Betty Goes Vegan: a modern twist on an old recipe

Betty Grantz August 7th 1948. Less than two months after having my dad!

Betty Grantz August 7th 1948. Less than two months after having my dad!

My grandmother on my dad’s side, Betty, was simply fabulous. She was caring, kind, funny, fashionable, and she knew her way around a kitchen. In the words of my cousin Lizzie- she was a total Betty. I was lucky enough that my dad inherited her simplistic culinary wisdom. I watched him make Irish Soda Bread and Banana Bread countless times without following a recipe. He quickly became popular with my college roomies since he would usually send some of the goodies he made back to school with me.

When I moved into my own place after graduating college, I went through this strange phase where I would collect recipes and put them in a box. I wouldn’t necessarily make any of the recipes I collected. I think it was my own way of making myself feel domestic.  That is until I came across THE recipe amongst my mom’s own jotted down cards- Betty Grantz’s Banana Bread. It became a staple in my house. I would secretly make sure that three bananas were always left to over ripen so I could mash them up and make them into bread. The recipe remains framed on a shelf in my kitchen.

The original recipe- framed and displayed in my kitchen with material from one of my grandfather's shirts behind it.

The original recipe- framed and displayed in my kitchen with material from one of my grandfather’s shirts behind it. What can I say- I’m sentimental.

Two years ago I made some drastic dietary changes, mainly becoming a vegetarian. I toyed with the idea of going full out vegan, but I’m lucky to have friends who talked me off that ledge. I don’t have time to be a vegan. Being a vegetarian is hard enough. Vegan cooking and baking is a whole different beast. In my own mind, it’s an art form- which I’ll admit, I like to experiment with it. Most of the vegan things I attempt to bake taste horrible. The texture gets all wrong, or its lumpy, or off for some other reason. The only vegan success that I have has thus far is the coveted banana bread recipe. I’m sure my grandmother is rolling over in her grave right now as I’m typing this. If my dad weren’t cremated, he would be rolling over, too. While it may be blasphemy that I vegan-ized the delicious bread, it is an amazing, somewhat healthier alternative. I encourage you all to keep three bananas to the side and make this (or the original) next week. On behalf of Betty, you’re welcome!


What you will need:

1 cup pure maple syrup

1/4 cup coconut oil

3 tablespoonful soy milk

2 & 1/4 cup wheat pastry flour

1/2 cup apple sauce

3 soft bananas

1 & 1/2 teaspoonful baking powder

1/8 teaspoonful salt

1/2 teaspoonful baking soda


Combine the coconut oil, maple syrup and applesause. Mix it well. In a large dish, mash the bananas, soy milk, and baking soda. Add this to the first mixture. Put salt and baking powder into the wheat flour. Mix into bowl mixture, a little at a time, until well blended. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour in an oiled (you can use some coconut oil) and floured loaf pan. ‘Test for doneness.’

5 thoughts on “Betty Goes Vegan: a modern twist on an old recipe

  1. I just became a vegetarian, too! And I happen to love banana bread. I’ll be sure to try this. Thanks so much for sharing. Good luck with the switch.

  2. This looks amazing! Definitely going to try it.
    If you want to toy with more vegan desserts, check out the vegan cheesecake on!

  3. Pingback: Frozen Bananas- I’m Obsessed. | Western Mind | Eastern Thinking

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