Get Baking with This Healthier Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Recipe
Haven’t gotten around to eating the potassium-rich bananas you bought at the store last week? When a busy life gives you overripe bananas, make banana bread! Or more specifically, chocolate chip banana bread.
It’s one of those comforting classics that everyone loves — and nearly anyone with a set of teaspoons and measuring cups can make successfully. Plus, the smell of freshly baked banana bread with chocolate chips is nearly impossible to resist! It fills your kitchen with happy aromas of vanilla and cinnamon, making it a perfect sweet snack for an afternoon pick-me-up.
Our chocolate chip banana bread recipe is a healthier version compared to traditional recipes, thanks to a few smart ingredient swaps. It’s a great choice for anyone who prefers gluten-free baking or who’s looking to cut down on added sugar. And if you want to totally cut out added sugar, just omit the chocolate chips, and you have a recipe with no added sugar, making it Sugar Free 3-approved!
How to Make Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
The trick to making perfect banana bread is starting with your wet ingredient in one bowl and your dry ingredients in another. But before you do anything, preheat your oven and get your loaf pan prepped by lining it with parchment paper and coating it with cooking spray.
Next, you’ll mash the bananas and add eggs, vanilla, and unsweetened applesauce. In another bowl, you’ll combine coconut flour, tapioca flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
Once you’ve got the two mixtures, you combine them into a single bowl and fold in the chips. Now it’s ready to go into the loaf pan, bake, and be devoured!
Healthier Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
Our chocolate chip banana bread recipe is a healthier version compared to traditional recipes, thanks to a few smart ingredient swaps. It's a great choice for anyone who prefers gluten-free baking or who's looking to cut down on added sugar.
Preheat oven to 350° F.
Line a bread pan with parchment paper; lightly coat with spray.
Place bananas in a large mixing bowl; mask with the back of a fork. Add eggs, apple sauce, and extract; whisk to combine.
In a separate medium mixing bowl, add coconut flour, tapioca flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; stir to combine.
Pour banana mixture into coconut flour mixture; mix well. Fold in chocolate chips.
Pour batter into prepared pan; bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
Cool for 5 minutes; turn loaf out onto cooling rack. Let cool completely before cutting into ten equal slices.
The Nutrition Facts box below provides estimated nutritional information for this recipe.
Smart Swaps for Added Sugar and White Flour
Instead of conventional white flour, this banana bread recipe with chocolate chips uses gluten-free tapioca flour and coconut flour. Even if you’re not following a gluten-free diet, these alternative flours have benefits worth considering.
Tapioca flour is made from cassava and has a slightly sweet flavor. Likewise, coconut flour is made from coconut and also has a naturally sweet flavor that some compare to vanilla cake batter.
Using these flours adds flavor to the base of the recipe, complementing the sweetness of the ripe bananas and applesauce. As bananas ripen, their starch starts breaking down into sugar, which is why this fruit gets sweeter and even better for baking once it has a few brown spots. This all makes it so you you don’t actually need any added sugar or sweeteners — except for the chocolate chips, of course.
Types of Chocolate Chips to Buy
If you want a little indulgence in your banana bread, you can stick to the semi-sweet chocolate chips in this banana bread recipe. Or, for a different spin, you can skip the chips (check out the other variations below), swap them for dark chocolate chips, or even make your own chips.
To make your own chocolate chips, start with a chocolate bar with a high percentage of cocoa — ideally upwards of 70 to 85 percent. Most dark chocolate products with 70%-85% are rich in fiber and iron. From there, just chop it up into chunks yourself!
Even the supermarket standard Nestlé Toll House puts out a Simply Delicious line of chocolate chips. They come in dark and semi-sweet flavors, and they’re made with only three ingredients and free from the eight major food allergens. And, most dark chocolate contains more cocoa and less sugar. You can purchase them through Amazon or Walmart.
Other options include Pascha Organic Bittersweet Chocolate Baking Chips with 85% Cacao and Sunspire Organic 65% Cocoa Bittersweet Chocolate Chips, or the chocolate-ish Chatfield’s Carob Chips made from carob pods. Just note that these all still have added sugar in them.
Other Flavorful Variations
There are so many delicious variations you can take with this banana bread recipe. Instead of chocolate chips, you could swap in walnuts or pecans for a nice nutty taste.
You could also mix in raisins or other dried fruit in place of chocolate chips. Raspberries, blueberries, or cut-up mango chunks or apple cubes are tasty additions. And for a more tropical twist, try adding in some shredded, unsweetened coconut!
No matter what variation you opt for, just note that it will change the listed nutritional values for this recipe.
Photography by Meghan Hensley