There isn’t a shopping trip to my local grocer that doesn’t involve bananas since we’re big banana lovers in this house. As the weather heats up, my stock of frozen, over-ripe bananas increases dramatically because their shelf life seems to decrease dramatically. You’re never supposed to put bananas in the refrigerator, but I guess you’re not supposed to keep them in a desert, either. Point being, I always have some banana-bread-ready specimens in the freezer.
This recipe came to the top of my in-box recently via Anne at Uni Homemaker, a blogger I follow and whose recipes always look simple and delicious. She had adapted her recipe from Two Peas & Their Pod who had, in turn, adapted it from somewhere else. Along the way, the adaptations included less and less granulated sugar – a change I’m always happy to see, and more vanilla (also never a bad thing). I was also intrigued by the buttermilk, and I just so happened to have a bottle in my fridge perilously close to its expiration date.
I was feeling better about the reduced sugar when reality set in: how good is any banana bread without chocolate chips?? Honestly, without them, I’m not sure anyone in this house would give banana bread a second glance. So, for fun we threw in a few of those, too. Who needs reduced sugar, anyway? I’ll justify it by continuing to tell myself buttermilk has fewer calories and less fat than regular milk. So, what’s a few chocolate chips, right?
While the recipe originally said to cool completely before serving, there was no way that was happening. Personally, I like mine a little warm so the chocolate has that decadent, gooey consistency. To cool, or not to cool…that’s your dilemma. Either way, it’s tempting, moist, and delicious. Enjoy!
Chocolate Chip Buttermilk Banana Bread
- 1/2 c (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 2/3 c granulated sugar
- 2 eggs, slightly beaten
- 1 c mashed banana (about 3 medium)
- 4 tbsp low-fat buttermilk
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 3/4 c all-purpose flour, sifted
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/8 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/4 c semi-sweet chocolate morsels
Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease a 9-inch loaf pan.
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, mashed bananas, buttermilk, and vanilla until well mixed. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and stir in thoroughly. Slowly fold dry ingredients into banana mixture being careful not to over mix. Gently stir in chocolate morsels.
Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for 55-60 or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool the bread in the pan for about 15 minutes, then remove from pan and place on wire rack until completely cooled. Slice and serve.
Baker’s Notes: Since buttermilk is more acidic and quite a bit tangier than regular milk, I thought there would be a noticeable flavor difference between this recipe and my standard recipes. I can honestly say, though, I detected no difference at all. After our taste test, I perused the internet for other buttermilk banana bread recipes and found quite a few, most of which called for a lot more buttermilk – anywhere in the range of 1/3 to one full cup. I also discovered that the tanginess in buttermilk is mellowed during baking, so I think 4 tablespoons isn’t enough to make a perceptible difference in taste. The final product was no less delicious, but I think I might make it again using more buttermilk to see if I can’t bring out more of the buttermilk flavor.