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Whole Grain Banana Bread with Chocolate Chips, Cranberries and Blueberries

Banana bread is one of my all-time favorite treats. I could eat it every single day! I have fond memories of devouring my mom’s chocolate chip banana bread with my college roommates when she would bring a loaf during visits. I’ve wanted to create a more nutrient dense version of banana bread for years. I absolutely love my blender banana bread baked with almond flour, but it doesn’t have the same texture as traditional banana bread! I wanted this recipe to be one that really mimicked a good old fashioned loaf of banana bread.

You guys know I have a major sweet tooth, and in my eyes, no ingredients will be able to seamlessly recreate baking with real sugar, butter and flour. But, as a dietitian, it makes me so happy to create recipes that are similar to traditional ones, but with more nutritional bang for your buck! I always view these “healthier” desserts as additions to my diet, rather than complete replacements for the real thing. Because you know I’ll never pass up a slice of Flour Bakery banana bread!

I’m so amped for this recipe, because it really is so similar to a traditional banana bread! The texture is spot on, and it’s just sweet enough thanks to the ripe bananas and maple syrup. This was my first time baking with spelt flour, and honestly I don’t know why I haven’t used it before! Spelt flour is still a 100% whole grain flour, but it’s much lighter and sweeter tasting than whole wheat flour. I can already tell I like it better for recipes than whole wheat flour because of this when replacing refined flour in recipes. I also used Greek style yogurt in place of oil for this bread, and it turned out wonderfully. I’m a firm believer that banana bread is best with some add-ins, so I decided on both chocolate chips AND berries. Definitely a winning combo!

Ingredients

  • 2 ½ cups spelt flour
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup + 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • ½ cup plain Greek style yogurt
  • ¼ cup milk of choice (I used oat milk)
  • 3 very ripe bananas, mashed well
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips + more for sprinkling on top
  • 1/3 cup frozen cranberry/blueberry blend + more for sprinkling on top (I used the Blueberry Blend by Cape Cod Select)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper.
  2. Combine spelt flour, salt, baking soda and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Combine the eggs, maple syrup, yogurt, milk and bananas in a bowl, whisking until smooth.
  4. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir to combine.
  5. Fold in the chocolate chips and frozen berries.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan, and sprinkle the top with additional chocolate chips and berries.
  7. Bake for 50-70 minutes until edges are lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  8. Let cool completely before slicing.

If you guys try this recipe, tag @daisybeet on Instagram so I can see your creations! 🙂

Healthy Puppy Chow

Lately, I’ve been feeling nostalgic for the most random things. Maybe it’s because I’m officially an “adult” now being completely done with school and working a full-time job, or realizing I’m only 2 years away from being 30 years old, but time seems to be flying by too quickly!

Last night, my roommate was showing me home video clips she watched after going to her parent’s house for the weekend, and we chatted about all the Disney VHS movies we both owned. Who else was a diehard Little Mermaid fan?

In addition to nostalgia for things like movies, I’ve also been thinking about foods I haven’t eaten in years. I bought a box of shredded wheat cereal to add to yogurt bowls for quick breakfasts last week, and that brought me down memory lane! I used to LOVE frosted mini wheat cereal for breakfast – there was something so satisfying about that sugary flavor and that delicate ratio of milk to cereal that created the perfect texture piece of cereal.

Munching on shredded wheat all week reminded me about a popular snack we had growing up: puppy chow! My own mom actually never made this for us, and I don’t think I was introduced to this treat until middle school at a friend’s house. This crunchy, peanut buttery, chocolately, sugary snack was so addicting.

Puppy chow is traditionally made with peanut butter, chocolate chips, rice chex cereal, sometimes butter and coated in heaps of powdered sugar. I decided I wanted to make a more nutritious version, without compromising on flavor!

My version maintains the same texture and rich peanut butter chocolate goodness, however I swapped the powdered sugar for a blend of powdered peanut butter, cacao powder and cinnamon. Here are some of the benefits of my puppy chow:

  • Whole grain fiber, thanks to unsweetened shredded wheat cereal
  • A boost of antioxidants by using dark chocolate
  • Zero added sugars or preservatives by using natural peanut butter and no powdered sugar

If you guys had puppy chow growing up, I encourage you to try this recipe for a more nutritious trip down memory lane. I plan on making another batch for a Super Bowl snack to munch on!

Ingredients:

  • One 3.5 oz bar of dark chocolate, roughly chopped (or ½ cup dark chocolate chips)
  • 1/3 cup creamy natural peanut butter
  • 4 cups shredded wheat cereal
  • ¼ cup powdered peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp cacao powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Instructions:

  1. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler on the stovetop. Stir in peanut butter once melted.
  2. Add 1 cup shredded wheat cereal to a large mixing bowl. Add a few big spoonfuls of melted chocolate and mix.
  3. Alternate about 1 cup shredded wheat cereal and melted chocolate, and mix gently until everything is combined. (I suggest using a rubber spatula to scrape out as much chocolate as you can).
  4. In a large ziplock bag, combine powdered peanut butter, cacao powder and cinnamon.
  5. Pour chocolate coated cereal into the bag, close and shake until pieces are well coated.
  6. Pour into a bowl or enjoy! This snack will keep well in the fridge.

 

If you try this recipe, tag @daisybeet so I can see your creations! I hope you enjoy 🙂