I added cocoa to my recipe for 4 Bananas Low-fat Banana Bread or Muffins and achieved the perfect balance of rich banana and chocolate flavor that’s not too sweet. I used four soft, speckled bananas to add natural sweetness to this delicious bread with minimal oil and sugar. The bananas and just one tablespoon of olive oil make this bread very moist.
I used whey from plain yogurt instead of the milk and lemon. But you can go either way. (Pun intended).
1/3 cup 1% or skim milk or a combination of whey and milk
1 tsp lemon juice or 1/4 tsp white vinegar
1 cup unbleached white flour
¼ teaspoon baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
3/4 cup finely ground whole wheat flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder (I used Valrhona cocoa, available in bulk from Berkeley Bowl)
A dash each of nutmeg and cinnamon.
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 Tb turbindo sugar for sprinkling on top (optional)
4 bananas (1 ½ cups mashed)
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
1 Tb olive oil
½ cup walnut and/or pecan pieces
Preheat oven to 350º F.
Add lemon juice or vinegar to milk or milk/whey combined. Let it sit while you are mixing the other ingredients. The milk should curdle, resembling buttermilk. (You can skip this step and use buttermilk or just whey instead if you prefer).
Sift both flours, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, and baking powder into a medium bowl. Add nutmeg, cinnamon, and flax seed. Stir well to combine ingredients.
Whip eggs in mixer until well combined. Add brown sugar and whip on high speed for 2-3 minutes until creamy.
Mash bananas with a fork or potato masher. Add them to the egg mixture, along with olive oil and vanilla. Whip for another minute.
With mixer on low, add half the milk and half the flour mixture, and then repeat. Mix only until ingredients are almost combined. Fold in nuts and strawberries until they are just combined.
Spray a loaf pan or muffin tins with non-stick spray. (because of the low fat content of the ingredients, you should spray paper muffin cups with non-stick spray if you choose to use them.) For extra buttery flavor, wipe a smear of butter at the bottom. Pour in batter. Sprinkle the top with turbindo sugar if desired. Place on the middle shelf of preheated oven. Bake loaf 50 – 55 minutes, muffins for 35-40 minutes, just until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out somewhat dry. Remove bread from pan and let cool on a rack before slicing.