Up until a few months ago, I’ve absolutely hated bananas.
I hated the strong flavor, the starchy texture and those weird stringy things that always get stuck to your fingers. However, this banana bread gave me none of these things that I hated and all of the things I loved. It’s soft and subtly sweet with slightly crispy edges, studded with chocolate chips and chopped nuts for added texture and flavor. And this is the way it went for 19.5 years of my life: bananas = gross, banana bread = favorite food ever. I know. I’m weird. But this all changed about four months ago when I decided that, damn it, I would like bananas.
So, I began my journey to train myself to like bananas (I already acknowledged how weird I am). In the vegan community, bananas are an extremely convenient food. You can make ice creams, smoothies, “cheese” cakes, lemon bars, muffins, anything, you name it. Point being, I felt that I was missing out just because I wasn’t completely on board with the yellow fruit. So now, four months later, I can now proudly say that bananas are no longer on my “never ever eat, disgusting” list. In fact, bananas are in almost every one of my breakfasts in the form of smoothie bowls or oatmeal toppers.
But, the whole point to this is that, through all of this, this banana bread has been my favorite. Whether you’re a fan of bananas or not, I promise a slice of this will you make you forget that it’s just a rainy Monday morning. It’s a perfect breakfast, snack or dessert (as well as being perfectly amazing at every other hour of the day). So, there’s my over-share story, let’s get to the recipe.
This banana bread is my weakness. It’s simple to make and contains all of the properties of a crave-worthy dessert: soft cake-y texture, chewy edges and rich studs of chocolate chips.
I use whole wheat flour and a reduced amount of Vermont maple syrup to boost the health properties as well. Hot from the oven, the scent of maple syrup combines with vanilla and banana, chocolate chips peek out of the edges and the bread begs to be eaten straight from the pan. I’ve never done this (lie).
When cooled slightly, the bread is flipped out of the pan, steam rushing into the air. I’ve used a bundt pan here for the sole purpose that it makes me feel fancy (it’s the little things).
I added unsweetened coconut shavings, dark chocolate chips and chopped walnuts but feel free to add whatever you have on hand. Fresh berries are delicious as well.
When slightly cooled the bread can be sliced and served, perhaps topped with whipped coconut cream, banana nice cream or fresh raspberry jam.
There’s really no better way to kick of your week, so let’s get baking.
Chocolate-Coconut Banana Bread
1.25 cups whole wheat flour
0.75 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
0.66 cups maple syrup
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons ground flax seeds, mixed with 5 tablespoons of water
2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
0.25 cups vegan dark chocolate chips
0.25 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
0.25 cups chopped walnuts
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a standard sized loaf pan (or a small bundt pan). Set aside.
2. Whisk together flours, salt, baking soda and baking powder in a medium sized bowl.
3. In a blender, combine bananas, syrup, vanilla, flax seeds (mixed with water) and melted coconut oil. Blend until no lumps remain.
4. Add wet to dry and mix until just combined. Stir in chocolate, coconut and walnuts.
5. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 50-60 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean with just a few crumbs. Let cool in pan for at least 5 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack to finish cooling.