February 22, 2010
Saturday was one productive day. I awoke with an abounding desire to brighten up this home. It’s been too dark, cluttered and wintery these past few weeks and we’ve been craving some positive energy. The spring cleaning momentum was in full swing and I had every intention of taking advantage. I swept, dusted and fluffed. He scrubbed, wiped down and polished. I washed, folded and put away. We rearranged, reorganized and repurposed. The sun was shining and as long as I looked out and up (at the clear blue sunny sky) instead of out and down (at the snow piles), I could practically taste April. The kitchen underwent a nice spring cleaning, as well. The cabinets were wiped out, the pantry tidied, the fridge cleared of old forgotten food. And how could I neglect the black hole that is our freezer. Some real gems emerged this month, including soup (I think) with an illegible name and date along with an old, old, old nut roll from last Christmas (as in 2008). On the flip side, a few brown bananas showed their speckled faces. I decided the only thing better than a house filled with the aromas of Lysol and fabric softener is a house filled with the aroma of freshly baked banana bread. Especially one that included cocoa and chocolate chips.
I’ve never made banana bread with chocolate. I tend to stick with more traditional recipes which include cinnamon and walnuts. But Saturday called for a little something different. Must have been the winds of change or signs of Spring or something. Or maybe just that time of the month.
This is the perfect cross between a moist chocolate snack cake and tender banana bread. It may very well be my new go-to quick bread. It’s everything a quick bread should be, in my opinion. Light enough for breakfast or a mid-afternoon snack. I tend to stray from recipes loaded with butter and sugar. If I want dessert, I’ll bake a dark chocolate cake or fudge brownies. I lightened this up by using nonfat plain yogurt in place of most of the fat and cutting back a bit on the sugar. Somehow whole wheat flour snuck its way into the mixing bowl. I promise you won’t notice. He didn’t.
Chocolate Banana Bread
- 1 cup mashed overripe banana
- 1 cup nonfat plain yogurt
- 1/4 cup light olive oil or canola oil
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 3 T unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan and line with parchment.
In a large bowl combine the first 6 ingredients (banana through vanilla). Sprinkle over salt and baking soda and fold in. In a separate bowl combine flours and cocoa powder. Add to wet mixture and stir until just combined (do not over mix). Fold in chocolate chips.
Pour into prepared pan and bake for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in pan for 5 minutes. Remove from pan and allow to cool completely on a rack before slicing/storing (if you can wait that long).