Maybe it’s the elimination diet I was on last month – cutting out chocolate and other foods that I might be sensitive to – or maybe it was finding my junior high Home Economics notebook this week, but I found myself wanting to bake something very basic this week.
I had more ripe bananas than we could eat, so I searched online for banana bread recipes, thinking I might combine elements from the best three or four, and add chocolate chips if they weren’t already in the ingredient list. But in the end I went back to the recipe I’ve used most often in the past – Ridiculously Simple Banana Bread, from Canadian cookbook author Susan Mendelson’s Mama Never Cooked Like This.
I like her recipe because it doesn’t call for milk or butter, and most of the online versions I found call for both (although it’s easy to substitute oil for melted butter).
I modified Mendelson’s recipe a bit, and may modify it further in the future. I used the white flour that the recipe calls for (I know, it’s not the healthiest). I couldn’t bring myself to use white sugar, though. Instead, I substituted coconut sugar, which has some advantages over white, but should still be used in moderation. I used less than the recipe called for, because my bananas were very ripe.
Next time, I think I’ll replace part of the white flour with whole wheat, and I may include some ground flax seed, to up the health benefits. That was an ingredient in one of the online recipes, but my flax seeds weren’t fresh.
I threw in some dried tart cherries, which are also healthy, but I think they would be better in a more chocolatey loaf. I’ll go back to pecans next time.
So here’s my ideal banana chocolate chip bread recipe, which I haven’t actually made yet!
Banana Chocolate Chip Bread (inspired by Susan Mendelson’s Ridiculously Simple Banana Bread)
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
3/4 cup unbleached white flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup oil
3/4 cup coconut sugar
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1. Sift together flours and baking soda.
2. Combine eggs, oil, sugar and bananas, and add to dry ingredients, mixing until blended.
3. Stir in chocolate chips and pecans.
4. Pour into greased loaf pan, and bake for 50 to 60 minutes at 350.