If you’re anything like me, you have a ton of frozen, ripe bananas in your freezer! Whenever I need to use some up, this is my favourite banana bread to make — it tastes like a decadent chocolate cake, but it’s full of healthier, more nourishing ingredients than your average banana bread (psst… it has an avocado in it!). I’ve made probably 10 different variations of this recipe over the years, and I always incorporate whatever ingredients I have in my pantry. I bet you have them in yours too! This recipe reminds me of drinking tea and baking with my Mom — I always make this recipe out at her place when I visit on fall weekends. So, I used her vintage tea cups, silver and linens to style this post — my Mom’s house is full of antiques!
I’m all about substituting healthier ingredients into your baking. This is why my baking doesn’t always turn out — I’ve really never been one to follow a recipe, and I’m constantly just using what I have on hand. Sometimes it turns out, and sometimes in ends in disaster. This one, however, was a great success — my whole family loves this recipe, and some of them are very picky eaters. Kids also like the recipe. They just think they’re eating cake (to be fair, it totally tastes like you’re eating chocolate cake), but you can eat it for breakfast!
I believe that if you’re going to treat yourself, you may as well nourish yourself at the same time. This recipe includes whole wheat flour for some extra fibre, an avocado (which makes it really rich and full of good fat!), a bit of olive oil, fresh lemon juice and coconut sugar. These substitutions help to make this banana bread extremely decadent tasting, and better for you than a traditional recipe. It’s also dairy and refined-sugar free. And it pairs perfectly with fruity herbal tea (or coffee!).
The addition of cocoa powder makes these loaves a deep, rich shade of chocolate, and hides any of the green avocado that would otherwise be visible. It also provides a healthy dose of antioxidants and minerals. I love eating this bread fresh out of the oven with a bit of butter or olive oil margarine on top. It’s also great with greek yogurt on top if you eat dairy. Out of the oven, these loaves are dense with a crunchy outside and a soft, moist centre. If you wrap them up overnight once they’re done cooling, the next day they’re even more moist, and the crust softens too. I can’t decide which way I like them better!
Next time you need to use some freezer bananas up, give this recipe a try, and let me know how you like it! My recipe makes 2 loaves, since I’m always trying to use up as many bananas as I can. If you just want to make one loaf, halve the recipe.
DECADENT DARK CHOCOLATE BANANA BREAD
Makes 2 loaves
• 4 large ripe bananas
• 2 ripe avocados
• 2 eggs
• 1/2 cup olive oil (or substitute with any cooking oil but coconut)
• Juice from 1/2 a lemon
Side note: It’s really difficult to make ripe freezer bananas look appetizing!
• 2 cups organic coconut sugar (or substitute brown or white sugar)
• 4 cups whole wheat flour (or substitute regular flour, and see below for baking time notes)
• 2/3 cup organic cocoa powder
• 2 tsp baking soda
• 2 tsp baking powder
• 1 tsp salt
• 2 tsp almond extract
1. Preheat your oven to 375 °.
2. Add all wet ingredients into a large mixing bowl and mash avocado with a fork or a potato masher. Then, mix thoroughly, until avocado is well-integrated. You can use a hand mixer if you like, but it’s not necessary.
3. Add all dry ingredients into another large mixing bowl. Stir until well-integrated.
4. Add to the dry mixture to the wet mixture in 3 batches, mixing until batter is smooth.
5. Pour into 2 loaf pans, dividing equally. If using using whole wheat flour, cook 1.5 hours. Check the loaves at 1.25 hours to see how they’re doing. If using white flour, cooking time will be closer to the 1 hour mark. Check the loaves at the 45 minutes to see how they’re looking.
6. The loaves are done when they rise and split down the centre, and a toothpick comes out of the centre clean.
7. Remove loaves from their pans and allow to cool slightly before slicing and serving. Either enjoy immediately, or cool completely and freeze. These loaves freeze very well!
What are your favourite things to bake during the fall? I also have a delicious sweet potato bread recipe that I’ll have to share with you! If you guys try my Decadent Dark Chocolate Banana Bread, leave a comment for me and let me know how you liked it, or tag me on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. Use the hashtag #justinecelinarecipes in your recreations on social media so I can find them!
Thank you to The Calgary Herald for featuring this recipe.
Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored, and contains my genuine thoughts and recommendations.