Remember when I baked up my almond flour banana bread a few months ago? Since it’s gotten such rave reviews from AK readers, I figured it was time to try another version that was just as unbelievably delicious. So I set out on a quest to make a banana bread that tastes exactly like a fudgy brownie. GET EXCITED because you’re going to want to make this recipe ASAP.
That’s right everyone, I made you a healthy chocolate banana bread that tastes just like a fudgy brownie. I was blown away the first time I had a slice, and then immediately ate another one topped with peanut butter + a sprinkle of sea salt.
Yep, it’s that good.
Ingredients in healthy chocolate banana bread
This incredible grain & gluten free chocolate banana bread recipe is naturally sweetened, lower in carbs and made with healthy fats. I love how nourishing it is thanks to almond flour, easy to make, and absolutely perfect for all of my chocolate lovers. Plus, it’s deliciously moist and packed with plenty of chocolate chips. What’s life without chocolate? Here’s what you’ll need:
- Overripe bananas: make sure to use bananas that have lots of brown spots on them. This will give the bread a natural sweetness.
- Eggs: the eggs keep this chocolate banana bread super moist and fluffy. I haven’t tried it with flax eggs but let me know if you give it a shot.
- Pure maple syrup: you’ll just need a bit of maple syrup so that the bread is perfectly sweet. Date syrup would also work well. I would not recommend using honey as it could cause the bread to burn.
- Vanilla extract: just a little vanilla makes a big difference in baking. If you’re out you can also use a splash of bourbon.
- Almond flour: we’re using fine, blanched almond flour in this recipe to keep it gluten & grain free.
- Unsweetened cocoa powder: this give the bread that rich chocolate flavor.
- Baking soda: to ensure that the chocolate banana bread rises.
- Salt: for a boost of flavor.
- Dark chocolate chips: is there anything better than bites of chocolate in every slice? Feel free to use dairy free chocolate chips, too.
- Fancy sea salt: I love sprinkling a little fancy sea salt on top of each slice. Optional, but so delicious!
What makes this chocolate banana bread healthy?
Traditional chocolate banana breads tend to be packed with oil and refined sugars, making them almost like a rich cake. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good slice of cake, but I wanted to lighten up this chocolate banana bread to make it a wonderful snack, easy breakfast or even a healthier dessert. Here’s what makes this bread more nutritious:
- There’s no oil! That’s right, this healthy chocolate banana bread is deliciously moist without having any excess oil.
- It’s naturally sweetened with just ripe bananas and pure maple syrup. Dark chocolate chips add an extra touch of sweetness — feel free to use whatever brand you like.
- It’s gluten free, grain free, dairy free, and paleo. It just uses almond flour + cocoa powder as the dry ingredients and zero butter or other types of dairy.
- There are healthy fats! The almond flour also provides a good amount of healthy fats to keep you feeling satisfied when you enjoy the bread for breakfast or as a snack.
Tips for making this banana bread
Here are some of my best tips for ensuring your gluten free chocolate banana bread comes out perfect:
- Follow the recipe. The best way to ensure the success of this healthy chocolate banana bread is to follow the recipe and use the exact ingredients as written. I haven’t tried this bread with different flour substitutes, so I’m not sure how the bread would turn out when substituting them.
- Use overripe bananas. Using bananas that have LOTS AND LOTS of brown spots and are very soft will help keep this banana bread both sweet, perfectly moist and delicious. Trust me.
- Use fresh baking soda. If your baking soda is older than 3 months, I suggest grabbing a new one for best baking results.
- Enjoy it the next day. Banana bread is always best the day after it’s baked, as the sugars release the bread gets sweeter!
- Add your fav mix-ins. Feel free to add in 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans for additional healthy fats!
Make this healthy chocolate banana bread into muffins
You can absolutely use this gluten free chocolate banana bread recipe and turn it into muffins! Here’s how to do it:
- Spray a 12 cup muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray or use muffin liners. To be safe, I always spray the inside of the liners too.
- Prepare batter as directed, then divide evenly between liners.
- Bake for 18-23 minutes at 350 degrees F or until tester comes out clean.
How to store banana bread
This healthy chocolate banana bread should be kept well-covered in foil or plastic wrap at room temperature for up to 3 days, then I recommend transferring to the fridge or freezer.
How to freeze banana bread
This bread freezes well! Simply wrap in plastic, then tightly in foil and finally place in a reusable bag or freezer friendly bag for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature once you are ready to eat. You can also feel free to freeze individual slices for a quick on the go treat.
More banana recipes you’ll love
If you make this healthy chocolate banana bread recipe, be sure to leave a comment below and rate the recipe! You can also snap and picture and post it on Instagram using the hashtag #ambitiouskitchen. xo!
Healthy Chocolate Banana Bread
- 3 very ripe medium bananas (ones with LOTS of brown spots), mashed (1 ¼ cups mashed banana)
- 3 eggs
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 ½ cups packed fine blanched almond flour
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup dark chocolate chips (dairy free if desired), plus 2 tablespoons extra chocolate chips for sprinkling on top
- Fancy sea salt, for sprinkling on top
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8 ½ x 4 ½ inch loaf pan with parchment paper. Spray the pan with nonstick cooking spray to prevent sticking.
In a large bowl, whisk together the mashed bananas, eggs, pure maple syrup and vanilla extract until well combined. Add in the almond flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Use a wooden spoon to combine. Fold in the chocolate chips.
Pour batter into prepared loaf pan, smoothing the top with a spatula. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of chocolate chips on top. Bake for 50 minutes-65 minutes or until the tester comes out almost clean in the middle of the bread. Cool bread for 10 minutes in the pan, then remove and transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling completely. Once cool, cut into 12 slices. The bread is best the next day (as are all banana breads!) Top with your favorite nut butter or butter and sprinkle with a little sea salt. Enjoy!
Feel free to add in ⅓ cup chopped walnuts or pecans for additional healthy fats.
Bread should be kept well-covered at room temperature for up to 3 days, then I recommend transferring to the fridge or freezer.
This bread freezes well, simply wrap in plastic, then tightly in foil and finally place in a reusable bag or freezer friendly bag for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature once you are ready to eat. You can also feel free to freeze individual slices for a quick on the go treat.
Recipe by: Monique Volz // Ambitious Kitchen | Photography by: Eat Love Eats