Healthy for the holidays? Why not! With all of the butter/sugar/cream packed foods that are around this time of year, having something on hand that is delicious and good for you seems like an impossible dream. Thanks to taking out the bad ingredients, and replacing them with healthy ones, this delicious moist banana bread makes the impossible possible.
Everyone knows that bananas are good for you. They are loaded with potassium, fiber and vitamin C, they give you 2g. of protein, and 3% of the vitamin A and Iron you need in a day. I’ve taken out the butter and substituted healthy unsweetened applesauce, and added extra fiber with gluten free oats and chia seed. As for the sugar, I replaced the unhealthy refined white table sugar with vitamin packed low glycemic coconut sugar, and local honey. The coconut sugar gives the bread a deeper richer flavor, and it is a healthy alternative for diabetics as well. To keep to the healthy theme, I’ve also added dark chocolate chips to the bread for an anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory punch, and kept it nut free, although feel free to add nuts if you would like to.
Healthy Chocolate Chip Banana Bread – Gluten Free
- 1 1/2 Cups of Mashed Banana, (about 4 bananas)
- 1/2 Cup Unsweetened Applesauce (preferably organic)
- 3/4 Cup Coconut Palm Sugar
- 1/4 Cup Honey (local if possible)
- 2 eggs
- 1 Cup Gluten Free Oatmeal ground in a food processor or blender to 3/4 Cup
- 1 1/4 Cups Gluten Free All Purpose Flour Mix (plus 1 1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum if not included in flour mix)
- 1 Tablespoon Chia Seed
- 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 3/4 Cup Dark Chocolate or Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips (optional), and/or nuts if desired
Preheat oven to 350. Thoroughly spray one loaf pan or three mini loaf pans with cooking spray and set aside.
Combine mashed banana, applesauce, and eggs. Mix in coconut palm sugar and honey. Stir thoroughly, making sure the honey and eggs are fully incorporated, and sugar is free of lumps. Add oatmeal and chia seed, stir. In a separate bowl stir together gluten free flour mix, baking soda, and salt. Add flour mixture to wet ingredients, and combine thoroughly. Stir in chocolate chips (and or nuts).
Place mixture in loaf pan, or divide equally between three mini loaf pans. Place in oven and bake 1 hour, or until loaves spring back when touched in the center, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Leave in pan for 5 minutes, then move to a cooling rack.
Makes 1 loaf or three mini-loaves.
There are a few brands I would like to mention. For today’s *CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT*: Organic Coconut Palm Sugar by Wholesome Sweeteners, and Ghirardelli Double Chocolate Bittersweet Chips. Coconut palm sugar is a wonderful alternative to brown sugar, and because it enters the blood stream more slowly it is good for people with blood sugar issues. It is a natural product, and is fairly traded and Sustainably grown. Ghirardelli Chocolate is very high quality and delivers a wonderful chocolate flavor to whatever it is in. There are other chocolate chips that have a higher cacao content, but for the money, these are great. In my *I ADORE* category I put Pamela’s Gluten Free Bread Mix & Flour Blend. This flour mix comes in a very close second place to XO Baking Co. Gluten Free All Purpose Flour Blend (see comments under my Molasses Cookie post). Pamela’s is a sorghum, tapioca, white rice, sweet rice, and brown rice mix that contains xanthan gum. It measures cup for cup to regular wheat flour, and does not have a strange taste or texture. It is more easily available, and I find it far superior to the King Arthur gluten free flour blend. If you can’t find, or don’t want to order the OX Baking Co. flour blend, I highly recommend Pamela’s.
Healthy food is possible during the holidays. This bread is good to have on hand for snacking, and children love it because of the bananas and the chocolate chips. It freezes well, so double the batch, and pull out an extra loaf when unexpected guests come by, or the kids bring home friends. Everyone will enjoy this treat, no one will suspect that it was made with super healthy ingredients, so, have another slice, and enjoy!