Whole wheat chocolate chip banana bread
Our favorite banana bread recipe with a chocolate twist
How did it take me this long to think of adding chocolate chips to my favorite whole wheat banana bread recipe?
After all, I make it fairly often--a family favorite. We especially like it for an easy breakfast on the run.
Usually, I make banana nut bread, but I was planning to share this with one of my granddaughters, who has a nut allergy. What would give it that extra bit of texture and crunch we love? Chocolate chips, of course!
I wasn't sure how it would taste. We love chocolate, and we love banana bread. Heck, we love frozen chocolate covered bananas. Why not give it a try?
The verdict: My granddaughter LOVED it; my sweetheart wants me to make this recipe and only this recipe from now on.
How do you like your banana bread?
Do you prefer your banana bread plain, with nuts, with chocolate?
We love bananas, but are they good for us?
Bananas are as healthy for our bodies as they are tasty and sweet.
According to Jessie Szalay in Bananas: Health Benefits, Risks and Nutrition Facts on LiveScience, bananas contain plenty of vitamin B6, which helps keep our immune system healthy, reduces inflammation, and a host of other benefits.
What's more, bananas are a good source of magnesium, vitamins A and C, and something called fructooligosaccharides, which help our bodies absorb calcium.
So you can feel good about baking a banana bread like this for your family, especially when you factor in the added nutritional benefits of whole wheat flour.
Whole wheat chocolate chip banana bread recipe
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: Approximately 1-1/2 hours
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- 1/2 C olive oil (or substitute your favorite baking oil)
- 1/3 C Raw wild honey
- 3 Medium slightly over-ripe bananas, mashed
- 1 t Organic vanilla extract
- 2 Large eggs, beaten well
- 1 -1/2 C Organic stone-ground whole wheat flour
- 1/2 C Organic oat bran
- 2 t Baking powder
- 1/2 t sea salt
- 1 t Ground cinnamon
- 2/3 C Fair Trade and organic semi-sweet chocolate chips
Did you know?
- Green America: Fair Trade: Bananas
Fair Trade bananas provide farmers with living wages and help build schools
- Preheat oven to 325F.
- In mixing bowl, beginning on low speed and increasing to medium, cream honey and oil.
- Add the beaten eggs, mashed bananas and vanilla and continue to beat on medium-low speed.
- In separate bowl, whisk together flour, oat bran, baking powder, salt and cinnamon until thoroughly mixed.
- Stir chocolate chips evenly into flour mixture.
- Add flour mixture all at once to batter and mix on low speed or by hand until flour is completely moist, but just barely. Do not over-mix.
- Pour batter into butter-greased loaf pan and bake one hour and ten minutes until golden brown.
- Remove pan to wire rack and turn on side without removing bread from pan. Let rest 5 minutes.
- Gently slide bread from pan onto wire rack, set loaf upright and let cool an additional 10-15 minutes before cutting, if you can wait that long.
Freeze over-ripe bananas and use them in your bread
According to Wikipedia, banana bread first appeared in cookbooks in the 1930s, when thrifty housewives started to bake their overripe bananas into quick breads.
Here at Chez Grace, thrift matters as well, so we freeze our overripe bananas.
On baking day, I pull four frozen bananas from the freezer and plop them in a bowl. Within an hour, they are thawed enough to peel and break apart for mashing. Another thirty minutes is usually all they need to thaw before using in bread.
They look mighty ugly, but they bake well.
Cast iron is wonderful for baking quick breads. It gives a nice crisp texture on the outside while retaining moist goodness inside. I wouldn't bake my banana bread in anything else.
The chocolate for these chips comes from plantations that do no employ child slaves to grow and harvest the cocoa beans.
Make this treat even better
Here are two more tips for making this banana bread the best it can be.
- To get an extra crispy crust on the outside without over-baking, use a cast-iron loaf pan.
Heat it, ungreased, with the oven during the pre-heat. When you're ready to pour the batter, use oven mitts to remove the pan to the stove top. Dip a pastry brush in butter and quickly grease the pan. Daub the corners extra well.
Pour the batter and return the pan to the hot oven.
- Always bake with Fair Trade organic chocolate. It's the only way to be sure no child labor or child slave labor was used in the growing, harvesting and processing of your chocolate.
I couldn't bear the thought of children so like my own grandchildren working long, hard hours in horrible conditions, without pay and at risk for abuse, could you?
National Banana Bread Day - February 23
In the United States, February 23 is designated National Banana Bread Day. If you plan on baking this sweet treat next February 23, and especially if you plan on baking it with the children in your life, why not celebrate with this rousing, and slightly humorous song: Oh Banana Bread (to the tune of Oh Susanna!).