While I don’t usually hop aboard trends, I seem to have fallen into the same deep pit of quarantine chocolate chip banana bread as the rest of the internet.
Like apparently everyone else you know, every two weeks I buy a bunch of bananas thinking I will use them in smoothies or eat them with peanut butter as a snack. But it’s been too cold for the former, and well, once the bananas ease past their perfect yellow ripeness, I have little interest in them. Consider it part of my unique and complex fruit phobia.
So it seems at this point that I am buying a bunch of bananas specifically for the promise of banana bread once they’ve turned into black mutants that can barely hold their shape. Having this bread to look forward to at the end of my grocery haul, when everything else desirable has been gobbled up by my insatiable (but cute) dumpster of a husband, has been one small highlight of quarantine life.
Only, as mentioned, at the end of that two week haul, so little remains.
Enter: Desperation Banana Bread.
I introduced you to Desperation Soup on page of The Wellness Project Book. It’s a concept that originated with my uncle Denny, who is a chronic farmer’s market optimist (i.e. over-buyer) and thus always has a bowl of rotting this or that on his countertop by the end of the week. He cleans out the crisper drawer and veggie bowls by making soup.
Though I wouldn’t recommend throwing your slightly moldy head of cabbage into this banana bread, it can serve a similar function for baking supplies. The recipe is a blank canvas for using up whatever you have on hand. If you don’t have maple syrup, use honey. No gluten-free rice four? Use oat or almond. Ate the last of your peanut butter on some perfectly ripe bananas? Use almond or cashew. As you can see, the possibilities are endless.
When I first got to Martha’s Vineyard, I was reduced to the meager baking supplies leftover from past summers. There was coconut flour, baking soda (not powder), and no sugar of any kind. Afraid of tweaking my go-to gluten-free banana bread recipe with a paleo flour, I decided to go rogue and use gluten-free pancake mix! After that experiment I was convinced that you can’t mess this banana bread up.
The following recipe can easily be paleo as it uses coconut flour, but can be subbed for any other gluten-free four. The only thing to note is that unlike some flours, this one can’t be swapped 1:1. With coconut flour, a little goes a long way, and usually is a 1:2 sub for other GF varieties.
Since these past few months have revealed desperation of all kinds, I hope this bread can make your quarantine routine a little sweeter. Read on for my gluten-free chocolate chip banana bread recipe!
With heath and hedonism,
Desperation Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
- 1 ½ cups mashed banana from 3 medium VERY ripe bananas
- 3 large eggs at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup or honey
- ¼ cup creamy peanut butter or almond butter
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup coconut flour or other GF flour see note
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- ½ cup dark bittersweet chocolate chips or chunks
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a loaf pan with two strips of parchment paper width and length-wise.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the banana, eggs, maple syrup or honey, nut butter, and vanilla and beat until smooth. Stir in the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips or chunks.
Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and smooth the top.
Bake in the oven for 45 minutes to an hour, until the top is nicely brown and a toothpick or knife comes out clean. Rest in the pan until cool enough to touch, about 10 minutes. Then slice and enjoy.