Whole-Wheat Banana, Nut, and Chocolate Chunk Bread

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A while back I made banana and chocolate chunk bread…. and then dipped that in egg batter and pan-fried it, French toast style. I thought it was completely divine, but perhaps a bit rich and decadent for breakfast. And while I’m never opposed to something excessively indulgent, perhaps for the first and most important meal of the day, one should try to eat a bit more sensibly?

Some people seem to think banana bread is healthy enough as is, since, ya know, it has bananas in it. And fruit is good for you! While banana bread is a far more practical breakfast than a donut, there’s still room to make it a smidge healthier without making it dull. For starters, try substituting all-purpose flour with whole wheat. And then perhaps use honey instead of sugar, egg whites for whole eggs, and applesauce for oil.

Should you make all of these substitutions? Sure. With this particular banana bread recipe making all of the healthier substitutions results in a very good product. However, the texture was just a bit on the dry side. Still exceptionally good, but if you opt only to make a few of the healthier substitutions you may end up with something a bit more moist and rich.

… and yes, you could skip the chocolate, but why would you? This is pretty healthy so why not indulge a bit?

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Whole-Wheat Banana, Nut, and Chocolate Chunk Bread

Adapted from AllRecipes

  • 2-3 medium to large very ripe bananas
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil or 1/3 cup applesauce
  • 1/2 cup honey or 1/4 cup honey and 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs or 2 egg whites
  • 1 3/4 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 1/2 heaping cup chopped nuts (I use pecans)
  • 1/2 heaping cup chocolate chips or chocolate chunks (I prefer bitter-sweet)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan.

In a large bowl, mash bananas (you want 1 heaping cup of mashed banana). Mix in oil and honey (or alternatives).

Add eggs one at a time, incorporating well after each addition (if using egg whites only, add all at once).

Add vanilla, flour, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Mix until just combined.

In a small bowl, mix baking soda and hot water, stir to mix, and then add to batter, mixing until combined. Blend in chopped nuts and chocolate. Spread batter into a greased 9×5 inch loaf pan.

Bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out with just one or two moist crumbs. I usually check around 50 minutes to ensure it doesn’t overcook. Cool on wire rack for 1/2 hour before slicing.

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