I have a confession: I’m a bit of a thief (insert gasp). You can often find me lurking in back alleys, dressed in black, scurrying along next to the fence lines…..
No, I’m not doing anything particularly nefarious. I’m picking raspberries! In the summer when raspberry bushes are at their peak, there are a few bushes in the back alleys around my neighbourhood that are flourishing, yet neglected. If I don’t pick them, they die! I’m really doing everyone a favor…right? I will usually just stop and pop a few into my mouth (and my son’s mouth) while we’re out walking, but I may have spent a bit more time at the bush when I was pregnant last summer. My husband thought it was quite the humorous sight to see his heavily pregnant wife bent over the raspberry bush in the alley shoving the fruit into her mouth as quickly as she could!
Last summer I decided to actually bring a container and knock on one neighbour’s door to see if he/she wouldn’t mind my foraging their poor, neglected raspberry bush. Luckily, they agreed! My criminal activity came to an end.
What is your favorite fruit? It is really tough to pick just one, but I think mine has to be raspberries. If not my favorite, they are a very close second to blackberries. Raspberries are like candy to me. They’re sweet, yet tart, and go so well in so many different baked goods and desserts. If you haven’t tried my Raspberry Filled Sugar Cookies yet, you’re really missing out! When I’m really missing my back alley raspberries in the winter, this banana bread is the perfect compromise.
This loaf is based off of my favorite banana bread recipe, with some fresh raspberries and dark chocolate chips thrown in to give it a boost of flavor. If you’re trying to keep the bread as healthy as possible, you can forego the chocolate chips, but I think the tart raspberries and sweet chocolate is the perfect flavor contrast. The bread uses all whole wheat flour, but is moist and flavorful thanks to the Greek yogurt and very ripe bananas. And the best part? There is only 1/3 cup of sugar in the whole loaf!
Once you’ve combined the dry ingredients in one bowl, you will want to blend the softened butter with the bananas, eggs, yogurt and vanilla. Slowly mix in the dry ingredients and then using a spatula, carefully fold in the raspberries and chocolate chips. You can easily use frozen raspberries, but do not thaw them beforehand.
The bread is ready after an hour in the oven, just in time for that second cup of coffee in the morning! It will stay fresh for 3-4 days on the counter in an airtight container. It also freezes wonderfully!
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Raspberry Chocolate Banana Bread
Yield 1 loaf
Moist, lightly sweetened whole wheat banana bread sprinkled with tart raspberries and dark chocolate chips.
- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/3 cup coconut palm sugar*
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup mashed banana (2-3 bananas)
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt*, room temperature
- 1 cup fresh raspberries*
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 350 F and spray a loaf pan with non-stick spray or line it with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and sugar; set aside.
- Using a handheld mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer, blend the butter until creamed. Blend in the eggs, one at a time. Add the banana, yogurt, and vanilla until combined.
- Slowly add in the dry ingredients to the wet, blending continuously. Once combined, fold in the raspberries and chocolate chips by hand. Do not overmix!
- Pour the batter into the prepared loaf plan and place into the oven for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow the loaf to cool for about 10 minutes in the pan before removing and fully cooling on a wire rack.
- You can substitute the coconut palm sugar for regular granulated sugar
- I use 2% Greek yogurt but you could also use non-fat
- If using frozen raspberries, do not thaw before using in the recipe