Another Thanksgiving full of food, family, and fun has passed, and attention has now shifted to the winter holidays. Along with gift shopping, holiday music-listening, and apartment decorating this time of year, I look forward to cooking & baking the foods I associate with winter – one of which is gingerbread.
I munched my way through the Autumn Date and Walnut Bread in no time, and soon thereafter found myself craving another seasonal loaf. One glance at Jessica’s Chocolate Banana Gingerbread on her blog How Sweet It Is, and I knew that an adapted version of that bread had to be the next baked good that I pulled from the oven.
As many of you know, I like to substitute some or all of the butter and oil called for in bread/muffin recipes with fruit or vegetable purees. I had an open can of pumpkin puree in the fridge (no big surprise there), and decided to add a fall-inspired ingredient to the wintery quick bread.
The pumpkin puree took the place of the butter, and I also subbed in white whole wheat flour for the all-purpose. I omitted the sugar, opting instead to rely on the robust flavor of the molasses and the inherent sweetness of the overripe bananas. I used a combination of low-fat buttermilk and 2% plain Greek yogurt, both of which contributed moisture to the butter-less bread. My final alteration was to use a modest amount of grain-sweetened chocolate chips, which have 1/4 the sugar of semi-sweet chocolate chips (4 grams of sugar for 2 Tbsp of grain-sweetened versus 16 grams of sugar for 2 Tbsp of semi-sweet).
This bread welcomes a smear of pumpkin butter:
|Name||Pumpkin Banana Gingerbread with Chocolate Chips|
|Prep Time||15 minutes|
|Cooking Time||55-60 minutes|
|Total Time||1 hour 15 minutes|
… or a dab of butter. If you’re wondering what the heck I’m doing spreading butter on a butter-less bread, it’s because I like to use butter when I can really appreciate its rich taste and creamy consistency. Just the tiniest bit of butter melting on top makes the bread taste decadent for a minimal amount of added calories and fat.
I need to take a moment and thank Jessica for creating a recipe that brings together the delicious trifecta of banana, gingerbread, and chocolate! You can’t really taste my addition of pumpkin puree, but it does add moisture, nutrients, and a dark amber hue to the bread. This loaf is one that actually gets even better after a few days in the refrigerator. The bold flavors meld together and the texture remains moist and cake-like. The scattered bits of chocolate could almost fool you into thinking you’re eating dessert, but this bread is definitely healthy enough to fuel you through the morning rush or afternoon slump.
What with the inevitable food hangover from Thanksgiving still lingering, and the promise of holiday treats galore over the next few weeks, this Pumpkin Banana Gingerbread with Chocolate Chips is a great loaf to have on hand as a healthy way to enjoy the flavors of the season.
- 2 1/4 cups white whole wheat flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup unsulphured molasses
- 2 medium overripe (almost black) bananas, mashed
- 3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
- 1/4 cup 2% plain Greek yogurt
- heaping 1/2 cup grain-sweetened chocolate chips (such as Sunspire)
Estimated Nutrition Per Serving
Calories: 260 calories
Total Fat: 12g
Saturated Fat: 7g
Total Carbohydrates: 35g
Dietary Fiber: 2g
1. Preheat Your Oven
Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan.
2. Combine Dry Ingredients
In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and all the spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger).
3. Cream the Butter
In another bowl, using an electric mixer, cream the softened butter until it’s smooth and creamy.
4. Add Eggs and Puree
Add the eggs, one at a time, to the butter mixture, ensuring each egg is fully incorporated. Then, mix in the pureed pumpkin and mashed bananas until well combined.
5. Combine Wet and Dry Mixtures
Gradually add the dry ingredient mixture to the wet ingredients, stirring until just combined. Be careful not to overmix; it should be a thick batter.
6. Fold in Chocolate Chips
Gently fold in the chocolate chips. You can use semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips for a richer flavor.
Pour the batter into the greased loaf pan and spread it evenly. Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 55-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
8. Cool and Enjoy
Allow the Pumpkin Banana Gingerbread to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before transferring it to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cooled, slice, and serve. It’s fantastic when enjoyed warm with a cup of coffee or tea.