Thursday, April 14, 2011

Lemony olive oil banana bread with chocolate chips

I discovered this recipe awhile ago on food writer Melissa Clark's blog. A decadent-looking banana bread that incorporates whole wheat flour and olive oil. "Olive oil?" you ask. Yes, I wondered too. I'd never baked with olive oil.

Now, butter. I love butter. Real butter. None of that If You Cross Your Eyes and Squint, You May Mistake It for Butter stuff. A hunk of butter on a perfectly chewy/crisp baguette equals bliss. However, I'm fairly certain that my cholesterol levels don't love butter. Not that I know what my cholesterol levels are. I'm afraid that I'll find out in a few weeks, and the news won't be good.

So why not use olive oil? A much healthier fat than butter. And the addition of whole wheat flour is a definite plus. Some dark chocolate, banana, and yogurt. Voila. It's practically health food.

Okay. That may be stretching it a bit.

It did make the house smell absolutely droolingly amazing.

I adapted Ms. Clark's recipe a bit. I used white whole wheat flour because I was afraid to use the stone-ground whole wheat stuff in my pantry. And I used semi-sweet chocolate chips because I'd mistakenly bought dark chocolate with almond bars instead of plain dark chocolate. Though now that I think about it...chopped up dark chocolate with almond may have been good too. Take a look at her original recipe. It has a yummy lemon glaze that I omitted. This treat was for my daughter to take to school, and I thought the glaze would make the bread not travel well.

Lemony olive oil banana bread with chocolate chips
Adapted from Melissa Clark's recipe

Serves 8 to 10

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup white whole wheat flour
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups mashed, VERY ripe bananas (3 to 4 bananas)
1/4 cup sour cream or plain, whole milk yogurt
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Grease a 9- by 5- inch loaf pan.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Add the chocolate pieces and combine well.

In a separate bowl, mix together the olive oil, eggs, mashed banana, sour cream, and vanilla. Pour the banana mixture into the flour mixture and fold with a spatula until just combined. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake until dark golden brown and a tester inserted into the middle of the loaf comes out clean, 50 minutes to 1 hour.

Transfer the pan to a wire rack over a rimmed baking sheet to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn the loaf out of the pan to cool completely.


  1. Sounded a bit odd, at first, I must say. But it sounds great after reading through. My kids' favorite add-in to banana bread is blueberries.

  2. So, did it taste as good as regular banana bread made with butter, white flour, etc.?

  3. Yum! What a healthy recipe! Sounds delicious! Thanks for sharing.

  4. love olive oil in baked goods. must. try. this.!!!

  5. It was really quite good. The texture is a bit heavier than regular butter/white flour banana bread. However, all three of my children devoured it, and only one (my Super Taster) commented that it tasted a bit different.

    When blueberries come into season, I'll have to try that in the banana bread. I looooove blueberries.


Thanks so much for commenting. I love reading your thoughts and responses.