I always seem to have one over-ripe banana. There it will sit, on my counter, getting increasingly black, soft until 1) I take the initiative to cram it somewhere in the freezer until I accumulate the three over-ripe bananas needed for banana bread or 2) it deteriorates into true, starting-to-smell mush and needs to be thrown away.
It was well past time (for me and this most recent banana) to come up with a 1-banana banana bread recipe. Trouble is, both of my ‘regular’ banana bread recipes call for one egg. Dividing everything else in those recipes by a third is no big deal, but when it gets down to dividing an egg by a third…well, it’s not easy or practical—but dividing a vegan egg is a cinch!
For those who don’t know what a ‘vegan egg’ is, it’s the general term for a quantity or combination of ingredients (1/4 cup total, to match the volume of an egg) that replace an egg as a binder in baked goods.
My go-to vegan egg replacer is flaxseed meal because it’s easy to use, its flavor is mostly undetectable, and it adds fiber and good fats to a recipe. For one egg, you whisk 1 tablespoon flaxseed meal with 3 tablespoons water, then wait a few minutes until the mixture has thickened, so for 1/3 of an egg, you would whisk 1 teaspoon flaxseed meal with 1 tablespoon water. (Didn’t know 1 tablespoon = 3 teaspoons before? Now you do.) For the recipe below, I bumped up the flax to two teaspoons –just because I could. (Another advantage to vegan eggs: you can bend the rules so long as you don’t change the liquid volume too much.
Unfortunately, I don’t have a photo of the final (little) loaf. A friend stopped by as it came out of the oven and it was the perfect size for tea for two.
2 tsp. (10 g.) ground flaxseeds or flaxseed meal
1 very ripe (better still, over-ripe) banana
2 Tbs. (30 ml.) oil or melted butter
¼ cup (60 g.) sugar
½ tsp. (2 g.) baking soda
1/8 tsp. salt
½ cup (50 g.) flour
pinch cinnamon or nutmeg, optional
PREHEAT the oven to 350˚F (180˚C), and grease a 2-cup (1/2 l.) small loaf pan or 4 muffin cups.
STIR TOGETHER the flaxseeds and 1 Tbs. (15 ml.) water. Set aside 5 minutes to thicken.
MASH the banana in a medium bowl until no lumps remain. Whisk in the oil, sugar, and flaxseed egg, then whisk in the baking powder and salt. Stir in the flour and spices, if using, just until combined.
SPREAD the batter in the prepared pan or muffin cups, and bake 25 to 30 minutes for the loaf, or 20 to 25 minutes for the muffins. Cool 10 minutes before unmolding.