Banana Teff-Almond Bread/Cake with Date Caramel Sauce (Free of Added Sugar, Gluten-Free & Vegan)

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Moist, healthy enough to be eaten for breakfast (in moderation), or as a dessert drizzled with a date caramel sauce. The date caramel is optional, but I am warning you, it is addictive! The batter can also be used to make muffins (with a reduced baking time). The date caramel recipe was actually created by accident. I was blending together the wet ingredients for my ginger-spice cookies, tasted the mixture just for fun and was amazed at how much it tasted like caramel! And so the date caramel was born. This recipe contains a lot of dates so although it is very nutritive, it should still be eaten in moderation. Other nuts, seeds and fruit pieces can be added to the batter along with the raisins (or instead of the raisins).

Ingredients

Cake

  • 3 tbsp ground flax seeds
  • 9 tbsp water
  • 1 1/2 cups ivory teff flour
  • 1 cup finely ground almonds
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 3 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinammon
  • 1 cup dates
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 350g bananas (approx. 3 large bananas), can be substituted with mangos (see note **)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup milk kefir (if vegan, substitute for 1/4 cup unsweetened oat or soy milk, see note *)
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup raisins (optional)
Notes

* Using milk kefir greatly enhances the texture of the cake, compared with non-dairy alternatives.

** Bananas can be substituted with 350g mangos, either fresh or frozen (and thawed). The cake will be less sweet with mangos compared to bananas, so some liquid stevia extract can be added to the liquid ingredients while blending (to taste), to compensate.

*** If making muffins, bake in a muffin pan at the indicated temperature for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let the muffins rest at room temperature for 15 min, then remove from the pan and let them cool completely, before storing in the refrigerator in a container.

Date Caramel Sauce

  • 250g pitted dates
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk, plus more if needed (I prefer unsweetened vanilla oat milk)
  • Pinch of salt, to taste.

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Prepare flax eggs by mixing the ground flax seeds with the 9 tbsp water. Set aside for 10 minutes.
  3. Grind the teff flour and ground almonds in a high speed blender or food processor, until a flour consistency is reached. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
  4. To the mixing bowl, add the baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Mix with a whisk.
  5. Combine the dates and 1/4 cup water into a microwavable bowl. Microwave for 45 seconds, stir and microwave for another 30 seconds.
  6. Transfer the dates with their water to the blender or food processor, along with the flax eggs and all remaining wet ingredients. Blend until smooth.
  7. Transfer the wet ingredients from the blender to the mixing bowl, and mix the wet and dry ingredients together with the whisk, being careful not to over-mix.
  8. Fold in the nuts/seeds/raisins, if using.
  9. Prepare a cake mold, lined with parchment paper or greased with canola oil. You can also split the batter into two smaller cake molds.
  10. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out mostly clean. A few crumps are ok, but there should be no raw cake batter. For a small mold, it might take around 35 min and for a larger mold, around 55 min, but it really depends on your mold. To prevent the surface from burning, you can cover the cake with tin foil for the last half of the cooking time.
  11. Let the cake rest at room temperature for 15 min, remove from the mold and let it cool completely, before storing in the refrigerator in a container.
  12. For the date caramel, cook the dates with the water in the microwave for 45 seconds, stir and microwave for another 30 seconds.
  13. Transfer the dates and water to a high-speed blender and blend all caramel ingredients together until smooth. Adjust salt to taste and add more non-dairy milk if the sauce is too thick.
  14. When ready to serve, warm the sauce in the microwave and add more non-dairy milk if the sauce is too thick. Pour over the cake and serve.

Enjoy!