I've been cooking like a maniac lately, because I'm writing a new Estonian vegan cookbook. It will come out in 2016 and I'm beyond excited. You can see a sneak peek here! Since I'm constantly covered in tomato paste, flour and what not, I really wanted to treat myself to an easy and rather healthy treat. I decided to bake a gingerbread loaf based on my favorite banana bread recipe and I can't wait to share this amazing recipe with you!
I guess I'm on a roll. This is the second sugar free dessert recipe this month after these delicious no bake peanut butter and cocoa cookies. I must say that I have nothing against sugar, wheat, oil or salt. In fact, you can even replace the dates in this recipe with regular sugar. But sometimes it's fun to bake and eat date sweetened goodies. I don't eat dessert every day, but occasionally I love to dig into a decadent and rich vegan cake slice or nibble on healthy desserts, like this gingerbread loaf. As soon as I finished taking photos of this beautiful thing, I instantly ate a whole slice and wanted more. You really can't blame me and here's why:
This loaf is really moist and filled with slightly smokey tasting prunes and fresh oranges. At first I had my doubts about using fresh orange in a baked loaf recipe. I hadn't done it before and I wasn't sure how it will affect the overall texture and taste. I'm glad I decided to go for it, because the outcome was fantastic! The small fresh orange pieces were juicy and sweet. They suited perfectly with the fragrant holiday spices and grated orange zest gives the freshness of the citrus.
This loaf has no added sugar, only the sweetness and goodness of the dates. It is such a wonderful holiday treat. I really hope you will love it as much as I did. And I would love to hear about your favorite holiday desserts!
Preparation time: 10 minutes active, 30 minutes passive. Total: 40 minutes.
Serves: 10 x 5 inch / 26 x 12 cm loaf pan, about 10-12 slices
- ½ cup + 2 heaping Tbsp / 100 g whole-wheat flour
- 1 cup / 150 g all-purpose flour
- 2 ½ tsp baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 5 tsp cocoa powder
- 1 tsp gingerbread spice
- 1 ¼ cup / 150 g dried pitted dates (or other dried fruits)
- ¼ cup + 2 Tbsp / 80 ml plant milk (I used soy milk)
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar
- ¼ cup / 75 ml olive oil or sunflower oil
- 1 ¼ cup / 200 g banana slices
- 3 heaping Tbsp sliced prunes (dried plums)
- grated orange zest of one smaller orange
- + chopped orange pieces from the same orange
Preheat the oven to 350 F / 180 C. Mix all the dry ingredients and set aside. In another bowl, pour some boiling water over the dried dates and let them soak for a few minutes until you prepare the other ingredients. Pour plant milk into a blender (or use a hand blender) along with vinegar, oil and banana slices. Now drain and rinse the dates. Even if they are pitted, they might contain some hidden stones, so I recommend to check every date. Now add the dates into the blender and blend with other ingredients, until you have a creamy light brown mixture. When the oven has reached its temperature, mix the dry ingredients with the wet mixture, sliced prunes and chopped orange. Pour the batter into a greased loaf pan and bake for 30 minutes. Let it cool before slicing. Enjoy! :)