In our day-to-day, my husband Chris and I work in recipe development and food photography/videography. One client required a consistent stream of perfect bananas for shoots. And I mean perfect. Which if you’ve ever purchased bananas before with a certain look in mind, you know it’s basically impossible to catch them at the perfect stage. One minute they’re green, the next minute they’ve become the banana equivalent of applesauce.
Needless to say, my skill level in the banana rescue and re-use department has exceeded my wildest dreams (as has our consumption of banana smoothies). Besides freezing peeled, sliced bananas flat on a tray and then bagging them, the easiest use for ripe bananas is classic banana bread. Which, of course, we have changed so it is no longer classic banana bread.
Quick breads, like banana bread are so easy to make and adjust since they do not rely on the sometimes fickle nature of yeast. As long as you have a correct proportion of wet and dry ingredients with a binder and a leavener, you can start to customize your recipe. In this recipe, I used whole grain oat flour and whole wheat flour. Oat flour has a nice subtle but different flavor and since oats are higher in protein than some grains and contain more soluble fiber than any other grain, I thought it would be a nice swap in. This recipe also uses Greek yogurt for another protein boost.
Oh… and did I mention there’s chocolate? I think that’s why we are really all here. The bread itself contains cocoa powder but, if desired, you can top it with the chocolate drizzle of your choice. The chocolate is paired with both cinnamon and vanilla extract, which, in my chocolate consumption opinion help actually make it more chocolate tasting.
If you don’t have ripe bananas, don’t worry. To ripen bananas, break them into individual, still peeled bananas. Place on a baking sheet and bake at 350 F for between 5-7 minutes (depending on the ripeness you’re starting with). The banana peel will turn very dark brown. Open the peel and you’ll get a nice mushy, fragrant banana.