Peanut butter seems like it should be healthy, right? But have you ever read the ingredients? Most peanut butter is filled with added sugar and trans fats! Even if the nutrition facts states “0g trans fat” or it says “0g trans fat per serving” on the package, that may not be true. If there are hydrogenated oils listed in the ingredients, there are trans fatty acids in the food. If it’s less than a gram, it doesn’t have to be listed. That’s a big issue because with so many processed foods containing hydrogenated oils, it can really add up overtime and lead to some serious health issues. That’s exactly why I used Crazy Richard’s Peanut Butter to make my Vegan Peanut-Butter Banana Bread–there is only one ingredient: peanuts!
What even are hydrogenated oils?
Hydrogenation refers to the process of adding hydrogen atoms to the oil. I’ll try not to get too much into chemistry, but basically the process breaks some of the double bonds found in unsaturated fats. It converts them to single bonds so that the fatty acids are non-conjugated (there is at least one methyl group between them) which allows them to be in a trans configuration. Translated to English, that means they can pack more closely, thus being more temperature stable. Why is this even an issue? Hydrogenation takes unsaturated fats (which are, in many cases, healthier) and makes them artificially behave like saturated fats.
“Natural” Peanut Butter
What really frustrates me about the food industry (actually there are a lot of things) is how there is no regulation on the word “natural”. It’s just another marketing scheme and doesn’t mean anything nutritionally. Even though “natural” peanut butters don’t contain hydrogenated oils, there are still a lot of brands that add sugar, salt, and palm oil. These are totally unnecessary ingredients (besides maybe a little salt), but Crazy Richard’s really keeps it clean and simple by strictly using peanuts.
Nut Butter Egg Substitutes
The other thing I want to address is why I added peanut butter at all. Not only is it one of my favorite foods, but it makes a great egg-replacer. I wouldn’t call it universal, but it’s perfect for breads, muffins, and cookies. Three tablespoons is equivalent to one egg. Just like a real egg, it adds both fat and moisture. If you’re allergic to peanuts, any other nut or seed butter will work too!
As always, I try to minimize processed ingredients as much as possible. For my Vegan Peanut-Butter Banana Bread, I was able to eliminate all refined sugar. The bananas add a good deal of sweetness on their own, but I also supplemented with sucanat. If you aren’t familiar or haven’t come across it in my other posts, sucanat is an unrefined sugar that still contains the natural molasses. It tastes like brown sugar, only it’s more rich and flavorful. I like to use Wholesome Sweets because it’s organic, non-GMO, and fair trade certified.
Vegan Peanut-Butter Banana Bread only has a few simple ingredients and comes together in just over an hour. If you’re short on time though, the batter works great for muffins too. They would only need to bake for 15-20 minutes.
Similar Recipes to Check Out:
- Vegan Chocolate Banana Bread
- Banana Chocolate Chip Cake
- Pumpkin and Pepita Muffins
- Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
- Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins
Vegan Tahini Banana Bread
- 3-4 large, overripe, bananas mashed
- ⅓ cup coconut oil melted
- 3 Tbsp tahini
- ¼ cup sucanat
- 1 ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 ½ cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 cup dark or semisweet chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a loaf pan with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, whisk the mashed banana and coconut oil.* Then add the tahini, sucanat and vanilla.
- Finally, add the baking soda, salt, and flour and mix until just combined, being sure not to over mix. Fold in the chocolate chips.
- Bake for about 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Enjoy!