Chocolate Cherry Bread…No For Real, You Gotta Try This.
My breakfast this morning was wallpaper paste and sawdust, though apparently it is pronounced “oatmeal.” At least that was how it started. It made me think of all the years I tried to find a balance of healthy and tasty, but only half the time does it work the way I intend. I can bake an amazing cinnamon apple that has no added sugar and tastes like autumn. And then, there was the banana bread incident of 2008.
A debacle, really, for it really doesn’t even deserve to be called bread. It started innocently enough: I was craving something sweet. There are horror stories that can easily begin with that premise, because truth be told, I will cut a bitch for a Rice Krispy treat. But, not wanting to splurge on too much excess sugar and fat, I attempted a modified banana bread recipe. Imagine how proud I would be when my warm, steaming cakepan of bread came out of the oven – moist and homey, smelling of cinnamon and warm bananas.
It smelled like cinnamon and bananas; that was one success. But it looked like a big pimple. It never got brown – just maintained this sickly yellow color. And it never rose. It just sort of congealed in the pan and hardened to become some twisted mutation of banana pudding and silly putty. I tried to look past its disgusting exterior – after all, Spam is akin to a vivisection of a pig’s ass, but it tastes pretty good when fried up! Perhaps my poor banana bread would taste amazing. I would be known around the world as the man who created fat-free, sugar-free banana bread that looked like a lanced boil but tasted like orgasm in a cakepan.
Instead, it tasted much as I would imagine one of those rubber toy Smurfs would taste if it had been smeared with banana pulp and Splenda. I am sure after 5 minutes of chewing, though, the Smurf might go down a bit easier than this mess.
So the lesson for me was that banana bread needed to be very precisely tested to find something that was healthy, easy, and didn’t taste like snot. There are a ton of great recipes I found, but this one represents my favorite!
Matt’s Chocolate Cherry Banana Bread
- 3 bananas (medium ripe)
- 2/3 cup dark agave nectar (real maple syrup can also be used)
- 1/2 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 eggs (lightly beaten.)
- 1 cup flour
- ½ cup oat flour (just grind oatmeal in a blender or coffee grinder)
- 1/2 cup good quality cocoa powder (I like Hershey’s Special Dark)
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate morsels
- ½ cup dried cherries
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and coat a bread pan with cooking spray. Dust the pan with flour and tap the excess off.
- Combine the mashed bananas and agave syrup into a large mixing bowl and stir until smooth.
- Add the yogurt, vanilla and eggs. Stir to combine.
- Stir in the two flours, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Add the chocolate chips and cherries, and pour into the prepared baking pan.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes.