Banana bread for chocolate lovers
I belong to the club of 'Chocolate lovers'. Dark chocolate contains magnesium, iron, manganese, copper, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, vitamin K, selenium and calcium and also fibre to contribute to better digestion.
Dark chocolate is also good for:
heart health (thanks to flavonols)
improving cholesterol profile (thanks to cocoa butter and polyphenols)
improving blood pressure (as it increases nitric acid in the body)
brain health (as the flavonols are said to increase the blood flow to the brain)
cancer prevention (thanks to flavonoids and antioxidants)
skin health due to helping with hydration and blood flow to the skin
Considering the above and that dark chocolate also contains serotonin and tryptophan- feel good hormones- what's there not to like about dark chocolate. But it's important to choose the right kind of dark chocolate- with more than 70% cocoa content (higher -percentage dark chocolate contains a higher percentage of anti-oxidants). I like dark chocolate with 90-100% cocoa content, but it's a matter of preference. The darker the chocolate, the less you want to eat it as normally one to two squares of dark chocolate is satisfying enough if you slowly let it melt on your tongue.
Always check the content of the dark chocolate you purchase, the less ingredients the better and ideally purchase organic where possible. The main ingredients of good quality dark chocolate are cacao or cocoa, cocoa butter or coconut oil. If they have been sweetened, better options are sweetened with coconut sugar, honey, pure maple syrup or raw cane sugar. The darker the chocolate you choose, the lower the sugar content. Also, do know that lecithin is not necessary to make chocolate, which is added to many supermarket chocolates to help to blend the flavours and keep the cocoa and cocoa butter from separating.
In Estonia you can purchase good dark chocolate for example from Biomarket (like the brand Vivani), Ökosahver (like the brand Rapunzel), Chocolala, Roosiku. I also enjoy visiting Chocokoo as I know they make their chocolate with passion and dedication and customer service is always great there. If you live in Estonia and can recommend some good dark chocolate brands, please put them in the comments below.
Here are some organic dark chocolate brands to try outside Estonia: Alter Eco, Hu Kitchen, Mast, Raaka, Evolved, Venchi. And if you want to explore the best tasting chocolates awarded by the International Chocolate Awards, visit this site.
But back to banana bread recipe. Below recipe is gluten, refined sugar and lactose free, but having the moist from apple sauce, sweetness from bananas and maple syrup and beautiful flavour from chocolate.
Banana bread for chocolate lovers
4 ripe bananas
2 tablespoons of apple sauce (I peel, boil and blend the apples to make the sauce and freeze in smaller quantities to use in recipes)
1 tsp of cinnamon
1 tbsp of vanilla extract
2 tbsp of maple syrup
1 1/2 cups of almond flour
1tsp of baking powder
1 tsp of baking soda
1/2 tsp of sea salt
100g of chopped dark chocolate
Handful of chopped walnuts
Preheat the oven to 175 degrees (350F). Grease a loaf pan and set aside.
Mash or grate the bananas in a large mixing bowl.
Mix eggs, maple syrup, apple sauce, vanilla extract with the bananas.
In a separate bowl mix together the almond flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.
Add the flour mixture into the banana mixture and stir until properly mixed.
Add in the chopped walnuts and dark chocolate. Mix through.
Pour the mixture into the loaf pan and bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes until the toothpick inserted in the centre of the bread comes out clean.
Cool down the bread, slice and enjoy!