We keep buying bananas. And eating them. But regardless of our family’s affection for the fruit, we always end up with plenty of brown ones, too.
This is a riff on two recipes: (1) my chickpea flour banana bread, and (2) a chocolate banana bread recipe, clipped from a magazine ad, that I used to make often when I was a poor graduate student.
I make the former often, but it’s been many years since I have made, or even looked at, the chocolate banana bread recipe. I made it so often because I almost always had the ingredients on hand, and it was invariably gobbled up at get-togethers and potlucks (granted, the other offerings were invariably hummus, pizza or chips). I remembered it as being rich and chocolate-y, with a pleasant banana flavor, so I was surprised when I unearthed the recipe and realized that much of the flavor was just sugar.
Specifically 1-1/4 cups of sugar for a single loaf. Moreover, the recipe calls for a measly 1/4 cup of cocoa powder and 2/3 cup vegetable oil. Also, I had not noticed until now, but the recipe indicates that the entire loaf serves 6 to 8!Perhaps I tore the recipe out of Lumberjack Digest.
Hence, while the memory of that chocolate banana bread sparked the idea for this recipe, it is definitely my fresh, new take on what a very chocolate take on banana bread can be.
The bread derives its depth of flavor from a generous 1/2 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder. It’s rich, but also balanced thanks to 1-1/2 cups of banana, which do triple duty, delivering moisture, sweetness and plenty of banana flavor (banana bread should taste like banana bread, right?).
In my first batch of this bread, I kept the sweetener and oil to the same amounts as in my plain banana bread: 3 tablespoons of honey 2 tablespoons of oil. The sweetness was just right for my taste, but I decided to up the oil by another tablespoon: 2 tablespoons is acceptable, but 3 tablespoons creates a perfectly moist texture.
Two tablespoons of miniature semisweet chocolate chips sprinkled over the top delivers decadence in every bite while still keeping this bread in the universe of healthy breakfasts and snacks.
Last, if you have had any problem convincing anyone of the wonders of chickpea flour (yourself included), this is an excellent recipe for changing hearts, minds, and palates. Why? Because there is zero indication of beans; zero. No one who has tasted this bread has ever had a clue that this is a healthy recipe, let alone a bean-based one.
Happy baking, everyone!Print
Decadent double chocolate banana bread that is naturally grain-free and gluten-free because it is made with chickpea flour! Healthy for breakfasts or snacks on the go, it can also double as dessert.
- 1 cup chickpea flour (also called garbanzo bean flour)
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 large egg
- 1–1/2 cups mashed very ripe bananas (about 3 large bananas)
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil (e.g., coconut oil, avocado oil, safflower)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons miniature semisweet chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on two opposing sides. Grease or spray the paper and exposed sides of the pan.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the egg until blended. Stir in the bananas, honey, oil and vanilla until well blended.
- Add the banana mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just blended. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan. Sprinkle the top with the chocolate chips.
- Bake for 43 to 48 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the bread cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then hold onto the paper overhang to transfer it directly to the rack to cool completely. Peel off the paper, slice and serve.
Make it Vegan: (1) Replace the eggs with a “flax egg” or “chia egg”: For each egg, combine 1 tablespoon of flaxseed meal or ground chia seeds with 3 tablespoons water. Let stand for 10-15 minutes to thicken before using. (2) Replace the honey with an equal amount of maple syrup.
Sweetener: You can use an equal amount of maple syrup, coconut sugar or packed brown sugar in place of the honey.
Double Chocolate Banana Muffins: Divide the batter among 16 greased muffin cups (in 2 standard muffin tins). Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean.
Store the cooled bread in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 days, the refrigerator for 1 week, or the freezer for up to 6 months (Let frozen bread thaw at room temperature for 4 to 6 hours before serving.)
- Category: Bread
- Serving Size: 1 slice
- Calories: 129
- Sugar: 10.1 g
- Sodium: 161 mg
- Fat: 5.6 g
- Saturated Fat: 3.2 g
- Carbohydrates: 19.2 g
- Fiber: 2.3 g
- Protein: 3.4 g
- Cholesterol: 15.5 mg