The most epically moist and delicious Healthy Chai-Spiced Carrot Banana Bread loaded with warming spices and topped with the most amazing cream cheese frosting. 100% whole grain and vegan!
If I come back in another life as a baked good I WILL BE THIS BREAD OF ALL BREADS.
Sweet, sassy, fun, unique…you picking up what I’m throwing down? I’m twinning with this dream loaf! I legitimately think that a) this is my favorite blog recipe ever and b) these are my favorite photos ever.
And even though this may look like just another recipe to you, it feels really, really symbolic to me. Like the universe blessed me with this high vibin’ frequency to produce something so epically luscious and drop dead gorgeous for your face.
I MEAN CAN YOU EVEN WITH THIS?
You bet your hiney that I took my Vegan Chocolate Chunk Banana Bread recipe and modified it to make this chai-spiced carrot banana bread version packed with pecans and fun chai spices and cream cheese frosting (I used my homemade Vegan Cashew Cream Cheese) because…life is too short to not put cardamom in your carrot cake.
Lettuce rewind and chat about why this bread was meant to be. The last couple months have been kiiiiinda tough. I’ve been working pretty much every day, bopping from Hummusapien duties to Alchemy obligations and basically doing some kind of work (social media, menu planning, restaurant stuff, cooking, writing, photographing, emails) during most waking hours.
Owning a business(es) is hard in every sense of the word. There’s no sugar-coating it. And like any business, the blog and Alchemy don’t sleep. Lately my days look something like this: wake up around 7am. Work on blog stuff until 830am. Get ready, eat, and go to Alchemy or a meeting around 9am. Do restaurant stuff all day. Maybe work out around 6:30pm, maybe not. Make dinner or reheat leftovers (god-willingly) around 8pm. Shower and probably not wash my hair. Grab my computer and work on the blog and/or Alchemy until 10 or 10:30pm. Sleep. Repeat.
And then last week I got that chest tightness I get a couple times a year, like my body is ahead of my brain and it wants to have a panic attack but my mind’s not on board. I didn’t feel super stressed mentally, but my body sure did. I’ve worked harder these past few months than I have in my entire life. Has it been difficult? Without a doubt. Have I made sacrifices? Sure. But there’s so much amazingness weaved into the day to day grind. It’s those lovely moments that make it worth it a hundred times over.
I know it won’t be this past-faced forever. At least I have the best ever carrot banana bread to fuel with, right? And a new assistant! Mad love to Jeremy.
I want you to know the joy I felt when I took a bite of this chai-spiced carrot banana bread, when I drooled over the photographs, when I actually felt enamored writing these words to you at 10:29pm on a Sunday. The excitement for the future that both businesses hold is what wakes me up every morning. I’m so proud to have built a business out of this blog that’s so insanely closely tied to my heart.
SO! The reason this recipe is meant to be is because despite working wild hours and wondering if I’m going insane, I felt better today staring at this carrot cake than I’ve felt in a long time. It was that feeling that keeps me inspired. Simple but so strong. It all felt full circle—the past, the present, and the future.
I know what I was put on this earth to do and I’m doing it.
- 2 tbsp ground flax + 6 tbsp water
- ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
- 1 cup grated carrots (2 large carrots)
- 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour*
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1½ tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp cardamom
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp allspice
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 1½ cups mashed banana (3 medium, very over-ripe bananas)
- ½ cup coconut sugar (or cane sugar or ⅓ cup maple syrup)
- 2 tbsp almond milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup chopped pecans, plus more for topping
- ⅓ cup cream cheese of choice, softened (I used homemade vegan cashew cream cheese)
- ⅓ cup organic powdered sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 5x9inch loaf pan.
- In a small bowl, stir together flax and water. Set aside to thicken. Melt coconut oil in a small bowl and set aside to cool. Grate carrots and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, spices, and salt.
- In a medium bowl, stir together mashed banana, grated carrot, sugar, coconut oil, milk, vanilla extract, and flax mixture.
- Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir until just combined, being careful not to over-mix. Gently fold in pecans. Pour into prepared baking dish and bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes, covering with foil after 50 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make frosting by beating together cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla (I used a hand mixer) in a medium bowl until smooth.
- Remove bread from oven and cool in pan for 15 minutes. Remove from pan and let cool completely on wire rack. When bread has cooled, spread with frosting and top with a sprinkling of pecans. Slice and serve!