In this simple recipe we show you how to recycle the pulp leftover from homemade almond milk to make zero waste vegan banana & almond loaf. It gives amazing results every time.
If you make your own almond milk, or any homemade vegan milk, you may wonder what you can do with the pulp; that is the leftover grinds after filtering the liquid. It seems so wrong to throw it away, especially such nutritious and sometimes expensive raw ingredients like almonds, vanilla bean and dates.
Zero waste and vegan
What makes this recipe so special and unique? Well, we have adapted and evolved the classic vegan banana bread recipe in order to recycle the leftover pulp after making our own milk. Yet it’s a very simple recipe. Best of all, you can purchase all the ingredients unpacked from your local bulk store or fruit shop. We use our handmade natural fibre produce bags to buy the dry ingredients like flour and almonds. Of course we use jute mesh bags to buy and store our bananas and any other fruit. You can even reuse greaseproof paper to line your tin if you make your own granola at home and use it to line the oven tray!
Summary: You can recycle practically any pulp leftover from making your own vegan milk. Just adjust the amount of flour to compensate for the difference in dry weight.
Packed with goodness and flavour
What makes this vegan banana and almond loaf so delicious is that it’s bursting with flavour yet very mild and digestible at the same time. This is because the pulp has been fused with ingredients like dates, figs, vanilla bean or cinnamon that go so well with banana. It’s totally free from any saturated animal fat and cholesterol from eggs.
Naturally sweet bananas
Because we use bananas as an egg replacer this bread is naturally sweet so you don’t need to add much sugar at all. It’s best if your bananas are as ripe as possible as they blend better and are sweeter. This means we can use raw cane sugar. This type of sugar is less sweet than other brown sugars and much less refined. Even then you only need 100g, which you can adapt to suit your own tastes. If you can’t get raw cane sugar use other brown or unrefined sugar. You might find that you have enough with about 80g depending on how sweet you want it.
Summary: Bananas make an excellent egg replacer as a binder and raiser. They are naturally sweet and packed with goodness like potassium. This means you can use less sugar than in an ordinary sponge cake.
Using plain wholemeal flour
The choice of flour for this recipe is entirely up to your and your tastes. Here we use plain spelled wheat wholemeal flour but you can use ordinary white cake flour for baking if you find it too heavy. This will give you a lighter batter that will rise a bit more and be less dense. You can also use self raising flour and skip the baking powder if you wish. Just remember to sieve the flour with plenty of height to get the most amount of air into it.
Summary: This recipe can be adapted and works equally well with different types of flour. Just make sure to sieve it well for best results.
Use olive oil as a healthy non-saturated fat
Olive oil is a mediterranean classic. It is often used for cooking sponge cakes in Spain. It makes a great alternative to butter, giving a rich deep flavour and nicely complementing the sweetness. We also find it works much better with wholemeal flours as well because it is runnier than butter. This results in a cake batter that is less thick and heavy. In this recipe we use 60g of oil but you can adjust that depending on the amount and type of flour you use.
Olive oil has many health benefits and is a key part of the traditional mediterranean diet. Here in Spain it is widely believed to contribute to the fact that Spain has the second highest life expectancy in the world after Japan! Only 14% of the oil is saturated fat and 11% is polyunsaturated, such as omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. The rest of the fat is monounsaturated oleic acid. Monounsaturated fat is resistant to heat making it a healthy choice for cooking.
However, if you don’t want to use olive oil a great alternative is sunflower oil which is cheaper and readily available.
Summary: Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fat. It has many proven health benefits including large amounts of antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties, and improved heart health.
Cooking times vary
We bake on a fairly low heat more akin to baking bread. This is because it takes longer to cook on the inside due to the moisture in the pulp and banana. We generally cook for 35-40 minutes in the fan oven at 160ºC (320ºF/ Gas mark 3). We tend to leave it for a further 5 minutes with the oven off. The key is to make sure not to cook too quickly so as to burn the outside, while making sure that is is cooked enough on the inside. Your cake probe or cake tester is the key to this!
Zero waste vegan banana & almond loaf
- Food processor
- Large mixing bowl
- Wooden spatula
- Loaf tin
- Greaseproof paper
- 150 g almond pulp This is the leftover pulp from homemade almond milk
- 180 g plain wholemeal flour Use self raising flour if you prefer
- 100 g raw cane sugar
- 2 ripened bananas
- 15 g baking powder
- 60 g olive oil You can use any vegetable oil you like
- 1 pinch salt Optional
- Preheat oven to 160ºC on fan mode (320ºF, Gas mark 3)
- Peel the two bananas and place in food processor together with 100g of raw cane sugar and blend on full speed for around 10-15 seconds until it has made an nice pulp.
- Sieve your flour into the mixing bowl to get as much air in as possible
- Add the flour and the rest of the ingredients into your food processor and blend for about 30 seconds to form a dough
- Pour the dough into your tin scooping it out with the help of a wooden spatula. Spread the dough using the back of your tablespoon to get a nice even bake
- Place in the centre of your oven and bake for about 35 minutes. Check it using a cake tester to make sure it's cooked on the inside.
- Take out the oven, remove from tin and cool on a rack before enjoying
Let us know how you get on
You can have a lot of creative fun adapting and experimenting with recipes. If you’re not sure about something the best way is to try. For us this is the secret to making great vegan alternatives to classic recipes that are also zero waste. We’d love to know how you get on and hear your great tips in the comments below.
And don’t forget to subscribe to the Vedonce channel on YouTube where we’ll be publishing more zero waste vegan recipes and loads of great tips & tricks.