Chocolatey, rich, decadent….oh and healthy. Yep you are going to want to try this double chocolate oil free banana bread. It is bomb!
I love banana bread…..heck I love any sweet baked treat that is acceptable to eat for breakfast. Problem is I cannot keep bananas in my house long enough for them to ripen for baking. I am always using up my bananas for smoothies or as a topping on oatmeal and yogurt.
Last week, when I looked in my fruit bowl, I was pleasantly surprised to see two neglected bananas at the bottom that had starts to turn black. A big smile crept across my face. I know what you are thinking?? How can you be excited about black spotted bananas. Doesn’t exactly sound appetizing. But black spotted bananas are a gift. Because when they turn that color, it means the starch has converted to sugar..aka they are the perfect ripeness for baking.
I instantly knew I wanted to make a healthy, delicious banana bread. My dad has been asking me to create a healthy version for some time and I wanted to deliver.
I also was in a chocolate mood…I mean honestly I am always in the mood for chocolate, so why not add it to banana bread to upgrade this breakfast classic.
The batter is super simple to make. First, you add all of the dry ingredients in a bowl. Flour. Baking powder. Baking soda. Salt. Cocoa powder. The special ingredient that leads to a super decadent chocolate flavor is instant expresso powder. You only need to use a teaspoon, so it does not add a coffee flavor; it only intensifies the chocolatey goodness. Yum!
In a separate bowl, mix the bananas and sugar with the wet ingredients. I added the ripe bananas first so I could mash them up. Then I added the honey, brown sugar, greek yogurt, eggs, vanilla and almond milk.
Tip: make sure your wet ingredients are at room temperature before making the batter. It is easy to want to skip this step, but please, please do not. I am sure you have heard before that baking is a science. And it is totally true. Ingredients need to be at room temperature because of the science behind baking. First, you need your wet batter ingredients to emulsify (aka, the seamless combination of fats and liquids). At room temperature, the eggs, milk, and butter/oil create an emulsion that traps air. As the bread bakes, the air expands, which leads to a light, fluffy, delicious baked good. Second, the ingredients more easily come together, creating a smooth, evenly incorporated batter that is not overmixed (overmixed batters can lead to a tough finished product). For your ingredients to get to room temperature, you need to take them out of the fridge about 30 minutes to an hour before baking.
There are three main healthy swaps I used to create this bread:
- I used whole wheat pastry flour, instead of white starchy flour
- I used fat free greek yogurt instead of oil
- I replaced half of the sugar with honey (which is natural and rich in nutrients)
These easy swaps lighten up the banana bread without sacrificing flavor. The bread is perfectly sweet, contains lumps of banana and chocolate, has a rich and decadent chocolate flavor (thank you espresso powder), and is still moist and light from the greek yogurt.
This bread is a great breakfast treat, and goes perfectly with a cup of coffee. But it also works as a dessert and pairs wonderfully with a scoop of ice cream.
I hope you enjoy it!
Double Chocolate Banana Bread
Double chocolate banana bread
- 1 1/3 cup whole what pastry flour
- 2/3 cups good cocoa powder
- 1 tsp. instant espresso powder
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- ¼ tsp. baking soda
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 5.3 ounce container honey greek yogurt (I used the trader joe’s brand)
- ½ cup almond milk
- ¼ brown sugar
- ¼ honey
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a loaf pan.
- In large mixing bowl, shift together the pastry flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and expresso powder.
- In a separate bowl, add the bananas and mash with a fork. To the bananas, add in the eggs, yogurt, honey, brown sugar, almond milk, and vanilla and mix until combined.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until well-incorporated (or you do not see dry lumps).
- Fold in the chocolate chips.
- Pour batter into the greased loaf pan.
- Bake bread for 45-60 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
- Let cool completely. Flip out of loaf pan. Cut into slices. Serve and enjoy!
- Store bread in airtight container or completely covered in foil on counter at room temperature. Keeps for about a week.