Bananas aren't a fruit that typically excites the senses or moves people in a profound way, if in any way at all. Hell, fruit in general doesn't do that. Except maybe a lychee. Lychees do something quite unnatural to me that makes me feel shameful and dirty, but that’s a different blog post.
Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
- 1¾ cup + 2 tablespoons unsifted flour
- 1½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1 - 1 ½ cup chocolate chips
- 1 cup mashed overripe bananas
- 2 large eggs
- ⅓ cup buttermilk
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Grease and flour three mini loaf pans.
- Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into large bowl. Stir in mini chocolate chips.
- In a separate bowl, combine mashed bananas, eggs, buttermilk, oil and vanilla. Pour liquid ingredients into flour ingredients and stir until combined.
- Divide batter among loaf pans and bake for 33-35 minutes or until deeply golden brown and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
I don’t know anyone who actually likes bananas, anyone who actually likes to eat bananas, anyone who actually likes the taste and texture of the slimy soft, sometimes stringy fruit that leaves a strange, powdery-yet-wet residue on the tongue and teeth. But every time you’re tearing through the grocery produce section, nature’s version of elementary school bus safety yellow catches your eye and stimulates a conditioned response. You slow down. And though the words may not make their way in literal format to your mouth, “we should get bananas” stirs in your subconscious. You don’t really know why you should get bananas, you just know you should. It’s just known. Should. Supposed to.
It’s just one of those things in life that people should do.
Today, though, I’m finding myself a little less apathetic about bananas. Staring at a screen full of photos of blackened bananas and the browned, caramel glossy topped banana bread with deep, dark cracks and tiny craters spilling over with half melted mini chocolate chips that they became, I found myself…affected. I took those photos a year ago.
It was after the birthday trip up to the mountains.
On our way up to the cabin, we stopped at the market and bought, among other things, bananas. They weren’t on any grocery list, but they probably looked too perfect to pass up and hell, we’re up in the mountains! We should buy bananas for nutrition or something, right? The bananas were long, a little unnatural in how straight they were, beautiful in their own, suspiciously perfect way. They were a little green, but they would ripen in time.
With places to dine out in the small mountain town, other things to eat from the kitchen adorned with small black and white Brother labels that identified everything from cupboards with “pots and pans” to “kitchen light,” and the fact that vacations are a time to eat junk food, the bananas were left untouched. They moved from laying sprawled out bare on the table, to awkwardly nesting their curiously long, straight, hard bodies in a large mixing bowl, to the '70s formica countertop, trying to find their place.
On the last day, like the responsible vacation renters we were, we tidied up, took out the trash, checked the showers, peeked under the sofa cushions, and emptied the refrigerator. The bananas were still on the table. Bananas are cheap – quite literally, a little more than a dime a dozen. The first instinct was to throw them out with the rest of the food that just wasn't worth our effort to take back down the mountain, but I don't work that way. Whether by culture or necessity, it hurts my heart to waste. I can’t just throw things away, especially things that seem perfectly good.
The bananas came back home with us.
I put the untouched bananas on the kitchen countertop. Every day for the first few days, I saw the bananas and reminded myself to look for that banana bread recipe — that one, the one that I loved from whatyearwasthat, hm, I can't remember — but I didn't look. So many other things came up. I was making excuses. "Life stuff" was moving faster, yet in a strange way, more slowly, than I could manage. I wasn't ignoring the bananas; they were there and I saw them every day, rotting right before my eyes. I think I was trying to ignore having to do something about them. I didn't want to deal with them.
You can ignore the black, spotted bananas that are practically camouflaged against the dark granite countertop for as long as you can, but something will eventually force your hand. Maybe you pick up the bananas off the counter to make room for a bowl and the skins shred apart from the stems under the weight of decay. Maybe you find that banana bread recipe while looking for something else.
Maybe you finally find hard evidence of lies and dishonesty that confirm what was just suspicion that laid black and heavy on your heart for months.
Bananas may not actually be, but are marketed as, Quite Possibly the World’s Perfect Food. They had decomposed to just the point at which only by some act of God they could be salvaged, were stripped open, scraped from its skin, shredded, pounded and mashed into a slimy, pulpy mess, hurled into a floury fray, but finally, emerged from the heat, beautifully transformed.
This past year was one of the most uncomfortable, painful, hard, difficult, emotional, dramatic, heart-wrenching years I've lived through, but I think I've finally emerged from the heat.
I may not be beautifully transformed, but at least I'll get a blog post or two out of it.
