Quick and easy to prep, this healthy Chocolate Chip Banana Bread is made with coconut oil, natural sweetener, wholewheat flour and ripe bananas. A perfect delicious snack for your whole family.
Banana Bread is one of the easiest and most delicious ways to use up those overripe bananas that you have lying on your kitchen counter. And the fact that you just need to mix all the ingredients in one bowl, pour into a bread pan and leave to bake makes things even more easier.
I'm sure you can find a whole lot of banana bread recipes online and they're pretty much all tasty. Why wouldn't they be?
But have you tried adding chocolate chips to banana bread? Using natural sweeteners instead of adding sugar? Using coconut oil instead of butter? And using a more nutrient-dense flour, wholewheat flour instead of plain white flour?
I haven't thought of it up until a few weeks ago. And just because we got a bit bored of the same old Banana Bread that we'd been baking for ages now.
It took me a few batches to perfect this chocolate chip banana bread but I think I've finally gotten there. Try it and let me know what you think in the comments below!
Nutrition And Ingredients
- Use overripe bananas (almost fully black) here as they have a higher sugar content so they are sweeter and add to the overall sweet taste of the banana bread.
- Bananas are a great source of potassium and carbohydrates that provide energy for the body
- I love using coconut oil in baking recipes for the fact that it contains a good fatty acid profile. Of course it's not as healthy as olive oil but still I find it a better choice nutritionally than butter, margarine or sunflower oil
- Most of my recipes have whole milk as an ingredient because I mainly make them for my 22-month old son, but it is easily substituted with a lower fat plant-based version
- It is high in protein, fat, calcium and calories so a great ingredient to use when needing to boost up the calorie and nutrition content of toddler meals
- If you are an anti cow's milk person like Ana then you can use full fat goat's milk (which we tested) and the recipe turned out perfectly
- Choose either organic ones or free-range so you know the chickens have not been treated with any hormones, antibiotics or preservatives
- Source of B vitamins, especially choline as well as protein
- When I want to use a natural sweetener for our meals I usually use agave syrup. Just because it’s the most easily available. But you can easily use date syrup, maple syrup or any other natural sweetener as well. Just make sure you avoid honey for babies under the age of 1 year
- Better than plain sugar because it doesn’t spike up the blood sugar as quickly and therefore has a better impact on overall health and energy levels throughout the day
- When choosing wholewheat flour I tend to choose wholegrain spelt because it is far more digestable than regular wheat flour, especially for babies and toddlers. Unfortunately it is not always available and not every store sells it so wholewheat flour is a great alternative
- Wholewheat flour contains far more nutrients than regular white flour that is usually used for baking. These nutrients include minerals such as iron, magnesium and manganese but also complex carbohydrates and fiber
- Although I've put flaxseed meal as an ingredient for this recipe, I've also tried whole flaxseed and ground flaxseeds and they both work
- Contain good amounts of fiber and manganese
- Maybe not the healthiest ingredient to add to the banana bread but it's all about balance in the end, right? And dark chocolate is a good source of antioxidants after all!
- You can also use chopped up dark chocolate if you don't have chocolate chips
How To Make Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
Heat the oven. Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F.
Mash the bananas. Peel the bananas and mash them with a fork.
Prepare the wet ingredients. Add the rest of the wet ingredients to the mashed banana – milk, coconut oil, eggs and agave syrup – and whisk until everything is incorporated.
Add the dry ingredients. Add the dry ingredients little by little to the wet ingredients and mix as you go – wholewheat flour, baking powder and flaxseed meal. Mix until everything is incorporated.
Fold in ¾ of the chocolate chips with a spatula (the rest will be used to sprinkle on top).
Prepare the bread pan. Line a bread pan with some parchment paper or grease it a bit with coconut oil and transfer the batter into the bread pan (you don't have to use a parchment paper if you have a non-toxic non stick loaf pan like this amazing glass Pyrex).
Decorate with some chopped hazelnuts and the rest of the chocolate chips.
