Double Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

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During the past few weeks I have been thinking about restarting my blog so here it goes! Residency has been busy, busy, busy but it’s amazing how much I have learned and how much I have yet to learn at the same time. With these new times of social distancing, you really want to minimize the number of trips you make to the grocery store as much as you can. For me, this translates into relying on ingredients I have in the fridge or pantry rather than making multiple trips to the store.

I have numerous recipes that I’ve been waiting to share with y’all and will start with this simple, moist, double chocolate chip banana bread! It is the perfect accompaniment to your morning coffee and will fool anyone into thinking it is chocolate cake.  It’s a great way to use up those ripe black bananas you have stashed in your freezer (if you don’t have any, consider starting a habit of putting your old bananas in the freezer instead of throwing them away). These ripe bananas also have a higher content of sugar compared to green bananas (20% vs 1%) which is why they are used in banana bread recipes.

Want a 4 ingredient banana bread? Check out this previous simple Banana Bread recipe!

Interesting fact:

  • Bananas produce ethylene which helps ripen foods so if you have some firm avocados or tomatoes that you want ripened, then place them next to your bananas! (alternately, if you don’t want certain foods to ripen too quickly, keep them in a separate area)

Double Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

  • Servings: 10
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 cup bananas, mashed (2 brown/black ripe bananas)
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (semisweet or dark)

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F
  2. Line the loaf pan with parchment paper (alternate option would be to butter the pan and lightly coat with flour OR to use non-stick cooking spray)
  3. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder in a medium mixing bowl
  4. Mash the bananas with a fork in a separate bowl. Mix in the melted butter and brown sugar. Then mix in the egg, vanilla extract, and yogurt.
  5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients along with the chocolate chips and lightly stir (do not over mix or your bread will have a tough texture)
  6. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick or knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Oven times vary so check on it at 50 minutes.
  7. Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Use a knife to loosen the edges of the bread from the pan.
  8. You can enjoy this all at once or can save some to freeze up to a month for later cravings (to freeze- make sure the bread is completely cooled, wrap in plastic wrap and aluminum foil, and place in a freezer bag).

Tips:

  • Add extra ingredients as you like- walnuts, dried fruits, etc.
  • Plain yogurt can be replaced with sour cream, greek yogurt, or buttermilk
  • Butter can be replaced with coconut oil, olive oil, or vegetable oil
  • If you don’t have brown sugar, you can replace with coconut sugar, turbinado sugar, white sugar or maple syrup
  • If you have a third ripe banana that you really want to use, then go ahead and throw it in the bowl
  • For the cocoa powder, if you want extra dark flavor then use the Hershey’s Special Dark 100% Cacao

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Smoothie Bowl Basics

Smoothie Bowl

A drink that is so easy to blend that you don’t even have to think about it twice. Got milk? Got bananas? Got strawberries? You already have all the ingredients for a basic smoothie bowl and you don’t even know it. It’s so much funner eating a smoothie from a bowl than drinking it! Drinking them from straws or even just a cup, every single time, gets boring quickly.There’s just something about using a spoon that makes it seem more like a solid breakfast to me, not to mention the loads of fruit that its covered with. It may be hard to eat such a good-looking smoothie, when all we do is eat with our eyes. But… Once your spoon goes in for the first bite, it will disappear as quick as a popped bubble. Read on to make your own antioxidant-rich, creamy smoothie topped with a sweet crunchy granola and some soft, fresh fruit.

Smoothie Bowl

One of the simplest pleasures in life is finding a recipe that you want to make and realizing that you have every single ingredient listed. No grocery stores needed. The beauty of the smoothie bowl is that one can customize it based on their own personal preferences or even whatever is in the fridge/freezer. If you plan on making smoothies regularly, it is convenient to buy frozen fruit in bulk to always have it on hand.

Smoothie Bowl Basics

  • Liquid
    • Base of the smoothie bowl
    • Fruity: Orange Juice, Apple Juice; can be freshly squeezed or packaged
    • Tropical: Coconut Water, Pineapple Juice
    • Creamy: Milk (whole, 2%, skim, soy, coconut, almond)
    • Water: adds no flavor to the drink
  • Fruit/Veggies
    • Best if frozen to keep your smoothie cold without having to use ice
    • Strawberries, Bananas, Kiwi, Mangoes, Raspberries, Blueberries, Blackberries, Dragonfruit, etc
    • Kale, Cucumbers, Spinach
  • Thickener
    • Greek Yogurt, Xantham Gum, Bananas, Frozen Fruit, Ice
    • Try to use ice as a last resort so that you can have a more flavorful drink
  • Flavorings
    • Vanilla Extract , Honey, Sugar, Agave Nectar, Maple Syrup
  • Toppings
    • Best to have a fusion of different colors
    • Fruits, fresh preferred: chopped, sliced, halved (be careful when adding too much dried fruit because it is concentrated in sugar due to no water content)
    • Granola: fun flavors such as chocolate chip, cranberry apple, maple peanut butter, cinnamon raisin spice
    • Nuts/Seeds: slivered almonds, flaxseed, whole oats, hazelnuts, pecans, pumpkin seeds
    • Superfoods: cocoa nibs, unsweetened shredded coconut, chia seeds, hemp seeds, avocado

 Tips

  • When making your own smoothie bowl, have all the fruit cut and ready to place on top before you start assembling it so that you can eat it right after
  • If the smoothie is too thick, stop blending, shake the mixer, and add small amounts of the chosen liquid at a time
  • Make sure the smoothie is thick so that your fruit don’t sink to the bottom
  • Check out some fun inspiration for smoothie bowls on this Buzzfeed article

Smoothie Bowl

These are only various combinations to inspire a smoothie bowl, so do not feel limited as there is a lot more that I have not included. Now it’s your turn to have fun with all the different combinations to make the perfect personalized smoothie bowl!

Smoothie Bowl

What unique combinations have you used in smoothie bowls?

 

Happiness in A Cupcake

Spontaneous baking… Haha that’s what this was. That & it was the perfect opportunity to use those edible silver pearls I just bought! I really wanted to make something with bananas so I was about to make my 4-ingredient banana bread, but…… There was the fact that I couldn’t remember the last time I made cupcakes. Cupcakes it was :)

*Why do I say “Happiness in A Cupcake”?? Well, as it turns out- Bananas have been known to cheer people up. They are the only fruit that contain high levels of tryptophan that is later converted to serotonin. Serotonin is a chemical neurotransmitter that lowers depression. Sadly….. I discovered during my research that this is a myth -__- Yes, bananas contain serotonin. BUT there remains the fact that this serotonin is unable to cross the blood-brain barrier and so can’t get to where it needs to be. I still believe there is a lot of happiness to be found in bananas. Seriously, with almost no fat, low calories, and a plentiful of vitamins who could deny this bountiful fruit?

Banana Cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 2 2/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 cup shredded coconut (optional)
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (or regular milk)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1 1/2 sticks butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Directions

Preheat: 350 F

  1. Get a large mixing bowl and beat the butter for a few minutes until creamy 
  2. Add the sugar and then the eggs & vanilla extract while beating at a low speed
  3. Add the 2 mashed bananas & coconut and continue to beat
  4. Mix in the flour and buttermilk in small intervals
  5. Fill the cupcake pan about 2/3 full each and bake for about 18 minutes

Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 stick of unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Beat together the cream cheese and butter
  2. Add the powdered sugar in small intervals
  3. Pour in the vanilla extract and beat until fluffy for a couple minutes

 

Adapted from BlissfullyDelicious