Happy Wednesday, y’all!
I feel like fall is finally starting to arrive here in Georgia – the leaves are starting to turn and the nights are getting chilly. I could even see my breath in the air this morning!
The funny thing about this weather is that it reeeeally makes me want to bake. Carefully measuring and methodically combining the ingredients is a cathartic experience for me. It’s the perfect way to start the morning over a cup of coffee on the weekend or to end a long day during the week. Not to mention, the heating oven and the warm smell of spices and chocolate are pretty amazing.
This recipe in particular truly tastes and smells like fall. I started with a base recipe for banana bread then worked in both pumpkin and chocolate. The pumpkin is rich and creamy, which makes for very moist bread. It also eliminates the need for extra oil or butter.
When you select your pumpkin, make sure you get 100% pure pumpkin and not pumpkin pie mix, which contains lots of sugar and spices. I like to use LIBBY’S brand – it contains actual pumpkin (not squash!), contains no preservatives and is made here in the U.S.
BUT, you may want to start stocking up on pumpkin now, especially if you plan to use it for your holiday recipes. Apparently a very rainy growing season means many of the growers saw a significant reduction in pumpkin crops. Yikes!
Eat this bread warm from the oven, or store it at room temperature in a sealed container for up to 3 days. It’s amazing with a cup of coffee or as dessert. If you make a big loaf, I bet it would also make KILLER french toast… just saying!
3/4 cup pure pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling!)
4 large, very ripe bananas
3/4 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and spray either one 9×5 inch loaf pan or 4 mini loaf pans with nonstick cooking spray.
In a large bowl, mash the bananas until mostly creamy with just a few small pieces of banana left. Beat in the pumpkin puree and egg until creamy, then beat in the sugars and vanilla until fully mixed. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg and salt) using a whisk, fork or sifter.
Add the dry ingredients to your banana mixture and beat on low speed until all of the dry ingredients have just been incorporated (about a minute). Stir in the chocolate chips and fill your loaf pan(s).
Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Baking time may vary, so use a toothpick or skewer to test the doneness by inserting in the middle of the loaf. If it comes out clean, you’re all set! If it’s wet, set the timer for another 5 minutes and check again.