A few years ago, Cooking Light did an entire series of a-mazing banana breads. I’m sad to say that I haven’t even tried them all yet because a) I love the Classic Banana Bread and the Chocolate Swirl Banana Bread so much and b) my kids go through bananas so fast that I rarely have any brownish ones to use for banana bread. I literally had to hide the bananas for this recipe so I didn’t have to face the wrath of my tiny destroyer.

Anyway, there are lots of recipes for banana bread out there, but I guarantee you, this is the best one. Because the Chocolate Swirl Banana Bread uses the Classic Banana Bread as its base, I’m going to include both recipes (even though I only have pics of the chocolate) and I really think you should go wild on bananas at the store this week and then hide them from your children so you can try them both!
Chocolate Swirled Banana Bread

2 c. flour

¾ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 c. sugar
¼ c. butter, softened
1 ½ c. mashed ripe bananas (about 3-4 medium bananas)
2 eggs
1/3 c. plain lowfat yogurt or sour cream
½ c. chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spoon flour into measuring cups and level. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Cream sugar and butter. Add bananas, eggs, and yogurt, beating until just blended. Add flour mixture. Beat on low until just moistened. Microwave chocolate chips in a medium bowl for 1 minute. Stir until smooth. Cool slightly. Add 1 c. batter to chocolate, stirring until well-combined. Spoon chocolate batter alternately with plain batter (so you have stripes of plain and chocolate batter) in an 8 ½” x 4 ½” loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Swirl batters with a knife.

Bake at 350 for 1 hour and 15 minutes (give or take a little; I’d probably set your timer for 1 hour and 10 minutes to be safe) or until a knife comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan and then remove and cool completely on a wire rack.

If you really want something yummy, spread a little peanut butter on top of a toasted (or at least warm) slice. Really, can you beat a combo of peanut butter, bananas, and chocolate? No, you can’t, in case you were wondering…

For those of you who want to give the Classic Banana Bread a whirl, here you go:
Classic Banana Bread2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana (about 3 bananas)
1/3 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2-3 Tbsp. brown sugar
Cooking spray
Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt, stirring with a whisk. Place sugar and butter in a large bowl and beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 1 minute). Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add banana, yogurt, and vanilla; beat until blended. Add flour mixture; beat at low speed just until moist. Spoon batter into an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle brown sugar on top. Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.

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