Vegan baking can be really frustrating, in my opinion, not as frustrating as gluten free baking, but still frustrating. Cookies are one of the easiest things to make vegan, but anything that requires any major leavening can get tricky. I’ve had countless vegan baked goods that are sunken, or flat or brick-like… you shouldn’t have to suffer through junk like that just because you make a healthy, eco conscious dietary choice!
There are plenty of milk substitutes to use in vegan baking, but what is hardest to replace is the almighty egg. I’ve tried the flax egg… not so great, silken tofu creates an odd texture sometimes, I have not tried the ener-G egg replacer, but I have heard good things, maybe I’ll try that next time. But I love to use bananas to replace eggs, which is why this recipe works so well.
How can bananas replace eggs? Well, ripe, mashed bananas hold air bubbles well, they brown nicely in batter, they keep cakes and muffins moist and they add volume. And I don’t mean that they add volume because of the addition of 1.5 cups of mashed banana. Bananas, as well as other fruits like apples, plums and cranberries, add volume to baked goods because of their high pectin content.
You may know pectin as an ingredient used mostly in canning and preserving produce. Pectin is a naturally occurring, fruit based substance, you can even make your own. More and more gluten free breads bought in stores contain pectin because it is a binder and a stabilizer, just like eggs. If you add a high pectin fruit to your baked goods, vegan or not, you may find that the final product is less crumbly and more moist than usual – thank you, pectin.
Vegan Banana Oat Chocolate Chip Squares
- 2 cups AP flour
- 3/4 cup oats
- 1 Tbsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- pinch salt
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 3/4 cup coconut oil (or safflower oil)
- 1 1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 3 bananas, I always assume 1 banana = about 1/2 cup)
- 1 Tbsp vanilla
- 3/4 cup vegan milk of your choice, I chose almond
- 3/4 cup vegan chocolate chips
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and combine the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Then put the sugars, oil, bananas and vanilla in an electric mixing bowl.
Spray a 9×9 or 7×11 baking dish – you could probably make this into banana muffins as well! Pour the batter into the dish and level off the top.