Sometimes I cheat when I make sweet breads. Just a little. And it’s a good thing, this little cheat. Years ago I discovered that when a recipe says to put a batch of sweet bread in a loaf pan, chances are you will need to over bake it before the center finally gets done. And this means the batter around the edges will be rather dry. Who needs that? So I do one of two things:
Either I put a single batch into an 8” x 8” square pan, or I make a double batch and put it into three loaf pans. In this case I had an extra small loaf pan which I was using as a gift for someone who lives alone, so it was perfect.
But you will want to try this bread. Even if you already have a banana bread favorite, this is worth taking for a test drive. The recipe is adapted from Ellie Krieger’s book, Comfort Food Fix, 2011.
Ellie takes a nutritionist’s knife to our favorite foods and cuts out the bad stuff and leaves in the flavor. She used to have a TV show on the Food Network but now the network seems to be dominated by programs about restaurants and chefs. My hubby and I really liked Ellie’s cheerful advice and great recipe swaps. So try this one.
Naturally, I’ve modified it a bit – like adding more nuts and the chocolate chips. I don’t want to go overboard with all this healthy cooking.
Ingredients for a single batch
½ cup pecans
¾ cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
¼ cup white sugar
¼ cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
¼ cup canola oil
¼ cup plain nonfat yogurt
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 very ripe bananas, peeled and mashed (about 1 ½ cups)
1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Spread the pecans on an ungreased baking sheet and toast about 8 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Spray a 9 x 5” loaf pan with cooking spray. (Or a 9” square pan.)
In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, yogurt, eggs and vanilla.
Whisk in bananas.
Stir in the dry ingredients and mix just until combined.
Stir in pecans.
Pour into pans.
Sprinkle chocolate chips on top and swirl into the top of the batter.
Bake 45 – 55 minutes or until done.
Cool for 15 minutes and then pop the bread out of the pan and onto a wire rack to finish cooling.