I love bananas...They are absolutely my favorite food (not just fav fruit). So there, one person who TRULY enjoys bananas
Yeah, my dad loves em too. Buys them by the bunches (silly attempt at cheap humor).
Peter E Dant says
What is an OVERN?
Sarah J. Gim says
an overn is a totally special oven that no one else has except me :)
My son and I enjoy Banana's a great deal. between us, we eat at least 7-10 pounds every week.
Sarah J. Gim says
Holy Smokes, Robert! how many bananas is that? 7-10 pounds?! at least it's bananas, and not...um, potato chips :)
Yum :) Love that recipe and am gona endulge myself in a little bit of that today.
And oh ya, the overn is the special place to cook a perfect Mini Chocolate Chip Banana Bread ;)
My mother in law cannot make her banana bread without it falling in the middle. I think she's over mixing it or...not using baking powder? any ideas?
It isn't completely baked. If edge is getting finished first, maybe the oven temperature needs to be lowered. Use a tester in the center to see if it is ready to remove from the oven.
Vivian Boroff says
If the edge is browned and the center is still mushy turn the oven off but leave it in for an additional 15 minutes then re-test with a toothpick. Also it would help to use an inexpensive oven thermometer to make sure that your oven is hitting the right temperature.
Sarah J. Gim says
Hey Harley's Mom:
a comment from Hannah/Bittersweet on twitter:
"Usually has to do with using too much leavening and/or too much liquid"
I love bananas. There. I've admitted it. That said, I get why you wonder. But they are satisfying in a starchy way that an apple never is and excellent for blending into a smoothie.
Regarding the falling banana bread, my best guess would be not enough or expired baking powder.
I cannot wait to try this out. My dad loves banana bread, I'd like to see what he'd think of the change in the level deliciousness. :D
what the fuck are you talking about, bananas are the shit
Sarah J. Gim says
oh good, then if we ever go on a camping trip together, i never have to worry about eating them.
Bananas are the ONLY fruit I like. I am not a fruit person... much more of a veggie person, but ohhhh man do I love bananas.
Sarah J. Gim says
Angela: How strange that you only like bananas! What about sweet, tart berries? Or just straight up tart citrus? But I do agree, I love vegetables, too. :) Next up for us, zucchini bread
you are a great writer - glad to have stumbled across you
I know a raw-food-only vegan who eats 8 bananas at a sitting...
We love bananas, in fact there is not a day that can go by that a bit of sunshine comes into our lives in the form of a beautiful-bright-elongated self-contained vitamin-full fruit. A bunch goes through this house every 2 days.
Over-ripe??? ... thanks for the photo ... we always wondered what that would look like. No offence, but what a terrible thing to do to bananas ... in a cake ... no thank you. pass.
Here in Europe (Belgium and UK) some small markets and "corner" shops now are offering "bananas-by-the-piece" at the till/check-out in place of candy and gum. The idea has become quite popular very quickly. Europe loves bananas.
Dusty Lee says
Well obviously you don't eat a banana when it's brown like you would a yellow banana. However in order to make banana bread properly, the bananas must be over ripe to impart the proper sweetness and flavor into the bread. If you suggest to any baker that they use yellow bananas in their bread, they'll laugh in your face, whether in the USA or Europe. The USA "loves bananas too:,,,, smug guy.
I love bananas...always have. I did a raw food thing (with the Raw Divas) and ate LOTS of bananas. More bananas than I would have thought possible to eat at one sitting. I would have thought I'd be turned off but now, even though I'm not doing raw anymore, I love them more than ever. I usually eat 2-3 a day!
Thanks for the lovely recipe...can't wait to try it. Always need ways to use those overripe bananas.
fuck you i love bananas
wow, couldn't you of just posted the recipe and not wasted my time by posting your life story before hand?
I like bananas.
Congratulations on being completely rude about it as well. If you don't want to read it, then don't, but don't be an arse.
Rod Francis says
Coooooooool bananas ..... they are the TOPS !!!
You can do anything and everything with bananas, as simple as wrapping them up in thin bread wraps - those with sweet teeth - with honey, to hot chocolate banana muffins, to fruit salads, raw - cooked ...
U name it - U
Can't beat BANANAS !!!
Cheers very delightful piece ...
I stumbled upon your recipe while searching for banana bread, we are about to embark on a lengthy road trip and I though it would be a lovely thing to have. I've read your blog several times since finding it last night and I've got to say, I'm so glad you made it through!
I'll be making the bread but it's only because the way you presented it speaks to me so deeply. Thank you.
