This healthy vegan coconut banana bread is rounded out with dark chocolate chips and nutty spelt flour. The bread is sugar free, sweetened just with banana and dates, making it totally appropriate for breakfast or as a wholesome snack.
We don’t yet have a proper kitchen, although I do have a toaster oven now, so I won’t be testing any baking recipes for the time being. There are a couple that I have already tested and ready to go, like this one, but if it’s much longer then you’re going to start getting a lot of soup and curry recipes.
The two best quick breads are combined here, for a fruit-sweetened tropical vegan coconut banana bread. I have recipes for healthy banana bread and vegan coconut bread on the blog, but first made this proper mix of the two while we were back home during the summer, and took these pictures there. My mom always manages to have spotty bananas in the house, and a mix of coconut, banana, and chocolate seemed too good to be true.
It’s soft and not too sweet, relying on dates along with the banana and coconut, with no other sugars – the texture is slightly different from a recipe that uses a granular or liquid sweetener, but it’s delicious. This is a nice way to bring some different flavours into winter, as much as I love oranges in everything at this time of year.
Whole spelt flour adds a good nutritional element to the bread so you can happily eat it for breakfast or a snack as well as dessert. And all the fruit certainly keeps this coconut banana bread from becoming dry, with the dates giving a slightly caramel flavour that pairs well with dark chocolate and banana.
I chose avocado oil instead of coconut because I wanted there to be a nice balance without coconut overpowering everything else, but if you want a slightly firmer, denser loaf, switch it out for unrefined coconut oil instead. The trick here is to wait until it’s fully cool before slicing or you risk some crumbling – I didn’t wait quite long enough in the photos, so the slices are a touch messy.
I’ve shared before about why I love coconut bread so much, but I think this is my favourite iteration to date. It’s a great combination, and it really feels more like a wholesome breakfast option than just about any other quick bread I’ve ever made, apart from perhaps this olive oil, date, & carrot loaf. This is the kind of thing I can always manage to eat in the morning. I hope that if you tend to have trouble with breakfast, or don’t have much time in the morning, that you might try this.
This was baked in a standard loaf tin, about 30×15 cm or 9×5 inches, so keep in mind that your baking time will change slightly if you have a different pan size. A note on those sliced bananas decorating the top of this bread. I’ve seen this all over the place and think it’s very pretty, but if you’re not eating the loaf all in one day, I don’t recommend doing it. By the second day it’s not nearly as nice looking.
- 330 grams / 2 cups whole spelt flour*
- 90 grams / 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg**
- 3 medium spotty bananas
- 130 grams / 1/4 cup packed soft dates (about 6 large dates)
- 250 ml / 1 cup nondairy milk (oat, nut, coconut)
- 60 ml / 1/4 cup avocado oil
- 100 grams / 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
- Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F and grease or line a standard loaf tin.
- In a large bowl, stir together the flour, coconut, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Make a well in the centre.
- Mash the bananas and dates with a fork in a medium bowl. Add the milk and oil, and stir to combine. Alternatively, add all four ingredients to a high speed blender and mix until smooth.
- Pour the banana mixture over the dry ingredients, and stir until just mixed. Fold in the chocolate chips.
- Pour the batter into the prepared loaf tin. Top with another banana, halved lengthwise, if desired. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until golden. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack for 15 minutes before carefully removing from the tin and cooling completely.
• If you don't have a powerful blender, you can blend the bananas, dates, and oil in the bowl of a food processor until smooth, then add the milk and pulse until combined.
* You can also use kamut or light spelt flour. I haven't tested with whole wheat or gluten free, but I'm sure whole wheat pastry flour would work. Not sure about GF.
** This is from freshly grated nutmeg. If you're using ground, reduce to 1/4 teaspoon.