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As you know, Easter was this past weekend. And, if you have kids (or perhaps even if you don’t), you probably have ridiculous amounts of chocolate sitting around in your kitchen. And dining room. And living room. Hopefully not in your bathroom.
And if you’re in the northern hemisphere, it will start getting pretty warm soon, meaning all that excess chocolate will start getting melty and gross. So how do you use up leftover Easter chocolate without getting a stomachche? One good way is to make one of my family’s favorite things with some extra chocolatey goodness: banana bread!
Oh, we LOVE banana bread! We’re a family of swimmers, so we try to eat a lot of bananas to avoid leg cramps. However we inevitably end up every so often with some pretty yucky-looking brown bananas that nobody wants to eat. When I have just one mushy banana, I mash it into pancakes (find my pancake in a jar recipe here). When I have two mushy bananas, I make a double recipe of these two-ingredient pancakes (which are considerably different from classic pancakes, but a very fast and interesting alternative every so often). And when I have three mushy bananas, I make banana bread.
And when we have lots of extra Easter chocolate hanging around (thanks to overly-generous friends and family), I just add some chocolate in to the mix! Super easy and also a great way to involve kids in baking! How? I’ll show you in a minute!
But first, let me show you some mouthwatering pictures of delicious banana bread with bits of melty chocolate and zings of tangy citrus!
I might have to go get myself another slice right now!
So, want to find out how to use up leftover Easter chocolate for this super easy and yummy recipe? Let’s get started!
Chocolate Banana Bread with Citrus
- 2 cups of flour (I like to mix 1 cup of white and 1 cup of whole wheat)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 3 very ripe bananas
- 1/4 cup plain yogurt (if I have some leftover flavored yogurt, I just use that, even if it has fruit chunks in it!)
- 6 tablespoons cooking oil (I prefer rice oil, but if I’m out I use sunflower seed oil or any other light oil. Olive oil has too much flavor, so I don’t like to use it.)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I make my own with this recipe)
- 1 fresh organic lemon or orange (you will zest it, which is why it’s best to choose organic if possible)
- chocolate eggs, bunnies, hens, etc.
If you just want to make plain banana bread, just omit the chocolate. But I know that you’re here for the chocolate, too, so let’s get started!
(By the way, this is a heavily modified version of the banana bread recipe in the cookbook The Best Recipe*.)
1. Preheat the oven to 350° F (175° C). Rub some butter around the bottom and edges of a loaf pan, then sprinkle flour on it. If your loaf pan is non-stick, you can skip this.
2. Sift and mix together the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking soda, salt) in a medium or large mixing bowl.
3. Quickly beat the eggs in another medium mixing bowl. Cut the bananas into the eggs and mash them up. Add in the yogurt, oil and vanilla. Then grate the zest of the lemon or orange into the bowl. I use and love this Microplane zester*. Mix well.
4. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix well.
Here comes the fun part! Or slightly guilt-inducing part, depending on how you think about it. I always feel a little bad about decapitating chocolate animals! (Here’s a picture of a poor massacred chocolate hen!)
5. Cut your leftover chocolate into chunks and add about 1 cup of the chocolate chunks to the mixture.
Keep your chunks on the large side so that you can get those nice spots of melted chocolate in the banana bread.
My kids love to help me with this part. In general, they love helping me mix ingredients, especially when baking things, but there’s something about chopping up their chocolate that really thrills them! I give them a less sharp knife because I quite honestly don’t trust them with a big sharp knife.
6. Pour the mixed batter into the loaf pan and bake for about 55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center. Cool the banana bread in the pan for about 5 minutes.
7. Transfer the banana bread to a wire rack to finish cooling down. But if you can’t wait, you can cut into it while still warm!
That way you can enjoy the amazing smell of citrus and chocolate, and sink your teeth into melty chocolate bits! Yummy!
I’ve been making this for years and sometimes, just to go overboard with the deliciousness, I serve it with homemade vanilla or chocolate ice cream. This is my Nicky four years ago, enjoying his mama’s chocolate ice cream and chocolate banana bread!
Because this is a sort-of healthy recipe, I let the kids eat it at breakfast and bring it to school for snack.
I also like to bring it when going to someone’s house. It’s ALWAYS very much welcomed… especially if I also bring along ice cream!
So, if you’re looking for ways to use up leftover Easter chocolate, definitely give this Chocolate Banana Bread recipe a try. I promise you’ll love it!
If you want more recipes to put your extra Easter chocolate in, make sure you try my pancake recipe! There are free printable labels so you can prepare easy Pancakes in a Jar as gifts!
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