Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

This is my new favorite banana bread recipe!  I know there are a ton of banana bread recipes out there, but this one is my tried and true favorite.  It’s a variation on my mother-in-law’s banana bread, which I’ve always adored.  It’s made a little healthier by the substitution of whole wheat flour for a portion of the all purpose flour.  The best ratio I’ve found is to sub 1/3 of the flour for whole wheat.  I can’t detect a change in the texture or taste at all with this ratio.  I did one batch with 1/2 whole wheat, and it noticeably changed the flavor and texture of the bread.  It was still delicious, but not as moist as the original, and with less banana flavor.

As you can see, I went a little crazy with making banana bread this weekend 🙂  I had nine ripe bananas in the fridge, so I wanted to use them all up!  The mini-loaves are so nice to give away as gifts.  The large loaf in the back is plain for Patrick, but the rest have semi-sweet chocolate chips in them.  I love how gooey and melty the chocolate chips are straight from the oven 🙂

I haven’t been able to find a better recipe for banana bread, and boy have I tried…some people swear by sour cream, creme fraiche, heavy cream, or butter.  I’ve tried them all, and am pleasantly surprised that this one is my favorite, as it contains the least amount of oil and sugar of all the recipes.  Plus, since this is the one that my husband grew up with, he is always happy when I make it 🙂

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Makes one large loaf

1 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1/4 tsp kosher salt

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3 medium bananas, very ripe

1 egg, large

1/4 cup oil

1/2 tsp vanilla

1/4 cup chocolate chips (optional)

Mash your bananas with a potato masher or fork.  Stir in sugar, eggs, oil, and vanilla until completely combined.  In a separate bowl, mix together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, kosher salt.  Add to the wet ingredients and mix just to combine.  Add in chocolate chips at the end.

Grease a 9×5 loaf pan.  Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 50 minutes or until tester comes out clean.  Do not over bake, as the bread will not be as moist.  I usually start checking at the 45 minute mark.  Leave it on the counter for 10 minutes, then remove from pan onto a wire rack and allow to cool.

What are your favorite ways to make a recipe healthier?

Someone recently told me that you can cut 1/4-1/3 of the sugar in most baked goods recipes without compromising the flavor, so I’ve been trying that out and find that it is actually true!  I really want to get some ground flaxseed and start incorporating that into my recipes, too.

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28 thoughts on “Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

  1. Yummy!!!! I freeze my bananas then mix them in my blender for a very smooth bread. This looks fantastic. And yes you can cut the sugar. I regularly halve the sugar in baking recipes. Sometimes I replace it with agave which is at least more complex and low GI, so you avoid that little sugar rush.

  2. I’ll definitely be making this soon! (I feel like I’ve been saying that with all your recipes lately!) 🙂

    Yes– cut out that sugar! I also see you can buy flaxseed meal, which is ground flaxseed. I like to put that in my smoothies, cookies, breads, and the list goes on and on…

    • Thanks, Jill! Does the flaxseed meal alter the taste of your baked goods at all? Do you just add it in or have to substitute it for something in the recipe?

      I hope you’re having a wonderful time in PA! We lived in Philly for 5 years, so I have a soft spot in my heart for that area 🙂

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  4. Haha, Maura..you’re so adorable! And yes, you did go a lil’ crazy with making breads ;). I wish I could just go over there and enjoy a slice or two with you! I seriously need to get back into baking! It seriously has been awhile. I worked as a baker for about a year before, and this is absolutely unacceptable! There sure are a lot of banana bread recipes out there, but I’m going to take your word for it and try this one! Oh, I did make the black bean brownies! I actually used red bean paste instead of black beans for that extra sweetness you mentioned. Yum-O!!

    • I wish you could come over and have a slice of bread too, and some tea, and lots of girl talk 🙂 I didn’t know you were a baker! What kinds of things did you bake??

      I love that you used azuki beans in the brownies, I’ve been thinking about doing that since they are sweeter and have a nice texture! Do you like mochi? I am so excited because this year I get to make mochi with my mom for new year’s day. The new thing here is to put a strawberry in the center with the azuki bean paste. It’s so pretty when you cut into it.

      • Hope your Saturday morning’s off to a great start, Maura! I’ve actually worked at 2 bakeries. I baked wedding cakes, cinnamon rolls, cookies, cupcakes…I’m not much of a decorator so I literally just baked all day long haha. I didn’t mind. It was a lot of fun. I have a lot of scars on my arm from getting burnt..I’m proud of them haha..no not really. They are hideous! Ugh!

        And I know exactly what you’re talking about! Korean bakeries are really into that stuff too! So pretty and delicious! I LOVE mochi! I can’t wait to see you and your mom’s creation! Teach me teach me!!

      • Wow, that sounds really fun!! You are a master baker 🙂 Are there any secret tips to baking?

        My mom just bought a mochi machine, so the process is going to be super easy this year. I still want to go to a traditional new year’s day mochi pounding, where the men pound the rice with big mallets until it is really soft, and then the women stretch it and fill it with the azuki beans 🙂

  5. Yummy, I love banana bread! Great texture on your bread. Question about your recipe, when you say stir the eggs and such, do you mean mix with a spatula (or whisk)? I’ve tried a banana bread recipe before which requires beating the eggs and sugar with a hand mixer until combined. And then adding the flour and beating again. I’m wondering if everything can just be done with a spatula/whisk. And as for the flaxseed, I highly recommend sneaking a 1/3 cup into your recipe..just mix it in with the flour. 🙂

    • I don’t use a hand-mixer, just a spatula or whisk is fine! I usually just use the potato masher and use that to mix the sugar in with the bananas. I’m kind of lazy that way 😉 Then, I just mix in the rest of the wet to that bowl, and mix the dry in with a spatula just to combine so the bread doesn’t get too tough.

      I just bought some flaxseed meal today and am going to make a batch with it this weekend, so excited!! Thanks for the proportion suggestion 🙂

  6. Hey Maura! This looks yummy! I normally make my banana bread with buttermilk, and I find it so odd that this doesn’t have any buttermilk/sourcream/etc., yet still looks so yummy!

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