This Skinny Whole Wheat Chocolate Almond Banana Bread is healthier with whole wheat flour, almond meal, extra virgin olive oil and only 1/3-cup of raw sugar.
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.
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!
- 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder, unsweetened
- 1/4 cup almond meal
- 1/4 cup wheat bran
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup over-ripe bananas, mashed
- 1/2 cup milk, low-fat
- 1/2 cup raw sugar
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 egg, large
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips, bittersweet
- 2 TBS almond slices
- Preheat oven to 350ºF.
- In a medium bowl whisk together whole wheat flour, cocoa powder, almond meal, wheat bran, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Using a stand mixer, whisk bananas, milk, sugar, olive oil, egg and vanilla until combined.
- In batches, add dry ingredients into wet, making sure everything is evenly distributed.
- Reserve 1-tablespoon from the chocolate chips for topping, then stir remaining chocolate chips into the batter.
- Apply non-stick spray to a 9" x 5" loaf pan, and line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper.
- Pour batter into prepared pan.
- Top batter with reserved chocolate chips and and almond slices.
- Bake bread in oven for about 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean.
- Let the bread rest in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a cooling rack to cool completely, about 1 hour.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 200Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 16mgSodium: 211mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 4gSugar: 14gProtein: 4g