Saturday, June 30, 2012

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Everyone likes banana bread, right? And it's a damn good thing, because we always seem to have too many bananas, which means that a few are destined to go "past their prime" and end up in a loaf or two (with the occasional batch of muffins or pancakes to shake things up). This variation uses chocolate chips instead of the traditional raisins and/or walnuts, for a "dessertier" bread that packs much less sugar and fat than a lot of similar recipes. So instead of the chocolate cake - filled with sugar and butter and eggs and lord knows what - proffered by the well-meaning but misguided lady pictured above, spread a little peanut butter on a slice of this banana-ey goodness, for a Perfectly Healthy way to eat chocolate for breakfast! (Please note that this recipe also makes excellent muffins; just reduce the cooking time to 20-25 minutes.)

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
~ 1 cup plain, unsweetened soy (or other non-dairy) milk
~ 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
~ 1 tbsp. ground flaxseed
~ ¼ cup canola oil or applesauce (or a 50/50 combination)
~ ¼ cup maple syrup
~ 1 tsp. vanilla extract
~ 3-4 very ripe bananas, mashed
~ 2.5 cups all purpose flour
~ 1 tbsp. baking powder
~ ½ tsp. each: baking soda, cinnamon, salt
~ ¼ tsp. each: nutmeg, ginger
~ ¾ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

~ Preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit, and coat a bread pan with cooking spray.
~ Whisk together the milk, apple cider vinegar, and flaxseed and allow to rest for five minutes. Add the oil and/or applesauce, maple syrup, and vanilla extract, then stir in the mashed bananas and mix thoroughly.
~ In a mixing bowl, sift together the dry ingredients (flour through nutmeg), until thoroughly combined. 
~ Add the chocolate chips and toss to coat with the flour mixture.
~ Make a well in the center of the flour mixture, and add the wet ingredients.
~ Combine thoroughly and spoon the batter into the prepared bread pan.
~ Bake at 375 degrees for about 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (every oven is different; mine tends to be slow, so your mileage may vary).
~ Allow to cool in the pan for at least 15 minutes before slicing. This bread is delicious warm, at room temperature, or (carefully) toasted the next day, if it lasts that long.

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