When it comes to cooking, I feel like I have a really good handle on things. I can improvise with ingredients or measurements and usually find success. Baking, however, is a completely different beast. I have a truly difficult time with creating baked goods from scratch without a recipe. This is partly because I just don’t experiment enough. If I continued to try and try again at a recipe, I am sure I would finally come up with the right ratios, but I’ll be honest, I just don’t get that jazzed up over the idea of that process. There is however, one baked good I have made over and over and finally feel like I have perfected: banana bread, and not just a standard banana bread, a chocolate filled, chocolate swirled loaf of heaven.
Mixing up a batch of banana bread batter takes seemingly no time at all, and then stays in the oven long enough to allow for completion of an entire other task — A warm, fresh slice of banana bread is an e x c e l l e n t way to treat your self after cleaning for 40 minutes.
Though you wouldn’t be able to really tell, this bread is gluten-free because I love using alternative flours. I am quite a fan of the texture and moisture that almond flour lends to baked goods. Even when I’m making whole wheat pancakes I like to add some almond flour; the oils lend a hand at preventing dryness. I’ve learned though, that almond flour doesn’t really hold enough structure on its own to allow for clean slices — the discovery of arrowroot was a game changer for almond flour baking. For this recipe, I concocted my own blend of almond flour, oat flour, and arrowroot starch. Arrowroot starch is an awesome paleo friendly ingredient that improves the binding of a recipe — bonus, it’s a pretty budget friendly item, ringing in around 5 dollars per bag and lasting months. The oat flour adds to the density of the bread and also improves the binding. You could buy actual oat flour if you’d please, but honestly, I just use regular old fashioned oats. In this recipe, I food processed the whole oats with the almond flour and arrowroot to make the flour blend.
For the chocolate marble, I used raw cacao powder, which is the most natural form of chocolate, but you can certainly use unsweetened cocoa power with similar results! Cacao holds a bit more nutritional value as its high in manganese, iron, antioxidants/polyphenols and fiber. If you really want to go all out on the chocolate, you can skip the marbling process and just add the cacao to the full batch of batter. I did this once, and it came out equally as wonderful!
I call this recipe “refined sugar free”, because the batter itself is in fact free of refined sugar, but when it comes to chocolate chips, it depends on what you use. There are chocolate chip brands that are honey, maple, coconut sugar, or stevia sweetened if you’re looking to make this truly refined sugar-free; but if you don’t have access to any of these — or just want to be OG— use regular chocolate chips or chunks. I just recommend looking for a brand without artificial ingredients or corn syrups.
But a quick note on sugar and gluten: there is nothing wrong with consuming cane sugar in moderation and the same goes for gluten, barring you have Celiac’s or an intolerance. You should NOT feel guilty for enjoying the occasional baked good made with real flour and cane sugar. Enjoy that wedding cake, have a couple family recipe Christmas cookies and savor the heck out of that gooey donut. That being said, when I bake at home, I do try and make lower sugar, and often gluten-free, recipes because I like to make and share recipes that all can enjoy! Not to mention, its pretty amazing how delicious things can taste even without loads of sugar. So keep scrolling and get ready to put those browning bananas to use!
- 2 bananas
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup almond milk (or other milk)
- 1 cup almond flour
- 1 cup oats
- 1/4 cup arrowroot starch
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 cup cacao powder
- ~1/2 cup chocolate chips (feel free to use more or less per your liking!)
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and grease a loaf pan with butter or coconut oil.
- In a food processor, combine the almond flour, oats, arrowroot, baking powder, baking soda and sea salt.
- Pulse the dry mixture in the food processor until the oats resemble coffee grounds.
- In a mixing bowl, mash the bananas well.
- Add almond milk and eggs and whisk until smooth.
- Slowly fold the dry mixture into the wet mixture until moistened throughout.
- Add chocolate chips and fold a few more times.
- Pour 2/3 of the mixture into the loaf pan.
- Add the cacao powder to the remaining mixture and fold well.
- Pour the rest of the mixture into the loaf pan.
- Swirl the two mixtures together with a toothpick or small rubber scraper.
- Bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes.
- Remove and let cool for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
I hope you love this recipe as much as Corey and I did! If you give this a whirl be sure to let me know your thoughts! If you snap a pic, tag me on Instagram: @mindingmysoul!
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Until next time!