My mission is to teach you to succeed on your raw food journey, helping you live your happiest, healthiest life! -Natalie

Raw Vegan Chocolate Chip Zucchini Banana Bread

Raw Vegan Chocolate Chip Zucchini Banana Bread

Raw Vegan Chocolate Chip Zucchini Banana Bread

Highlights:

  • How to make raw vegan bread
  • What the heck is a dehydrator?
  • Do I need a dehydrator to succeed on a raw food diet?
  • Homemade raw vegan gift ideas for the holidays
  • Satisfying a sweet tooth on a vegan diet
  • Low-fat vegan dessert idea
  • Raw foods on a budget

Yes, Raw Vegan Chocolate Chip Zucchini Banana Bread.

It’s possible. It’s happening. Actually, it happened. And I ate all of it. Oops! And now you can make your own Raw Vegan Chocolate Chip Zucchini Banana Bread by following this easy raw food recipe. Most of my recipes don’t involve a dehydrator, because I tend to prefer grab-and-go grub. I want to be clear that you don’t need to rely on dehydrated raw foods in order to thrive long-term! But from time to time I like to make some dehydrated raw vegan treats, and this is one of them.

Raw Vegan Chocolate Chip Zucchini Banana Bread by Natalie Norman

Raw foods on a budget: Using common ingredients

This banana bread recipe is made using common and inexpensive whole plant food ingredients like fresh ripe bananas and zucchini. Have you tried growing zucchini in your garden? By early autumn you might have more zucchini on your hands than you can manage, which makes it the perfect budget-friendly ingredient for raw vegan breads. You can also double or triple this recipe to use up a large quantity of zucchini.

Here’s another money-saving tip for going raw vegan: When you are at the grocery store, always buy up all the discounted, spotted bananas! Even if you are not sure what to do with them, just peel them, break them into chunks, and save them in the freezer for green smoothies or easy vegan ice creams like this decadently amazing recipe. You can never go wrong having piles of bananas on hand. Just be warned – Cashiers will begin to ask you if you have a monkey living at home as you pass through their line. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked that! I give them the same answer every time, pointing at myself, smiling, and telling them it’s all for the Big Blonde Gorilla!

Now let’s switch gears and talk about dehydrated raw foods for a minute.

Wait, what the heck is a dehydrator, you ask?

A dehydrator is like a tiny, super weak, counter-top oven of sorts, only the temperature is so low that you’re really just removing the liquid from food rather than browning/baking it in a traditional oven. This makes dehydrators a fun kitchen tool for raw vegans because we can place all sorts of creative plant-based concoctions in the dehydrator and prevent them from heating above around 118 degrees Fahrenheit. This preparation technique keeps food raw and protects sensitive nutrients from becoming damaged.

raw vegan zucchini banana bread batter on dehydrator sheet

You always want to give your body the best nutritional bang for your buck, and keeping foods raw helps accomplish that. For example, Vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant, is sensitive to heat damage. If I’m paying my hard-earned cash for food, I am not going to bring it home and destroy it, like burning money! My body needs those nutrients and I want to get the most out of my money. Always think about nutrients-per-dollar in your food budget. Over time, you will be surprised that a raw food diet is more affordable than you might have originally thought.

Dehydrated raw vegan goodies like crackers, breads, cookies, and wraps are typically made by processing some kind of mixture/batter in the food processor or blender. The mixture will then be spread out onto the raw food equivalent of a cookie sheet, which is a dehydrator tray covered with a resilient washable dehydrator sheet so that the liquid won’t drip down through the plastic mesh that covers each tray. This is the dehydrator I use and highly recommend. These product links are through my Amazon store where I link to products I personally love and that have helped me run my own raw food kitchen. So, thank you for helping to support this website if you choose to make a purchase through one of my links. I appreciate you and you are directly helping sustain a free resource and changing lives for the better.

