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For Delicious Dairy-Free Banana Bread, You Can't Beat Hazelnuts

Sliced hazelnut banana bread
Sliced hazelnut banana bread - margouillat photo/Shutterstock

Sweet, warm, and inviting: A loaf of freshly made banana bread is one of the most comforting baked goods of all. For our non-dairy and vegan friends, you can also easily make this bread sing. Still, to make banana bread vegan-friendly, you will need to add a little something different in substitution of all those omitted ingredients.

One of the biggest mistakes people make when baking vegan treats is not adding enough moisture-inducing additions, which leads to dry and brittle breads. Don't be like those other guys. There are plenty of solutions to this problem, and one of our favorites is using the help of hazelnuts. Some might find this addition unexpected, but hazelnuts bring more than robust complimentary flavors to banana bread -- they also elevate the texture. Nuts like these are full of natural fats and oils, which make them the perfect replacement for dairy ingredients like milk or eggs. Hazelnuts are also a lighter addition than dairy products, so they won't overwhelm the subtly sweet flavor of the banana.

Hazelnuts are an excellent ingredient for dairy-free banana bread, which will end up much softer and more fragrant than it would have been without them. Now that you know how they work, let's talk about how to incorporate them into your dairy-free banana bread recipe.

Read more: Cake Hacks Every Baker Will Wish They Knew Sooner

Elevating Your Vegan Banana Bread With Hazelnuts

Hazelnuts on a baking sheet
Hazelnuts on a baking sheet - Brycia James/Getty Images

There are a few different ways you can add in these nuts. For the best results and maximum release of both moisture and flavor, we recommend grinding up your hazelnuts before adding around 1 cup of them to your batter. To do this, start by roasting your nuts in the oven until they're warm and fragrant. Now remove the skins by rubbing the hazelnuts together in a tea towel. Next, place the nuts in a food processor with all your dry ingredients and pulse until combined. Now you can mix in your wet ingredients with the dry and bake. Soon, you'll be left with a perfectly moist loaf of fresh and sweet bread.

Another way to incorporate hazelnuts into your banana bread is by turning them into a luscious homemade hazelnut spread. Make your spread first, then add about 2 cups of the rich dip with your other banana bread ingredients to reap the same benefits. This choice is an especially good route for those who love the taste of cocoa. Finally, for some extra crunch, you can add your roasted hazelnuts to your bread while they're chopped or whole. The choice is up to you -- the advantages remain the same.

Other Ways To Make Your Deliciously Dairy-Free Bread Shine

A loaf of chocolate chip banana bread baking in the oven
A loaf of chocolate chip banana bread baking in the oven - Gmvozd/Getty Images

Way too often vegan desserts end up flat and dry, so prevent this from happening by using plenty of healthy fats and moisture-supporting ingredients in your mix. Try using additions like soy milk or vegetable oil alongside your hazelnuts to ensure you get a truly pillowy-soft end product.

If the texture of your dairy-free bread is great but the flavor is lacking some depth, experiment with adding in more sugar. Especially if you're working off of a dairy-based banana bread recipe, you sometimes need to augment other ingredients to make up for what is left out. Adding more sugar not only rounds out your bread's flavor but can help it rise higher.

Last but not least, don't forget to use some garnishes here for visual appeal. Throw in a smattering of vegan chocolate chips before you bake, a few sliced pieces of banana, or a handful of delicious hazelnuts to tie everything together. With all these game-changing additions in mind, your non-vegan friends won't even be able to tell that your masterpiece is completely dairy-free. We won't tell if you don't.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.