21 January 2014

Foodie Tuesday | Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Tournament season is in full swing, and I've been baking up a storm to keep up with the boys' voracious appetites for banana bread.

For those of you who don't spend every waking minute locked in a gym with a small tribe of young male athletes, you may not know how awesome banana bread is as an after-finals snack. It's the perfect combination of sweet, moist and chock-full of potassium, which their bodies require after exertion to replenish muscle tissue. Don't get me wrong: a slice of chocolaty-delicious banana bread is no substitute for an actual banana (they eat those too) but it's a filling slice of homemade goodness that tastes like a treat but doesn't hit their stomachs exactly like one.

And it's not just the boys who like it. The Girl spends much of her time shaving off slices to munch on each time she passes through the kitchen, and the team parents have been known to scavenge from the pan once the boys have had first crack. And maybe... maybe... it's happened once or twice that Daryn and I have sat down to a big, thick slice (heated in the microwave, slathered with butter) for dinner a late-night snack.

The thing about homemade banana bread is that it's dead simple to make, even for a faker-baker like me. Honestly, 10 minutes and a few simple ingredients are all you need to make the freshest, moistest, most delicious bread you've ever tasted, and it's way healthier for you than any store-bought variety.

Way. Waaaaaaaaaaaaay. Really a lot healthier.

So the next time you've got a few bananas kicking around that are looking a little sad and brown, and past their prime, give this recipe a whirl and let me know what you think!

Preparation: 10 minutes | Cooking Time: 50-60 minutes| Serves: 12 slices

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar (I use slightly less)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 cups smashed bananas (2-4 bananas, very ripe)
  • 1/2 cup salted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup milk (I use 2%)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • cooking spray

Cooking Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine first six ingredients (flour through salt). Whisk thoroughly. Add chocolate chips and stir to combine.
  3. In a separate smaller bowl, combine next five ingredients (bananas through vanilla extract); mix thoroughly.
  4. Add wet ingredients to the dry; stir just until blended and all ingredients are moist.
  5. Spray a 9x5 inch loaf pan with cooking spray, then pour in the batter and spread evenly. Bake in centre of the oven for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  6. Remove from oven. Let cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then turn out onto the rack to let cool completely.

Removing it too quickly from the pan makes it fall apart (learned that from experience), so be sure to let it sit the recommended amount of time.