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Double Chocolate Banana Bread

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This recipe was originally entitled “Mocha Chip Banana Bread”, but despite adding both espresso powder and brewed coffee to the batter, the coffee flavor was lost after baking. What the double dose of coffee DID do, however, was enhance the chocolate flavor of the bread. So, Double Chocolate Banana Bread it is!

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Chocolate seems to be its own food group for me these days, as it’s part of my daily food intake. I try to keep a bag of Guittard extra dark chocolate chips in stock at all times for baking and snacking… but I found myself with an empty bag last week (the horror!) and had to get my chocolate fix by mixing a small spoonful of instant cocoa powder into Greek yogurt. It was surprisingly tasty.

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With this quick bread, I (and you) can healthfully satiate a chocolate craving first thing in the morning! A mere 1/2 cup of unrefined maple syrup is all the added sugar you need if you use overripe bananas (with brown skins). If you’re used to more of a cake-like quick bread when it comes to sweetness, you can increase the amount to 3/4 cup, but I really think it’s sweet enough with 1/2 cup.

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A light sprinkling of dark chocolate chips on top adds a bit of decadence, but be forewarned, you will have to fend off an intense temptation to pick them all off before the bread has even cooled down from baking!

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If you’re thinking that a slice of this chocolate banana bread would be even better with a drizzle of peanut butter, then we are on the same wavelength. There is no better flavor combination!

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Double Chocolate Banana Bread

by Lauren Zembron

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 60 minutes

Ingredients (1 loaf)

  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 Tbsp instant espresso powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 cup mashed overripe bananas (about 3 medium-sized bananas)
  • 1/3 cup neutral-flavored vegetable oil (I used safflower oil)
  • 1/2 strongly brewed coffee, cooled
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup (or 3/4 cup for a more cake-like sweetness)
  • 1 large egg, preferably organic, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan with parchment paper. Leave enough overhanging the edges of the pan for easy removal after baking.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking soda, and salt.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk mashed bananas, oil, brewed coffee, maple syrup, egg, and vanilla extract until well-combined.

Add dry ingredients to wet and stir just until combined.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Evenly sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top.

Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a wooden tester (or toothpick) inserted into the center of the cake comes out mostly clean (a few moist crumbs are ok).

Let loaf sit in pan for 10 minutes before lifting out using the overhanging edges of parchment paper. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.

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Light & Silky Chocolate Pudding Cups {Vegan}

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As we gear up for Valentine’s Day, chocolate recipes abound. While there’s certainly nothing wrong with splurging on decadent desserts every once in a while, (especially on a holiday), there are plenty of healthier versions of those indulgences if you’re interested in feeding your sweet tooth without consuming loads of sugar and saturated fat.

This chocolate pudding is one such dessert; it is rich, satisfying, and delicious, but it contains zero refined sugars or animal fats. Cashews comprise the base; and when they’re soaked and blended with water, cocoa powder, and a bit of maple syrup, a silky smooth pudding-like consistency emerges that makes the perfect vegan treat.

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These pudding cups make a great snack or dessert for kids and adults alike, so bust out your high speed blender and whip up this easy chocolate treat for those you love on Valentine’s Day!

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Light & Silky Chocolate Pudding Cups {Vegan}

by Lauren Zembron

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 0 minutes

Ingredients (2-4 servings)

  • 1 1/2 cups raw whole cashews
  • 6 Tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp instant espresso powder, optional (I would suggest omitting this if you’re serving the pudding to kids)
  • 1/2-3/4 cup cold filtered water

Instructions

Place cashews in a bowl of cold water and let soak for at least 4 hours, (or 8 hours if you do not have a high speed blender such as a Vitamix), then drain.

Place drained cashews, maple syrup, cocoa powder, espresso powder if using, and 1/2 cup cold filtered water in a high speed blender or food processor, and blend/process until perfectly smooth, adding more water (1 tablespoon at a time) as needed to reach desired consistency. Take care not to let the mixture start to heat up if you are using a high speed blender!

Chill in the refrigerator until fully cooled.

NOTE: If you are using a high speed blender, the end consistency should be light & airy. You may not achieve this exact texture if you are using a regular blender or food processor.

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