This banana and date sweetened vegan carrot bread is a year-round favourite. Despite the rather frighteningly wholesome ingredients, it’s just as delicious as spelt banana bread but with a little more complexity.
The banana and dates are blended up with the milk to avoid any chunks, as they’re only being used as sweetening and binding agents, rather than main flavour elements. If you don’t have a blender you can use a food processor (see below).
If you can’t see the step-by-step video below, watch it here instead. I forgot to film adding the ginger but it’s in there!
- Spelt Flour: whole grain in this case.
- Cinnamon: sub another spice if you don’t like cinnamon, or leave it out.
- Banana: as ripe as possible. This is part of what sweetened the bread and helps hold it together.
- Dates: included for the same reason as the banana, they also add a nice caramel flavour.
- Carrot: depending on the time of year, the sweetness of carrots available will change slightly. This shouldn’t make a noticeable difference.
- Olive Oil: or sub another light-tasting oil, like avocado.
- Oat Milk: use another kind of milk if preferred.
- Ginger: fresh ginger, very finely grated, adds a little zest.
Notes and Substitutions
One reader has successfully substituted cooked sweet potato in place of banana – something to keep in mind if you can have banana. Use about 100g but note that the bread may be slightly less sweet.
Light spelt flour, whole wheat flour, white flour, and whole wheat pastry flour can all be subbed 1:1 here.
If the dates aren’t soft, soak in very hot water for at least half an hour before using. Be sure to drain well.
I haven’t tried making this recipe gluten-free. I think a riff on my vegan gluten free banana bread might work, though, if you remove one of the bananas and replace with grated carrot. It’s not quite the same but I think this recipe would be tricky to make GF without some changes.
The baking time is slightly longer than many other quick breads of the same size. This isn’t a typo or error, but rather due to the high quantity of fruit in the batter. It takes a little longer to cook through.
If you don’t have a blender, you can use a food processor. Blend the banana, dates, and olive oil, then add the milk once a paste has formed (if you blend with the milk from the start, it tends to explode/leak). Alternatively, an immersion blender and a large bowl can be used.
More Fruit Sweetened Recipes
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- 300 grams whole grain spelt flour
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 ripe banana 190g (6.7 oz) weighed with peel
- 120 grams soft dates
- 60 ml olive oil extra virgin
- 250 ml oat milk
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger finely grated
- 200 grams packed shredded carrots
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) and grease or line a standard loaf tin.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- Add the banana, dates, olive oil, milk, and ginger to a blender. Mix on high speed until smooth.
- Add the banana mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined and no streaks of flour remain. Fold in the grated carrots until evenly incorporated.
- Place the batter into the prepared baking tin and bake for 50-55 minutes, or until golden and a skewer can be inserted in the centre and come out clean.
- Cool for 15 minutes before removing the bread from the tin and cooling completely on a rack. Store in a sealed container at room temperature for up to three days, or refrigerate if your home is warm.
This post was first shared in April 2018. It has been updated with some simplifications to the recipe as of April 2022.