This healthier banana bread recipe is your answer to all that food and candy overdose. Past and future. With coconut oil and whole wheat flour, it has a sweet, earthy tone that complements those wonderful dark chocolate chips. Or chunks.
Originally posted in November 2017, the text and images have been updated to serve you better. The recipe remains the same.
I have a go-to banana bread recipe as I'm sure you do too. Mine has roasted bananas and is plain, no add-ons, just a whole lot of banana flavor.
Taking that recipe as a guide, I developed a healthier one, with the same amazing flavor, and some dark chocolate chunks in it. Banana and chocolate is really an incredible combination.
Main ingredients for this healthier recipe.
Whenever I adapt a regular recipe and make it healthier, some ingredients might not be your everyday staples (image below).
- Oil: instead of butter. I use coconut oil which makes it lighter and moist.
- Sugar: coconut or fine muscovado are my choices for a healthy bread. You can use brown sugar, of course.
- Chocolate: chips or chunks, it needs to be dark, 70% or so being my absolute favorite. I like chunks because they are easily noticeable. I love a definite chocolate flavor in the bite.
- Flour: superfine whole wheat works really well, adding some earthiness but allowing for a tender, tight crumb.
- Bananas: I like to mash them but not so much that they start to turn liquid. Chunkier is better.
Follow these easy steps:
- Using an electric hand beater is faster, but this bread can be made with a whisk and some arm power.
- Mix sugar and oil until foamy (image 1).
- Add sugar, mix well and add half the bananas (image 2).
- Alternate the rest of the bananas with the dry ingredients (image 3) in two parts; that way it will mix better and easier.
- Add chocolate by hand. I use a spatula (image 4) because the chunks are easier to mix.
I like to use non-stick metal loaf pans that have been sprayed (with baking spray) and lined with a strip of parchment paper that covers the bottom and two short sides (image below). That way it's easier to remove and it doesn't stick.
This bread surface can be dull, so I add a whole banana cut lengthwise and then in half (image below). And I sprinkle with some extra coconut sugar to get a crunchy layer when baked.
You can also sprinkle with some chocolate chips or just the sugar.
I love to eat this bread during the first two days (if it lasts that long!) and it keeps great well wrapped in plastic.
Freezing - if there's something left I slice and freeze it. I like to wrap it in plastic and then in aluminum. It lasts a month.
You can add a couple of tablespoons of cocoa nibs and wheat bran to make it healthier. Or nuts.
Best bananas for making banana bread.
We all know that the best banana for this type of recipe is one that is overripe, soft, mushy, that smells barely fermented and where the skin is usually spotted.
You probably wouldn’t eat it raw, but it does make the best bread. Why? Because the flesh is sweeter and after baking the banana flavor is more intense. That doesn’t happen with very firm bananas.
Other recipes you might like:
Healthier Banana Nut Muffins
Banana Muffin Cake with Dulce de Leche and Cream
Banana Quinoa Chocolate Muffins (gluten-free)
Banana Bundt Cake
Roasted Banana Bread
Zucchini Pineapple Bread
Apple Walnut Loaf
This banana bread recipe is the answer to your cravings. Whether you make it the traditional or the healthier way (both variations are included in the recipe!) it has a sweet, beautiful crumb and flavor, and is full of wonderful dark chocolate chips. Or chunks. Either way, it's a crowd-pleaser because who can resist a good banana bread, right?.
- 1 cup (140g) all-purpose flour
- 1 cup (130g) superfine whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup sunflower oil (use coconut oil if you want a healthier version)
- ½ cup (100g) brown sugar (use coconut or fine muscovado sugar for a healthier version)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
- 2 cups (3-4 medium) mashed very ripe banana
- ½ cup (60g) dark chocolate chips or chunks
- 1 whole banana, for decoration (optional)
- 1 tablespoon coconut sugar or brown sugar, for sprinkling (optional)
- Preheat oven at 350ºF / 180ºC.
- Line a 10x4-inch loaf pan with parchment paper (bottom and two narrow sides) and spray or butter remaining sides.
- In a large bowl beat oil with sugar for 1 minute.
- Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Add bananas and vanilla in 2 parts, alternating with sifted dry ingredients (flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt) in 3 parts. I sift everything directly over the batter, but you can do it separately.
- Add chocolate chips or chunks and mix well with a spatula.
- Pour into the prepared pan, smooth top and decorate with a whole banana, cut lengthwise in 4 pieces, on top.
- Sprinkle with the extra tablespoon of sugar.
- Bake for 45-50 minutes, until cracked on top and a tester comes out clean. Time might vary depending on the oven and the type of pan.
- Let cool on a wire rack and remove carefully, inverting the pan and peeling away the paper.
- It keeps, well wrapped, at room temperature for a day or two.
Bananas: the best ones for this recipe are the ones that are overripe, soft, mushy, that smell barely fermented and with a spotted skin.
Variations: add some chopped walnuts or pecans to the batter, about ¼ cup, or a few tablespoons cocoa nibs or wheat germ or bran.
Freezing: well wrapped it can be frozen for up to a month.
Keywords: chocolate chip banana bread