Mondays. It’s always pretty brutal waking up after a few days of sleeping in, but this one is particularly brutal because I had Friday off, as well. Three days of sleeping and doing whatever I wanted abruptly ended and it’s back to the real world. At least I had a great weekend, some fun with my family, and a pile of sweet treats from a local Greek festival. Good thing I made up this Nutella striped banana bread to enjoy for breakfast or I wouldn’t stand a chance against the workweek.
I make banana bread allll the time, but for some reason have never posted about it. Unless you count banana bread cookies. Which you totally should, because they’re amazing. I brought them to work and had no fewer than 3 people ask for the recipe within 15 minutes. Success story right there. Oh, and Udi’s pinned them. I’m still pretty excited about that weeks later. This banana bread is even better. While it’s not conveniently grab-and-go like a cookie, the flavors are incredible and the Nutella layer is extra tasty and fudge – it’s like having a brownie in the middle of your banana bread. Sold yet?
If you’re not a fan of Nutella (or are vegan), I suggest swapping out for any nut butter or nut butter + a tablespoon or two of cocoa powder. The half cup I added seems a little extreme for 1/3 of the batter, and it probably is. If you go with a little less, you’re going to lose a bit of the fudgy-ness, but you’ll still get plenty of Nutella flavor. The choice is yours – when in doubt, I always just throw the whole jar in. No judgment zone, right?
¼ c maple syrup (could use any liquid sweetener, such as agave)
1 tsp vanilla extract
¼ c milk of choice (I used unsweetened almond)
2 tbsp flax meal
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
2 c whole grain flour (see notes)
½ c Nutella (see notes for vegan option)
Preheat oven to 350°F and prepare a loaf pan by spritzing with nonstick spray.
Thoroughly mash the banana and mix in ingredients through vanilla until well combined.
Add the remaining ingredients, except the Nutella, and mix until just combined.
Microwave the Nutella for approximately 30 seconds until it is slightly liquidy and easier to mix. Stir in ~1/3 of the batter.
In the loaf pan layer ½ of the remaining plain batter, the Nutella batter, and the remaining plain batter. If desired, gently swirl the layers together with a knife.
Bake for 50 minutes then cover and bake for an additional 10, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. If the top starts to brown more than you’d like, cover earlier in the baking process.
Let cool for at least 15 minutes before enjoying.
Nutella layer will stay slightly fudgy. For a vegan version, use any nut butter + 1 – 2 tbsp of cocoa powder in place of the Nutella. I used ½ c hazelnut flour + 1 ½ c whole wheat pastry flour. Up to 100% whole wheat pastry flour can be used. For GF, use up to ½ c nut flour along with GF mix or oat flour.