Bake for 50 - 60 minutes: based on the strength of your oven. When you insert a knife or toothpick through the bread it should come out clean.
Cool and serve. It tastes incredible just warm, about 10-15 minutes after it comes out of the oven.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature up to 4 days (don't put it in the fridge as the cool fridge air dries out the bread).
When Can I Give This To Babies And Toddlers?
This is up to you. I would personally avoid sweet treats and chocolate chips for babies under 1 just because we want to avoid them associating snacks with sweetness.
But, if you have tested all the ingredients in this recipe as allergens beforehand, you can give this to your baby as soon as you would like, just remove the nuts from the top to avoid choking hazards.
Tips And Tricks For The Perfect Banana Bread
Mix the dry ingredients into the wet. The trick is to first mix all the wet ingredients together until they form a smooth mixture. Then you need to add all the dry ones (except the chocolate chips). Then you need to mix in the chocolate chips/chopped dark chocolate with a spatula.
Use ripe bananas. It really is important to use really ripe bananas for Banana Bread. They have a more sweeter taste than under-ripe ones and will add to the overall sweet taste of the banana bread. Of course you can use under-ripe ones if you don't have any other and you really want to make your banana bread but then you will need to either add more sweetener or have a bread that is not as sweet (which is also ok).
Sprinkle some chopped hazelnuts. I cannot even begin to start explaining how much I love the smell, taste and aroma of roasted hazelnuts. And when you chop some raw ones up and sprinkle on top of this Healthy Chocolate Chip Banana Bread before baking, you can ensure that you have yourself that amazing roasted hazelnut smell and taste once it is fully baked.
Possible Banana Bread Variations
Make it dairy-free. Instead of whole cow’s milk, you can use always substitute with plant-based milk. I would recommend if serving to babies and toddlers to use calcium fortified plant-based milk just ensure that they are getting enough of that very important nutrient.
Use other natural sweeteners. You don’t need to use agave syrup in this recipe. You can easily substitute with any other sweetener such as date or maple syrup (but avoid honey if serving to an under-1-year-old).
Use another flour. If you don’t have (or want to use) wholewheat flour, you can always choose plain wheat flour or a 50:50 combination with rye flour. I wouldn’t recommend using fat-based flour such as coconut or almond because you’d need a carb-based one to make this banana bread rise.
Other Healthy Baked Dessert Recipes
Healthy Dairy-Free Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
- Pyrex Loaf Dish
- 3 bananas ripe
- 2.1 oz coconut oil 60g
- 6.8 fl oz dairy-free milk 200ml
- 2 eggs
- 3.4 fl oz agave syrup 100ml
- ¾ tablespoon baking powder
- 12.35 oz wholewheat flour 350g
- 2 tablespoon flaxseed meal
- 3.5 oz chocolate chip 100g
- chopped hazelnuts
- Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F.
- Prepare the wet ingredients. Peel the bananas and mash them with a fork and place them in a large mixing bowl. Add the rest of the wet ingredients – milk, coconut oil, eggs and agave syrup – and whisk until everything is incorporated.
- Prepare the dry ingredients. Mix all the dry ingredients - wholewheat flour, baking powder and flaxseed meal - together in a large bowl.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and join together with a whisk or spatula.
- Fold into the mixture in ¾ of the chocolate chips with a spatula (the rest will be used to sprinkle on top).
- Prepare the bread pan. Line a loaf pan with some parchment paper or grease it a bit with coconut oil and transfer the batter into the loaf pan (you don't have to use a parchment paper if you have a non-toxic nonstick loaf pan like this amazing glass Pyrex).
- Decorate with some chopped hazelnuts and the rest of the chocolate chips.
- Bake for 50 - 60 minutes: based on the strength of your oven. When you insert a knife or toothpick through the bread it should come out clean.
- Cool and serve. Take out of the loaf pan and allow to cool on a cooling rack. It tastes incredible just warm, about 10-15 minutes after it came out of the oven.