Chocolate Coconut Banana Bread (Recipe)

I was going to avoid posting yet another banana bread recipe. I’ve already contributed my fair share of them to the blogosphere, and feel like a forth interpretation may be pushing some sort of unwritten code. My post popular post ever has been about Buckwheat Banana Bread and our oven has baked Spelt Banana Bread so many times it’s lost count. I also just recently published a nut-free, sugar-free, salt-free (aka toddler-friendly) muffin version here. Do I really need to add to my list?

This Chocolate Coconut Banana Bread beats them all, and is my favorite recipe to date. So, yes, I have to share it.

What put this version over the top was using coconut oil instead of butter. I’ve already made it twice (once with three parts butter and one part coconut oil, once with pure coconut oil). Both versions turned out well thanks to the gentle fragrance of the coconut. 

The other ingredient that made this loaf so addictive (like banana bread isn’t already) was unsweetened cocoa powder. I stole the idea from a friend who, at a recent gathering in the Serres d’Auteuil, brought along some banana bread with chocolate shavings in it. I was impressed with the banana/chocolate combination and couldn’t resist trying it myself.

While this bread (or muffins, if you prefer baking in small tins) taste naughty, I like thinking it’s more on the healthy side. Like most of my recipes, it doesn’t call for a lot of sugar. Also, coconut oil is one of the hottest “superfoods” right now. Almost everyone I know is talking about its endless virtues, from its potential role in boosting brain functioning to its antibacterial properties. My vegan friends especially like it as a replacement for butter. I like coconut oil because it smells good. Last, I’ve used both oat bran and spelt flour. You can adapt this recipe and use pure spelt if you like. You could also use unbleached white flour, but I find my banana breads are lighter and airier with spelt.

The airiness also lies in how you mix the batter. Use a wooden spoon and stir the wet ingredients into the dry ones very gently. Do not over mix, but leave nice chunks of banana.

Chocolate Coconut Banana Bread
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Shopping List
  • ½ cup whole raw almonds
  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil or unsalted butter (or a combination of both)
  • ½ cup spelt flour
  • ¼ cup oat bran
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoon unsweetened chocolate powder
  • 1 ripe banana
  • ¼ cup sugar (rapadura or brown)
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup milk
Method
  1. Preheat oven to 200 C/400 F.
  2. Chop the almonds to small pieces and toast in a shallow pan (I use cast iron) over low to medium heat. Stir around occasionally and be careful not to burn them.
  3. Begin melting coconut oil (or oil/butter combination) in a small saucepan over medium heat.
  4. In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients. Set aside.
  5. In a separate bowl, smash the banana with a fork, keeping it somewhat chunky.
  6. Add the egg, sugar, melted oil/butter, and milk. Stir well.
  7. Add wet ingredients to the dry and gently mix with a wooden spoon, just enough to incorporate all ingredients. Don’t overwork the batter.
  8. Pour into a pre-greased baking dish (or muffin tins) and bake until a small knife comes out fairly clean (about 30 min for a loaf, or 20 for muffins).
  9. Let cool before cutting or taking out of molds.

 

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