I have always loved banana bread. When I was a student at the University of Arizona, every morning I would cut through the cafeteria and grab a slice to eat on my way to my morning class. Any baked goods with my morning tea is the right way to start the day, in my book. Of course, now I’m more careful about the baked goods I make and eat. I lower the sugar to the least amount as possible, and sneak in as much healthy stuff to not be noticed by the family. I’ve made many a variety of banana bread, and frankly this version is my favorite.
But why it is called a “bread” has always baffled me. Obviously they don’t have yeast. Quick breads, muffins and scones are sweeter – most of the time much too sweet for my taste. When a banana bread recipe calls for 1-cup of sugar for one loaf, it should no longer be allowed to be called a bread, but a cake, in my humble opinion. The same goes with muffins. If it’s too sweet, just call it a cupcake. Drizzle a scone with icing and it’s a dessert, not a good choice for breakfast or tea.
I have been baking with whole wheat flour more and more, and it is not noticeable in banana bread, because of it’s naturally darker color. And this chocolate version only uses 1/3-cup of raw sugar. Yes, I do use chocolate chips, but I prefer my less sweet dark chocolate chips, and you can even reduce the amount further by using less. Almond meal in the bread gives me protein and the wheat bran additional fiber. The fatty butter has been replaced with (what else?) extra virgin olive oil. It certainly won’t make you skinny if you eat the whole loaf, but it certainly is healthier than the sugary alternatives floating around the world wide web. You can find the full recipe here for my Whole Wheat Chocolate Almond Banana Bread.
My kids’ teachers are avid runners and marathon
fanatics participants, and I made several loaves of these lovely ladies. In fact, the bread was still warm when the kiddos delivered them, and I quickly received emails of thank-you’s from them throughout the day.
So call it a cake or bread, or whatever. It’s lightly sweet, with enough chocolate to not notice the healthy stuff packed inside!