I know that during this month everyone is looking for healthier ways to eat and indulge. And, I feel like I make banana bread every January, unknowingly because it seems like a healthier treat. Banana bread is one of those recipes that is so classic, so easy to make, and also so good! Plus it’s loaded with bananas – so that means it’s healthy right?
So if you’ve bought too many bananas on your healthy kick at the grocery store and are watching them turn black on the counter, then this is the perfect recipe to bake. Why do you use overly ripe or black bananas for banana bread? As bananas ripen, the starches turn to sugar. If you’ve ever eaten a banana that wasn’t ripe, you know it can taste very starchy and almost sour. So, as they ripen and those starches turn to sugar, and then that makes the banana sweeter, and more flavorful. So, that’s why baking with overly ripe bananas is best as the flavor really shines through!
This banana bread recipe is loaded with walnuts and chocolate chips and then I topped it with a chocolate buttercream frosting. Okay, so maybe not the healthiest banana bread, hah! But you could also leave off the frosting and it would be equally delicious.
Tips for Making the Best Chocolate Chip Walnut Banana Bread
• Make sure your butter is soft. I like to leave butter out on the counter overnight before I bake with it. This allows it to come to room temperature on its own, which I believe is better than microwaving it as it softens more evenly. But if you mush microwave it, only do 10 seconds per 1/2 cup at a time. This will prevent it from melting in certain spots only and allow you to soften it more evenly in the microwave.
• Use overly ripe bananas! As I mentioned above, as bananas ripen, the starches turn to sugars and they become more flavorful. This is why overly ripe bananas are best for baking.
• I use semi sweet chocolate chips in this banana bread recipe. But, you can also use milk chocolate or dark chocolate as well, whatever you prefer!
• Same goes for nuts, you can swap out the walnuts for another type of nut such as almonds, peanuts, or pecans!
Why use organic ingredients in this recipe? You all know I’m a huge organic advocate, and I bet you may be thinking sometimes, Why would I even bother to use organic ingredients in something that is so sweet and indulgent? But, that is the exact reason why you should use organic ingredients! Sweet things need to have flavor in order to be good, otherwise they are just sweet and they don’t taste like much else. Organic ingredients are more pure than conventional ones, therefore they actually have more flavor than the non organic options. Say it with me, organic means more flavor! And not just more flavor but a more true and pure flavor. And organic ingredients are much healthier for you to eat in general as they do not contain GMOs or anything artificial. Plus, you are being environmentally friendly when you choose organic ingredients!
So, I highly recommend that you buy the best organic ingredients for this recipe! You can also shop my Amazon Storefront for all my favorite organic ingredients here. Tip – hover over each ingredient to see the name. And if you want to learn more about organic foods and the difference, read my post here on Food Labels and What They Mean.
Chocolate Chip Walnut Banana Bread
Makes 1-pound loaf
1/2 cup (113 grams) organic salted butter, softened
170 grams (3/4 cup) packed organic light brown sugar
2 organic large very ripe bananas
3/4 cup organic heavy whipping cream
2 organic large eggs
191 grams (1 1/2 cups) organic all purpose flour
1 teaspoon organic cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon organic nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon organic vanilla bean
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
142 grams (3/4 cup) organic semi sweet chocolate chips
85 grams (3/4 cup) walnuts
127 grams (3/4 cup plus 2 1/2 tablespoons) organic powdered sugar, sifted
15 grams (3 tablespoons) organic Dutch cocoa, sifted
2 1/2 tablespoons organic milk
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 1-pound (8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch) loaf pan with parchment paper, letting it fold over the sides for easier removal.
To make the batter: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the butter and light brown sugar, mix on low until combined and there are no butter chunks. Add the bananas, cream, and eggs and mix on low until combined.
In a separate bowl, add flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla bean, baking powder, and sea salt and whisk together. Add the chocolate chips and walnuts and coat them completely. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, and mix on low until combined.
Grease the bottom and sides of a 1-pound loaf pan. Pour the batter into the loaf pan and spread out evenly. Bake for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Once the loaf has cooled, remove it from the pan.
To make the glaze: In a medium bowl, add the powdered sugar, cocoa, and milk and whisk together until a smooth glaze forms. Spread over the top of the banana bread.
Store in an airtight container for up to 7 days.
Gluten Free – Replace the cake flour for 191 grams (scant 1 1/4 cups) organic gluten free flour blend.
High Altitude – Bake at 350°F for 45 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.