i think there are two types of banana bread out there. there is the super sweet kind, usually filled with chocolate chips, that people say is bread but it’s really just an excuse to eat cake for breakfast. then there is the i-want-to-be-healthy type, full of whole grains, nuts, and other things of nutritional value but often too dry to actually be enjoyable.
this banana bread is somehow the perfect combination of the two.
it is dense and moist, yet still has a wholesome bread-like consistency. it is intensely banana flavored and just sweet enough, and the hazelnuts and cocoa nibs add tons of flavor and crunch. the banana-hazelnut-cocoa nib combination sort of came about because those were all things lying around my kitchen waiting to be used, but it ended up being perfect. the banana is sweet and fruity, while the hazelnuts are deep and nutty. and i love the way the cocoa nibs add a chocolatey flavor without making things overly sweet the way chocolate chips do. to top it all off, this bread is 100% whole wheat and relatively low in sugar and fat, so you can feel good about eating it anywhere and anytime. i will now be checking “find the perfect banana bread” off my to-do list!
a moist, fluffy, hearty banana bread made extra special with hazelnuts and cocoa nibs.
- 2 cups white whole wheat flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup canola oil
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 small or 2 medium very ripe bananas, mashed
- 1 cup buttermilk
- ½ cup chopped hazelnuts
- ½ cup cocoa nibs
- another tablespoon flour
- preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and spray a loaf pan with nonstick spray.
- in a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
- in a large bowl, combine the oil, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and banana.
- alternate between adding the flour mixture and the buttermilk to the wet ingredients, starting and ending with the flour. mix until the flour is just barely combined.
- in a small bowl, toss together the hazelnuts, cocoa nibs, and the last tablespoon of flour. fold this mixture into the batter.
- pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake it for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes, until a knife inserted all the way into the center of the loaf comes out clean. let the loaf cool in the pan for at least 10 minutes before transferring it to a wire rack to cool completely.