The basic banana bread ingredients are the bananas, eggs, butter, flour, and milk. However, for the vegan chocolate banana bread version, we shall substitute the non-vegan ingredients and add a little twist to make it even more delicious and nutritious. Ideally, the difference between this bread and the ordinary vegan banana bread is the addition of chocolate. Let’s bake!
Preheat your oven to 350F (180 C)
- 1-cup gluten-free plain flour
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- ½ tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. salt
- ¼ cup of vegan dark chocolate chips (for extra oomph)
- 1 vanilla pod (or your favorite flavor like strawberry or cinnamon)
- Mixed nuts (to add some coarse texture)
- ¼ cup agave nectar (although not necessarily because ripe bananas add some natural sweetness)
- 2 ripe bananas (very ripe ones work best)
- 1/2-cup milk (non-dairy) or just water (almond milk works fine for me)
Grease your baking tray with a tablespoon of coconut oil. Alternatively, just line it with a greaseproof baking paper to prevent the vegan chocolate banana bread from sticking.
In a wide bowl, mash the ripe bananas until smooth. You can leave them chunky for more texture but not very big chunks.
Add the rest of the wet ingredients and mix evenly.
Now sift in your dry ingredients and using a wooden spoon, fold them in until evenly distributed.
The folding process is vital for moist banana bread.
Bake the bread for 30-45 minutes until a toothpick inserted at the center comes out clean.
To serve, garnish the bread with berries and dust with a little icing sugar.
You can add as much vegan chocolate as you like. However, the surest method is to stick with the cocoa powder measurements and instead add melted dark chocolate. Similarly, you can substitute the dark chocolate chips with the white ones. However, the bread won’t have that deep-dark chocolate color.
The reason I used vegan chocolate chips instead of a roughly chopped dark chocolate bar is that the chips maintain a uniform profile while baking and once you bite into the bread, the chocolate melts in your mouth.
The nuts are optional. They just add a little texture to the cake and add air spaces to make the cake spongy. Unlike vegan cupcakes, banana bread can be quite dense. I use coarsely chopped (or whole) nuts to add air spaces while baking, which makes the bread lighter.
Again, if you will garnish with icing sugar, go easy on the sweetener, unless you have a very sweet tooth.
Finally, this can be your everyday type of bread, even if you’re on a diet. However, it only keeps fresh for a few days (less than a week), whether refrigerated or at room temperature. Please do not be tempted to keep it longer.
Is Chocolate Healthy?
As we wait for the bread to bake, let me fill you in on the nutritional value.
There are several categories of vegan chocolate: the original dark chocolate and the different versions of processed chocolate. Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants. It also contains significant amounts of iron, zinc, manganese, fiber, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, and selenium.
All these are important minerals in our bodies (not metals). When you feel a deep craving for chocolate, it is because your body has discovered that some of the minerals you lack can be obtained from chocolate. However, the type you crave for depends on you.
Is your vegan chocolate banana bread ready? Enjoy!