Oh I LOVE bananas! I buy them every time I grocery shop. <3
I also love chocolate chip banana bread, so I'll have to try this.
Uzbeki foreign exchange students loooove bananas- at least the girl who stayed with my family loved'em. She ate three a day. Apparently they're still a luxury food item in parts of Uzbekistan. Also- you're recipe sounds great....my bananas always turn into bread or muffins or milk shakes. I have to sneek them into my diet.
Made the recipe in Torreon, MX. Used milk & vinegar as substitute for buttermilk. Only have one regular sized pan. Gas oven. The bottom stuck to bottom of pan and top was not fully baked. Tastes good, but not aesthetically pleasing.
This recipe looks delicious. I love chocolate chip banana bread. Can't wait to make this recipe.
Sarah J. Gim says
Tanya: Please do soon, and make sure to let us know how it turns out!
Your description of buying bananas at the grocery store made me laugh so hard! That is EXACTLY what happens to me and I feel the same way about them.
I am smiling for several reasons as I post this. A- I'm happy that I found your fun food blog! B- I found your blog after googling "banana bread" because of the guilt I felt at holding 3 mushy blackened bananas over the trash can... I didn't have the heart to throw them away and C- My husband and I just fought over the last slice of banana bread and I won! Super delish, I baked it about 4 hours ago and now it's GONE! :)
Sarah J. Gim says
Nicole: I have since learned to ignore the siren call of the bananas. Though recently, I have taken to gazing for an extra second at those teeny baby bananas. Stupid biological clock or something.
Christine: SO glad to read that you finished off a banana bread in four hours. I think there is an olympic gold medal for that. Okay, maybe a silver.
WOW! Thank you for posting this recipe! I was searching on the web and came across your site. My husband and I (he's more of the baker!haha) just baked them and are in awe of how good they are!! We love this recipe it's so easy. I'm enjoying a slice w/melted butter all over& it's pure heaven. Mmmmmm..... sooo good. :)
Sarah J. Gim says
MHorneM: Normally, I toast a slice of banana bread just to get the toasty, caramelly edges all over, then spread it with some cream cheese, but for some reason, I feel *bad* about doing that on this Banana Bread because it has chocolate chips in it. But hell, if you're eating this with melted butter, then I am eating mine with cream cheese!
Just made this today as well. A few minor changes to fit my needs, and it was great. Used 2% milk instead of buttermilk, used butter instead of oil, and baked it as a whole loaf. No problems, good rise, and happy eaters.
when baking as a whole loaf, what's the suggested baking time?
I feel the exact same way as you do about bananas...Then again I guess I'm just finicky when it comes to them. Banana bread and banana candy...I can handle. : P : ) I should try this sometime....When/if I get bananas in this house.....
Sarah J. Gim says
amy: I would say baking time for quick bread in a standard-sized loaf pan could be anywhere from 45 minutes and up. I would set the time for 45 minutes, check it with a wooden cake tester, and go from there...
Melanie Adamek says
This really is the last choc chip banana recipe I will ever need!! It is so delicious I have made it many times. Thank you so much!!
PLEASE tell me where you bought your mini chocolate chips. I have only been able to find them in bulk online. For some reason, I cannot find minis at any store around here, but I'm willing to head closer to LA if you can tell me where to go!
I have to say, this was a real disappointment. I followed the recipe exactly, and when filling up the mini loaf pans, I was concerned about how full they were. By the time they had cooked for 15 minutes, they were overflowing all over my oven. After cooking for 35 minutes, the batter was like pudding. By the time the center cooked, the tops were burned, and my oven was a complete mess from the overflowing batter. I really don't think you cooked these loaves in mini loaf pans.
Abigail @ Sugar Apple says
Sandy - your mini loaf pans were probably smaller than those that Sarah used. They can vary greatly in size. I've got some that are just a little smaller than my regular loaf pans and some that aren't much bigger than a large cupcake.
It might help if the recipe specified exactly the dimensions of the loaf pan used so that readers would know which size to use.
And I love bananas BTW.
It sounds like your mini loaf pans were smaller than the ones pictured. Next time, don't over fill them and you should be fine.
Derek K says
I'd agree with Abigail & Sandy. Sounds like you've got super mini loaf pans. If that's the size you've got, fine, just means you can end up with lots more loafs.
ABC Dragoo says
Oh, I love bananas! With my irish oatmeal in the morning, as a snack and YES, most of all... I LOVE them in banana bread.
