There’s something about banana bread that makes me happy and I couldn’t pin point it until I made this recipe for Walnut Chocolate Chunk Banana Bread. Banana Bread only makes me happy when there’s some sort of chocolate involved – any other way isn’t the way. Thus, today I bring you this chocolate and nut packed loaf that is easy to make, uses simple ingredients, and is sure to be a favorite!
What is it about banana bread that makes it the perfect snack any time of the day? Warm it up in the morning slathered with your favorite nut butter and/jam for a delicious breakfast, a quick slice as is during the afternoon slump, and as an after dinner dessert. Three times of day, three separate snacks – not that I recommend consuming three slices of banana bread a day, but hey – sometimes you need to to just get by!
When trying to figure out a new banana bread recipe to create for you, I looked through what I had already shared with you throughout the years: Peach Banana Bread, Upside-Down Banana Cardamom Bread, Chia Seed Banana Bread, Quinoa Pear Banana Bread, and Date Banana Bread. All delicious breads, but not one with my all time favorite ingredient: chocolate!
So here it is my friends, the most delicious Walnut Chocolate Banana Bread, inspired by two of the most talented women in the food industry: Stella Parks of BraveTart/Serious Eats and Tessa Arias of Handle the Heat. If you don’t follow them on all social media platforms, now is a good time to do so. Sure, I’m a professional pastry chef and know how to bake, but these two ladies take it to extremes I’d never even consider. So when I stumbled upon their banana bread recipes, I wanted to make a mash up of the two – which in reality neither of them recommend as they test their exact recipes to be perfection, but I’m a psycho and do as I want, so bare with me as we take on a few smart tips and tricks from each of them to result in what is now my all-time favorite banana bread recipe.
Stella recommends oat flour addition because it “improves moisture retention” which is all we want in a good banana bread and as much as you hate the word, I want my banana bread to be MOIST;
- Tessa uses melted fats in this recipe, stating “Oil is a liquid at room temperature, so it feels moist on the palate even though it has no water.” Stella has something else to say about that and uses room temperature coconut oil.
- They both recommend plain yogurt or sour cream, which is a definitely must in any quick bread, in my honest opinion because it just makes everything better, period. See? I’m not like these ladies – I don’t give you reasoning for why to do things, they will.
- They also both have spices in their banana bread – granted because they are both plain breads, but since mine was going to have walnuts and chocolate, I did not see the need for cinnamon. I don’t see the need for cinnamon ever, unless it’s like an apple dish but I digress. I did add cloves and nutmeg because again, why not? Stella, of course, has a reasoning to her adding cloves and nutmeg: “Nutmeg and cloves are high in eugenol, the same compound that gives ripe bananas their distinctive flavor and aroma, deepening the banana flavor of the loaf.” Told you she’s smart.
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- ½ cup oat flour
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1½ cups mashed bananas (3-4 bananas)
- ½ cup greek yogurt
- ½ cup melted coconut oil
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup chopped chocolate
- ½ cup chopped walnuts
- Preheat the oven to 350F, grease and line a loaf pan.
- In a large bowl, whisk the flour, oat flour (made by blending regular oats in a blender, processor, or spice grinder), salt, cloves, nutmeg, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.
- In another large bowl, whisk the bananas, yogurt, coconut oil, eggs, and vanilla extract carefully - the oil will want to jump out!
- Pour liquids into. the dry ingredients and combine. Fold in the chocolate and walnuts, reserving a tablespoon of each for the topping.
- Pour batter into prepared loaf pan, sprinkle the remaining walnuts and chocolate and bake for 50 minute to an hour and ten minutes until the bread is golden brown and a toothpick comes out with crumbs barely sticking to it.