Maple, Dark Chocolate Chip, & Sea Salt Banana Bread

“Ew, Sarah, why would you EVER put sea salt and bananas together?” – You

What can I say, I’m good at reading minds. But you know what I was slightly less good at until recently? Baking banana bread. It has literally (and I mean literally, not figuratively…there is, in fact a difference) taken me YEARS to come up with the perfect banana bread recipe. I posted one back in my Tumblr-blogging days that I’m pretty sure consisted mostly of chia seeds. Not to hate on chia seeds (they have their time and place), but this recipe is tastier for sure, and just as healthy. Now, to address your sea salt inquiry, it’s pretty much universal knowledge these days that sea salt and dark chocolate are the new power couple. Caramel tries to make it a love triangle, but I am definitely on Team Chocolate. And lately, I have been putting dark chocolate in and on everything I can get my hands on.

Why?

Well, I’m celebrating, because (Spoiler: if you follow me on Instagram, then neither of the following things are going to be “big news” to you) after a whirlwind year of suddenly changing plans and deciding NOT to take a year off, I took graduate auditions and was accepted to everywhere I applied! I’m going to be pursuing my Master’s degree next year at the conservatory of my dreams in New York City, and I couldn’t be more excited. I also gave my senior recital a few weeks ago to a lot of positive feedback, which means I officially CAN graduate and go to New York City. Also, I thought the performance went well had a lot of fun giving it, which for self-doubting and perpetually unsatisfied me was kind of big.

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So, yeah… I’m declaring that I now deserve to put chocolate in everything. You can judge me or whatever, but you’re going to be thanking my little chocolate binge when you taste this banana bread. Notice I said when, not if, because that’s how sure I am that you need to make it immediately.

Just in case you’re not convinced yet and need a REALLY compelling reason to make it (other than that it’s chocolate banana bread and because I said so), it will use up your ugly, mushy, seemingly inedible bananas. I bet you’ve thrown out some spotty/browning bananas in your time, thinking they were unusable. Think again, my friend – your banana-wasting days have passed, because for this recipe and banana bread in general, the spottier the better! (Unless they’re actually rotten and wrinkled… Then you probably shouldn’t cook with them. :P)

This is what perfect banana bread bananas look like. <3

These are what perfect banana bread bananas look like. <3

Also, this bread came out super moist, and has just the right texture! You could also omit the chocolate chips or walnuts (or both) and the base recipe would come out fine. I will definitely be keeping this as my go-to banana bread recipe!

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Maple, Dark Chocolate Chip, & Sea Salt Banana Bread
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Ingredients
  1. 3-4 overripe medium bananas
  2. 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  3. 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  4. 1 egg + 1 egg white
  5. 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  6. 1 cup unbleached whole wheat flour + 1/2 cup oat flour (may do 1 and 1/2 cups oat flour for gluten free alternative)
  7. 1 tsp. baking soda
  8. 1/3 cup 60% dark chocolate chips, plus 1 tbs. for melting
  9. 1/4 cup walnuts
  10. Sea Salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F.
  2. In a mixing bowl, mash peeled bananas thoroughly until mostly smooth. Some small lumps of fruit will remain, that's ok!
  3. Mix in melted coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla, and then add the egg/egg white (adding the egg and coconut oil too closely together may cause the egg to cook in the hot oil).
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the remaining dry ingredients (except for the 1 tbs. of chocolate chips for melting), and then slowly mix the dry ingredients into the wet.
  5. Pour batter into a greased loaf pan.*
  6. Melt the remaining chocolate chips, pour onto the batter, and swirl with a fork. Sprinkle the top lightly with sea salt, and bake for about 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Notes
  1. *I recommend using coconut oil spray, which I swear by for baking, roasting, and sauteeing! So flavorful, and so much better for you than most non-stick sprays.
The Hungry Musician http://thehungrymusician.com/

Enjoy! 🙂