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Whole Grain Chocolate-Hazelnut Swirl Banana Bread

This bread was inspired by the new Nocciolata Dairy Free (though I did use dairy in the bread, you could make some substitutions for a fully vegan option). I can stand behind this ingredient because it's certified organic, GMO-free, free of hydrogenated fats, made with quality cocoa, and environmentally responsible cold-pressed sunflower oil, so you're about to feel really good about appeasing your sweet tooth! 
Course Breakfast
Servings 2 loaves

Ingredients

  • 4 cups organic sprouted whole wheat flour recommended: One Degree Organics
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 4 medium-sized overripe bananas
  • 1 1/4 cups organic raw cane sugar
  • 1/2 cup local honey
  • 2/3 cup melted coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 4 organic/cage-free eggs
  • 1 cup organic/local buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 cups hazelnuts
  • 1 1/2 cups Nocciolata Dairy Free
  • 1/2-1 cup dark chocolate chips

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease and flour two 9 x 5-inch loaf pans and set aside.
  • Bake the hazelnuts for 8-10 minutes until they begin to darken and give off a nutty aroma.
  • Once the hazelnuts have cooled you can remove the skins by rolling handfuls of the nuts around in your bare hands or in a clean kitchen towel. Once enough of the shells are removed (some will remain), set the hazelnuts aside.
  • Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and cardamom in a large bowl and whisk together.
  • If your bananas are ripe enough, beat them in the bowl of a stand mixer until they resemble a puree. If they are on the riper side, use a bowl and the back of a wooden spoon to mash them first.
  • Add the sugar, honey, oil, and vanilla to the banana puree, and beat on medium-high speed for 3-5 minutes, until fully blended.
  • With the mixer on a low speed, add the eggs one at a time to the banana mixture. Continue to mix until the eggs are fully incorporated.
  • Alternate adding the flour mixture and the buttermilk, starting and stopping with the flour. Scrape down the bowl after each addition.
  • Fold in 1 cup of hazelnuts.
  • Fill one prepared pan halfway with the batter. Dollop in about 1/2 cup of Nocciolata* and gently swirl into the batter mixture using a butter knife or a small spatula. Be careful not to over-mix the two.
  • *Note: The Nocciolata will need to be spreadable to really swirl it into the batter. If it's too thick, heat it by placing the jar in a pot of water (with the water level about 1/4 way up the jar) over medium-low heat, watching it, and stirring it until it's the right consistency.
  • Cover the Nocciolata swirled batter with a second layer of batter, fill until the loaf pan is about 3/4 full. Swirl another 1/4 cup of Nocciolata over the top layer.
  • Repeat with the second loaf pan.
  • Top both loaves with remaining chopped hazelnuts and chocolate chips.
  • Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes, rotate the pans, and bake for another 30 minutes.
  • Lower the temperature to 325°F, rotate the pans again, and bake for 20-30 additional minutes. The loaves should turn a deep golden brown and begin to crack at the top. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean.
  • Cool on a rack for 15 minutes. Remove the bread loaves from pans and invert onto the rack to cool completely before slicing.
  • Enjoy!