a food processor or hand blender, mash two ripe bananas with 2 Tbsp cocoa powder and a pinch of sea salt. Spread this topping over the cooled loaf; sprinkle with chopped nuts or coconut to taste.
7. Cut into squares or slices. This loaf keeps very well wrapped in plastic wrap in the fridge.
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