Loaded Banana Bread
Loaded with walnuts, raisins, oats, almond meal and chocolate chips, this is an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink banana bread. Substitute flax meal for the eggs and it’s vegan. Even if you already have a favorite banana bread recipe in your arsenal this one is worth giving a try.
My husband and I have been up to our ears in busy work almost every day since the beginning of the year. Each new day has brought with it one problem to solve, a fire to put out, a challenge to overcome…or some combination of the three.
These challenges fall within the category of first world problems–I know it and I’m glad that we’re not dealing with health issues or something worse. But this winter has been marked by especially long days. If you’ve lived long enough to remember the Calgon commercials of old that’s what most of this year so far has felt like.
Little pockets of pleasure by way of an overnight getaway to Carmel, an impromptu lunch date (we’ve been having lots of these) or even a nice sweet treat coming out of my kitchen have been much needed and most welcome (not to mention that extra glass of wine at dinner).
This loaded banana bread has been one such treat to make us forget, at least temporarily, the day’s woes.
Loaded with oats, almond meal, raisins, walnuts and chocolate chips this is an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink banana bread. The intent was not to share yet another recipe using overripe bananas but to try to use up the open packages of odds and ends sitting in the fridge.
What came out of my oven was not something I expected to love enough to share here…but I did and so did my husband. The almond meal and walnuts added nuttiness and crunch, the oats texture while the raisins and chocolate chips provided a sweet boost. I used a half cup less banana than usual and there was still plenty of banana flavor. The add-ons gave the final product more substance without overwhelming the bread.
We’ve been enjoying a slice or two every day for the past week and it’s about time again for another loaf. Even with almost a half dozen banana bread recipes in this blog already, this is what I’ll be making again and again for a while to help to make our days just a little sweeter.
Loaded Banana Bread
Loaded with walnuts, raisins, oats, almond meal and chocolate chips, this is an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink banana bread. To make it vegan, substitute flax meal for the eggs.
- 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup almond meal
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 cup oats (I use Quaker old-fashioned)
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips (See Note)
- 1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 3 medium)
- 2 eggs, beaten lightly (See Note for vegans)
- 1/3 cup olive oil (I use California Olive Ranch, vegetable oil is okay)
- 1/2 cup milk (I use unsweetened almond milk but regular is fine)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat your oven to 350ºF. Spray a 9×5 inch loaf pan with cooking spray and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk the dry ingredients together: flour, almond meal, sugar, baking soda and kosher salt. Toss in the additions to the dry mixture: oats, raisins, walnuts, chocolate chips.
In another bowl, stir together the wet ingredients: mashed bananas, eggs (or flax eggs), olive oil, milk, vanilla extract. Add the combined wet ingredients to the bowl of dry ingredients. Stir until just combined.
Bake for about 55 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the middle of the banana bread comes out clean. Check for doneness at the 45 minute mark to gauge additional time needed. Cool on a wire rack for a few minutes and enjoy.
Chocolate Chips: Use whatever you prefer. I only had mini white chocolate chips available so that’s what I used. Their small size allowed them to melt into the bread.
Eggs: For a vegan banana bread, combine one tablespoon flax meal with three tablespoons water for each egg. So for this recipe you will need two tablespoons flax meal and six tablespoons water. Stir to combine and allow to sit for 10-15 minutes until the mixture has thickened. Use in this recipe as you would the eggs.