Here below, you can see the banana bread batter on the dehydrator sheet ready to go:

banana bread batter on sheet

Think of it like this: Let’s say you run a household and make a handful of go-to nutritious meals on a regular basis. These help sustain you daily, keep you and your family satisfied, and require little thought, time, or effort. But sometimes you like to bust out the old stand mixer and bake a cake or a pie from scratch, right? The same lifestyle principle applies on a raw food diet. The difference is that instead of the stand mixer and oven, you’re using things like a food processor and a dehydrator. You blend up a batter made with whole plant-based ingredients and spices or seasonings, then the dehydrator concentrates their flavors and changes their textures by removing water.

shredded raw zucchini

Sometimes, the time it takes to dehydrate a raw vegan recipe is just….worth it. Yes, you’ll have to take a few extra steps beyond the usual fast and easy raw food recipes I provide. But, hey, treat it like baking around the holidays. It’s something you do a few times per year. It’s sweet. It’s decadent. It’s a treat! And, bonus, this is a super healthy and energizing meal. That’s what I love about raw foods! Whole, raw plants are bursting with phytonutrients and incredibly delicious, to boot.

raw vegan zucchini banana bread batter with chocolate chips

In addition to enjoying it yourself, you could also bundle this up banana bread and give it away as little sample gifts around the holidays to let people have a taste of raw vegan sweets. I always say I’m no Martha Stewart (who has time for that level of domestic perfection?) but you could bag these up, tie them with some rustic ribbon and create a truly heartwarming, thoughtful gift. After all, don’t we want to give our loved ones meaningful gifts that support them in their lives? I want my loved ones happy and healthy!

When you dehydrate a banana-based batter (say that fine times fast), the sweetness and moist, chewy texture that result are simply incredible. Have fun with this recipe! You’re going to love it. Make sure you subscribe to my email list and drop me a line to let me know how you liked the recipe, too!

Raw Vegan Banana Bread

Note, when I provide links to products through my website, they are sometimes affiliate links. This means that depending on when you click the link, I might receive a few cents of your resulting sale. This all goes right back into the cost of running this website – I do not profit off of it. So, thank you in advance for shopping through my affiliate links! It helps me continue doing all of this, providing a valuable service and helping people change their lives for the better. I appreciate each and every one of you!

Yours in delicious heath,

Natalie

Print

Raw Vegan Chocolate Chip Zucchini Banana Bread

Ingredients:

4 large ripe bananas (around 3 cups mashed)
4 cups of grated raw zucchini
1 cup of packed, pitted medjool dates
1 cup of raw cacao nibs
3 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
2 tsp vanilla (powder or liquid)
1/2 tsp pink salt

Directions:

Grate zucchini in a food processor or with  hand grater. Set aside. Blend all other ingredients except for the cacao nibs in a food processor fitted with an "S" blade until a thick batter is created. Pulse in zucchini until mixed, but zucchini should still be in grated pieces for the most part. You are not creating an emulsified babyfood texture! You WANT the lumps and texture in there. Now pulse in your cacao nibs a few times until incorporated but, again, you do not want this emulsified. You want actual "chips" in there.

Spread the batter onto a dehydrator tray covered with a nonstick sheet to prevent the batter from dripping down through the mesh sheet that comes with the dehydrator. It's very important to have these solid nonstick sheets, otherwise you won't be able to work with liquid batters.

Begin dehydrating the batter at a temperature of about 140 degrees Farenheit. Do not worry about the mixture getting hotter than the magic 118 number for the first hour or so! Think about it: If you place a raw chicken (sorry) into a traditional oven preheated to 350F, it's not going to become 350 immediately, or at all, really. It takes time for food to heat up in an oven and the same applies to dehydrating. If you set the dehydrator at 118 only, it can take too long for it to dry, and you might even risk a little mold forming, depending on how wet the recipe is. Yuck! So go ahead and heat up your batter, then just turn the temperature down after the first hour or so.

Some people have a food thermometer to keep track of how hot their raw vegan dehydrated foods get. I have one, but I never use it. It's too much of a pain in the tush, frankly. I trust my own kitchen smarts and experience, and I keep my raw food diet simple and easy. I suggest you don't obsess too much and instead just enjoy your time in the kitchen.

Check on your batter every few hours. Once the top becomes dry to the touch and you can start to peel up the bread in a sheet without it sticking to the underside too much, then you want to flip it to dry the other side evenly. Carefully peel the bread off the nonstick sheet, set the nonstick sheet aside because you're done with it now. Place the bread directly on the mesh sheet, with the dry side down. Continue dehydrating the bread until it is dry but still chewy. Once you have reached that point, you're done! You can either cut it into neat little squares, or rip it into rustic chunks like I did.

Every climate is different, as is every dehydrator. So, while I can't give you an exact time for dehydrating, I can warn you that dehydrated raw vegan foods are not an instant gratification type of deal. This is why I say you should treat them AS a treat. Something you make on occasion. This recipe is so delicious, it will be worth it. Enjoy!

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