“Family Springtime Celebrations” is the theme of this month’s Recipe Redux, so it’s perfect timing for me to share this oh-so-yummy family-friendly recipe. And no, I didn’t sneak kale or anything weird in here! This is just what you think it is … a chocolate lover’s quick bread that has plenty of banana goodness and mouthwatering moistness. Enjoy it as a snack or, as the name implies, dessert. A healthy-ish dessert, that is! You can even grill up a thick slice of the chocolatey bread and top it while warm with mashed raspberries or with a scoop of plant-based ice cream! Perhaps I’m a bit odd, but my favorite way to eat this is semi-frozen and thinly sliced. (That’s how my mom used to serve her banana bread for an afterschool treat!) Try it any way you like, including as part of a springtime holiday table. But, most importantly, try it!
double chocolate banana dessert bread
Yield: 14 servings
Serving size: 1 slice
1 3/4 cups whole-wheat pastry flour or flour of choice (divided)
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon sea salt
4 large fully-ripened (brown spotted) bananas (divided)
1/2 cup no-shell roasted and salted pistachios
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips (divided)
1 cup turbinado or coconut sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 large organic eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spritz a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with natural cooking spray. Dust with 2 teaspoons of the flour.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the remaining flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and set aside.
In a separate medium bowl, mash 3 of the bananas and set aside.
Add the pistachios and the remaining banana to a food processor; blend until velvety smooth, about 5 minutes, scraping down sides, as needed. Stir the nut mixture into bowl with the mashed bananas until evenly combined.
Gently melt 3 ounces of the chocolate chips in a double boiler or microwave.
In a large mixing bowl, blend together the sugar and melted butter with an electric mixer on low speed until combined. Add the eggs and blend well. Add the melted chocolate and blend well. Add the flour mixture and blend on low speed until just combined. Add the mashed banana mixture, vanilla extract, and almond extract and blend until just combined. Drizzle in the melted chocolate mixture while blending until evenly combined. Fold in the remaining (5 ounces) chocolate chips.
Pour mixture into the prepared loaf pan. Bake until browned, set, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour 10 minutes. Let cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. Cut into 14 slices and serve at room temperature, chilled, or semi-frozen.
Per serving: 300 calories, 12g total fat, 6g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 35mg cholesterol, 310mg sodium, 43g total carbohydrate, 3g dietary fiber, 27g total sugars includes 16g added sugars, 5g protein
The “Before” Version
Compare to chocolate chocolate chip cake
Per serving (when cake serves 8): 350 calories, 17g total fat, 8g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 70mg cholesterol, 310mg sodium, 50g total carbohydrate, 3g dietary fiber, 34g total sugars includes 34g added sugars, 5g protein
Boost sweetness with extra bananas rather than excess added sugar
Add nuttiness and a punch of polyphenols by way of pistachios
Don’t be shy with pure flavor extracts for added flavor interest