This is going to make me sound like a terrible person, but maybe that will make me seem relatable. There is nothing worse (yes, I’m being hyperbolic) than unwelcome banana bread. You know, that slice of bread you feel socially compelled to eat and smile through each bite of the dry, walnut heavy, chocolate-less-ness – all while under the earnest stare of a co-worker or friend-of-a-friend?
It’s not their fault! If you’ve ever been exposed to banana bread in its full glory, there’s no turning back. For me, this banana bread elitism was a side effect of by raised by the goddess of baked goods. My mom turns even the most humble banana bread into a dessert you might crave enough to intentionally let those bananas go past the point of human consumption, just to have an excuse to make it.
This is my take on her recipe – still managing to be moist and desirable with coconut oil in place of the generous amounts of butter and the sugar reduced slightly to offset the sweetness of overripe bananas. Finely chopped pecans give it a subtle crunch and a healthy dose of chocolate chips make it ooze wonderfully when you take a slice.
Un-Snub-Able Banana Bread
Total time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Yield: 1 loaf
3-4 overripe bananas*
* Disclaimer: the bananas pictured above are too yellow to yield a perfectly sweet loaf. I recommend using bananas that are nearly brown all over, but not quite to the point where they seem to be fermenting. If you for some reason need banana bread right now, and your bananas are still more on the yellow side, compensate by adding an additional ¼ cup of sugar.
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Grease a 9”x5” loaf pan with butter or coconut oil.
Mash up the bananas with a fork in a large mixing bowl. Once the bananas are the consistency of applesauce (i.e. few-no banana chunks), whisk in the melted coconut oil and sugar.
Beat the eggs in a small bowl. Whisk the eggs and vanilla into the banana mixture. Sprinkle the baking powder and salt evenly over the top of the mixture and fold in using a spatula (this is important to make sure the loaf rises evenly). Now, gently fold in the flour, and then the chocolate chips and chopped pecans. Try not to over-mix here to keep the bread nice and light.
Pour the mixture into the greased loaf pan and pop into the oven for 1 hour. Check the loaf with a toothpick – it will come out clean if the loaf is done. I find my loaves usually need another 10-15 minutes, but recommend checking after an hour to avoid accidentally burning/over-baking.
Once baked, remove from the oven and cool in the pan for 15-20 minutes. Tip the loaf out and finish cooling on a wire rack – or slice right away and enjoy the hot bread and gooey chocolate chips with a hunk of butter melted on top, I’m not going to judge.