My mom has been making the same recipe since I was a girl - and now I make it as an adult whenever I happen to have 3 bananas around that didn't get gobbled up. I just recently posted my recipe on EAD Living: http://www.elizabethannedesigns.com/living/2010/03/04/abcds-banana-bread-recipe/ check it out -- I am going to use your inspiration and instead of the walnuts use chocolate chips --!--
I make this from time to time, but no matter what I do, I get the same result; the chocolate chips sink to the bottom and stick to the pan, ruining the cake. Tried chilling the batter, dusting the chips, pouring them on top before baking. The second the batter warms up, the chips fall right to the bottom.
Sarah J. Gim says
violet: you might need to use mini chocolate chips. perhaps the regular sized ones are too big?
Might be. Wasn't aware there was that big of a difference, but guess there is. Forgot to say thank you for the recipe. :)
Monica in Arizona says
Hi all, this was fun reading the comments .... minus the unnecessary rude and crude comments. There are other more appropriate web sites for such crass commentary.
Ok a few comments, the sinking of the chocolate chips could possibly be alleviated if the chips were tossed with a bit of the flour to coat them and for sure use the mini's.
Those of you who would like to reduce the fat and NOT affect the taste or texture try using Lecithin. Lecithin can be a valuable supplement to support cardiovascular health, circulatory health, and proper nervous system function. I use it in all my bread baking and any other baking I do. You use it in the same measurement as recipe calls for, cup for cup.
Thank you for your blog Sarah. Did you see the movie JULIA CHILD it was about a woman that was blogging Julia Child through her iconic cookbook? How is it working for you?
Make it a good day
We often buy bananas, as they are great on-the-go snacks for my 4 & 5 year olds...but...somehow we never get them used up as fast as we should...so..when the bananas start to turn too brown, I throw them into the freezer. Whole, not peeled or anything...and after a couple of months, my son will open the freezer and notice 4-5 in the door and yell "Mom..time to make banana bread"!..(to thaw, just put in a large bowl in the refrigerator over night, or until thawed) ..they are also really easy to 'peel'..you just split open one end, and it slides right out, and mashes very easily!!..(my family has done this for many generations!)
Robert Jacobson says
Good to know that I'm not the only one with a mild obsession with Banana Bread.
My official recipe for a regular B.B. loaves
2 cups of mashed bananas (the darker the better)
1 cup of sugar
2 cups of flour
1 stick of butter
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1/2 teaspoon of baking1 teaspoon of salt
1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips
1) Hit play on any Banana Bread Records recording
2) Put the ingredients into the bowl: mix & mash
3) Spray aluminum baking pan with- non sticking baking spray
4) Preheat to 350 degrees.
5) Bake for 1 hour
6) cool to taste or freeze for storage
King August says
At the time of writing, I have three mini-loaf pans cradling a divine mix of your recipe. Must I say that this is my first stab at baking, and I can't wait to taste these. I am a big fan of chocolate chip banana bread. Thank you for the recipe, and the start of my obsession in baking.
just googled banana chocolate chip bread and found your recipe the last recipe I'll ever need. Giving it a try! thanks
I am a person that truly loves bananas and anything that calls for bananas! Banana nut bread is one of my favorites though-- and add chocolate chips to it and I'm in Heaven! Cant' wait to try this recipe---- YUM!
Amy G says
Found your blog while searching for banana bread recipes, of course. I never usually read the blogs before the recipes. I usually just scroll straight to the recipe. But for some reason this morning.....maybe I was trying to put off the chore of actually getting up from the computer & using those brown bananas that have stared at me for the last few days.....but I actually read your blog. I completely enjoyed your eloquent little story on bananas! So much that I'm still sitting here contemplating it, and haven't yet gotten up to try the recipe! Anyway, just wanted to let you know I thought the writing was wonderful!
Sarah J. Gim says
amy, you might be one of only 7 (maybe 8?) people who actually read the entire post, including my very own family :) so, thank you! you've inspired me to perhaps write a real blog post again... (lately, juts been posting pictures...)
DELICIOUS. It was everything I hoped for and more! I used a regular loaf pan and it took almost an hour to cook, but it was *worth* the wait. I need to figure out how to keep the chocolate chips suspended throughout -- but even with many sunk to the bottom is was wonderful. Thank you!
You can keep chocolate chips suspended throughout the bread by doing the following: before you add them to the batter, toss them in a bowl with a bit of flour. Once they're evenly but lightly coated, toss them in the batter...at the very end, just before it goes in the oven. :)
This was the best banana bread recipe I have ever tried. The bread came out moist and yummy. Everyone kept coming back to second and third helpings. The bananas I used were completely black and I think that made the bread even better!
