As I sit down to write this, I only just realized how often my recipe posts contain ripened bananas in the ingredients list. What can I say? We love bananas around here and like to make sure we don’t let a single one go to waste!
That being said, a couple of weekends ago, I woke up to three very sad looking bananas that were on their last leg, begging to be saved (and by “saved,” I mean “used.”) Initially, I thought about making a plain old banana bread, but we’ve had so much of it in the past year, I wanted to attempt something a little different. That, and I wasn’t in a mindset to watch heaps and heaps of sugar being poured into the batter.
My only regret is that I didn’t think to include a handful of cranberries into the mix until I was pulling the bread from the oven. I think doing so would take this bread to the next level and I’ve definitely made a note to try it next time!
Date-Sweetened Chocolate + Orange Banana Bread
Recipe adapted from here.
- 2 cups flour
- 3 large ripe bananas, mashed
- 1 tbsp. orange zest (one small orange)
- 1 cup pitted medjool dates
- 1/2 cup unsweetened (non-dairy) milk
- 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 cup chocolate chips (or cocoa nibs)
- Line a 9×5″ bread pan with parchment paper, or spray lightly with non-stick cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon and mix well. Set aside.
- Blend the dates and liquids (milk, applesauce, vinegar, vanilla) in a food processor until smooth. Add in the mashed banana and orange zest and stir until well combined.
- Add the date and banana mixture to the dry mixture, stirring until combined.
- Fold in chocolate chips.
- Pour the mixture into prepared loaf pan.
- Bake for 50-60 minutes at 350°F, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool before slicing and serving.
This was gobbled up so fast with nary a crumb to spare. And did I mention it made the whole house smell lovely for hours after it was done?
I love winter baking and strongly believe everyone should have a go-to sweet bread recipe to make during these cold, dark months, to warm the home and bones!