I often find that most of recipes I create are sparked from something I’ve come across or eaten when I was a little kid or teenager. There’s a specific memory about a comforting dish or baked good that urges me to recreate it but in a healthier way. Like banana chocolate chip bread, for example. My mom would make this for my brother and I when we were younger in loaf and muffin form and I remember cutting off slice after slice hoping no one would notice. Each chip counted and when I didn’t get enough chips in my slice, you can count on the fact I wasn’t a happy chickpea. But even if the chip ratio was off, the sweet and soft texture of the bread made me swoon and come back for more. Granted, it was loaded with refined sugar, refined flours and tons of butter I’m sure.
As I’m not one for baking banana breads since I never have the patience to wait for my bananas to brown. Buuuut I decided I’d try it out last week with Simple Mills’ Banana Muffin Mix and put a twist on it by making it oil-free (yes, it’s possible) and add in a secret ingredient for flavor. Working at one of the best start-up companies in Chicago gives me so many opportunities to create new recipes and try different cooking methods with their products. Especially around the holiday season where the scent of pumpkin is everywhere to be found or when Christmas rolls around and it’s chocolate this, peppermint that. I love it. So why not put those mixes to good use and throw in all things pumpkin!?
The first batch I made of this I was so proud of because my roommate Gina liked it. To me, that is the biggest accomplishment. Whenever I bake, although I want it to be healthy and have good-for-you ingredients, I don’t want the flavor to be sacrificed. So many people think healthy eating is difficult to do, especially when it comes to baked goods but truly half the time the healthy alternative tastes just the same, if not better.
I want the average American to enjoy what I make and realize that you can eat healthy delicious food too, in between other not-so-healthy delicious food. #Balance, people.
She loved it so much, she asked if she could have another 3 slices. That’s a blogger’s dream right there. Thank you, G!
My favorite way to top this bread is with peanut or almond butter. However, because Simple Mills’ baking mixes are primarily made out of almond and coconut flour (making them grain and gluten-free), they are rather high in fat and protein as is. This is why I decided to try removing the added coconut oil (the recipe calls for 2 tbsp of oil on the back of the box) and add in PUMPKIN puree.
The other day in fact I topped it with more pumpkin puree and cinnamon. Call me crazy but I could eat pumpkin out of a jar it’s SO good. I mean, it’s basically like mashed sweet potatoes? Kinda sorta? Yep, totally.
I’ve seen numerous recipes on both Pinterest and other blogs that sub oil for apple sauce, bananas or pumpkin so I figured what better time to try it out than now? It turned out perfectly and my roommates couldn’t even taste the difference. In fact, they said it was even more moist (sorry, I just had to say the ‘m’ word).
- 3 organic eggs (preferably pasture-raised for high quality)
- ½ water*
- ¼ cup organic pumpkin puree
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 box Simple Mills Banana Muffin Mix
- 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- ½ cup chopped 70% or higher dark chocolate, or chips
- Preheat your oven to 325º.
- Combine eggs, water, pumpkin and vanilla into a large bowl. Mix until well combined.
- Add in banana muffin mix, pumpkin pie spice and chocolate. Mix well, again.
- Grease a loaf pan with coconut or olive oil spray.
- Pour batter into greased pan and pop into the oven for 30 minutes.
- Take out, cover lightly with foil and bake another 25-30 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Cool for 15 minutes, slice and enjoy! Makes 12 thin slices or 8 larger.
- *Optional: Use almond or coconut milk instead of water
My favorite part about this recipe is that the base is basically banana bread but what gives it the pumpkin flavor is real pumpkin. Nothing artificial like those pumpkin scones and cream cheese muffins you find at Starbucks. Just good ole’ pumpkin. Real ingredients in real food.
That’s how I liked my baked goods.
Happy Sunday, chickpeas. Enjoy!
This post was in partnership with Simple Mills, a brand I trust and love to work with. All opinions and ideas are my own but I seriously love this brand and recommend it to all.