Sarah J. Gim says
marcia! i can't tell you how good it makes me feel to read your writing that! thank you! and especially on a crazy morning when i needed some affirmation ;)
That's crazy talk! I love bananas! I like 'em in cereal, bread, smoothies, and sundaes.
Bananas by them selves are ok but man do I love banana bread!
Stephanie Flaig says
This bread is crazy good!
I love bananas. Not when you first get them, and I never buy them green. I get them on Mondays or Tuesdays, when they've reached the point of getting the brown freckles, and the stores think no one will want them, and wrap a few big bunches together and sell them for a buck. Those freckles are the indicator of 'finally ready to eat' time. Sometimes, I buy them, break them into pieces, spread them in a single layer on a pan, and stick in the freezer. They then go into a zip-type bag and get used up in smoothies. Ripe bananas are da BOMB!
i have asked my local grocery stores for their over-ripe bananas, but they never keep them! i wonder what they do with them... seems so wasteful!
This is the best recipe ever. This is my first and last banana bread recipe. The first time I made it my kids and I ate a loaf within 20 minutes and starte on our second one. I took a loaf to work and my co-workers went crazy. Now when I take it to work I have to sneak it in as everyone wants their own loaf and there is never enough to share. I am so happy that I have this recipe. Thanks for posting it.
Dusty Lee says
Everyone I know loves bananas. I've never heard of them being so disliked as you say they are. Along with apples, they're (if properly ripened) are one of the sweetest fruits. They're a great way to sweeten cereal, oatmeal, or smoothies without adding suger. This bread looks good, but I'm gonna skip the chocolate and put in walnuts instead.
Yum, yum sounds great
Claire Bailey says
I made this today as one big loaf, it took about 1hr10min. I swapped out the milk for yoghurt, 1/2 the white sugar for dark brown, added 1Tbsp of molasses and 1/2tsp of molasses. It is delicious. I had been trying to find a recipe I had bookmarked on an old computer, but this came out better than that one. Best. Banana. Bread. Ever. Thank you. And to think I may have passed it up if I hadn't liked your story to go along with it.
Oh, I also freeze old bananas too, then if I want to make a smoothie I take a peeler to them and it saves adding ice cubes or anything like that, they make it go nice and creamy.
I really enjoyed reading your blog. I accidently came over your site while looking for Hash browns. keep going girl. :)
Best recipe I have found. I am also using this recipe to substitute healthier options. Today I used wheat flour instead of white, low fat buttermilk, egg beaters, apple sauce instead of vegi oil. Delicious! - It boosted the fiber/potassium and lowered the fat/calories. I mad 21 muffins from the measurements above and it is around 140 cal per muffin with 4 grams of fat.
law firm utah says
I hope I didn’t say something wrong! I really think it’s a great recipe
and great use of cinnamon. I didn’t even realize that cinnamon isn’t
traditionally in banana bread because I’m the only one in my family who
has ever made banana bread and I load almost everything with cinnamon.
Miller Kristenleigh says
We also fall into the bananas browning up on the counter pitfall. It just seems like I should be eating them but once they get spotty , I don't care for the taste. Unless they get re-engineered into chocolately banana bread heaven that is... THis really is the last banana bread recipe you'll ever need. I've made this 5 times since I discovered your recipe and each time is better than the last. Plus mini loafs are cute!
Thanks for this recipe, Sarah! I made it, bookmarked it, and have been using it ever since. I made a few modifications to up the health factor (or to feel slightly better about not sharing!) Perfect recipe for 12 muffins @ 20 minutes
-1 c wheat, 1/2 c white, 1.4 c soy flours
-1/2 c brown sugar, 1/2 c white sugar
Sarah J. Gim says
Thanks for sharing your substitutions on the banana bread, Diana! I've been thinking of doing the same... using whole wheat and buckwheat flours... good to know yours came out perfect!
I made this recipe tonight and it was delicious! I followed the recipe exactly (except that I added 1 1/2 c. milk chocolate toffee bits instead of the mini chips) and I came out with 4 loaves. Bonus!! I also had to bake it for about 42 minutes. Thanks for a great recipe!
That should have read "milk chocolate covered toffee bits"
Fabulous chocolatey banana bread recipe! Yup, I think you've hit on a winner here........I didn't have mini loaf pans, but made two loaves in 'regular size' pans. Also, if you don't have buttermilk on hand, you can add a tsp of vinegar to regular milk, and it works out great! Thanks!!!!