Healthy Banana-Chocolate-Pecan Bread

Healthy Banana-Chocolate-Pecan Bread

In looking back over my posts (boy, they’re adding up already, aren’t they?) I realized that yesterday’s SHF cupcakes was my first baking recipe. That is wrong, people! Baking is one of my favorite pastimes, so it’s just plain weird that I haven’t gotten around to writing about it yet. For the next IMBB I’ll be posting a chocolate chip cookie recipe I’m working on (I’m trying to replicate City Bakery’s, which are the ne plus ultra of the species, toffee-y and soft in the middle with meltingly crispy brown edges and huge chunks of bittersweet chocolate). But until then, here’s one of my Old Reliables, a delicious–and low-fat!–brunchy kind of recipe. Perfect for a weekend morning, like today. There’s whole wheat flour in here, too, for an extra healthy boost. If you want it to be supremely low-fat, skip the pecans and chocolate chips, but in my humble opinion they’re what takes this recipe over the top.

The recipe:

Healthy Banana-Chocolate-Pecan Bread

1 large egg
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup smashed ripe bananas (2-3 medium)
1/2 cup buttermilk [I use dried buttermilk powder, but if you don’t have it mix 1/2 T. lemon juice & milk to make 1/2 cup, then let that sit for a little while–it gives the same flavor/effect as buttermilk]
1 T. vegetable oil
1 T. vanilla extract
1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1/3 cup toasted pecans, chopped
1/3 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325.

Lightly spray a loaf pan with non-stick spray and dust with flour. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer beat egg and light brown sugar until thick and light, 3-5 minutes. Mix in smashed bananas, buttermilk [use equivalent amount of water if you’re using the powder], oil, and vanilla. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt [here’s where you’d add the buttermilk powder] over mixture; beat until just blended. This is very important with low-fat baking: DO NOT OVERBEAT. Add pecans and chocolate chips and stir with a wooden spoon until barely mixed in. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake bread until golden brown on top and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Turn bread out onto rack and cool.

Makes 1 loaf.

Full disclosure: This started as an Epicurious recipe but I’ve made adjustments and additions to the point where I almost consider it mine now.