Nutella Banana Bread

Moist banana bread is swirled with rich Nutella for a sweet breakfast or snack.

Nutella Banana Bread - Moist banana bread is swirled with rich Nutella for a sweet breakfast or snack.

How is this year already halfway over? How is it already July… and halfway through July at that?!

We have no summer vacation plans this year. We’re in survival mode. Work, daycare, prepping for the shift to send one kid to kindergarten and another to a new daycare/preschool… the kiddos are getting a vacation at Grandma and Grandpa’s house for a few weeks later this summer (the beach!), while we get a reprieve from childcare costs and a few weeks to relax and catch up on work and house stuff.

Nutella Banana Bread - Moist banana bread is swirled with rich Nutella for a sweet breakfast or snack.

I really do feel like I”m in survival mode lately – it’s a wonder that I’m managing to post here once a week. I make it a priority because it’s my creative outlet and I enjoy it, but it’s tough, nevertheless.

Today’s post is one that doesn’t take long to mix up (I managed to make it and get it in the oven while the kids were playing one evening), and is great for using up those too-ripe bananas. I do have a whole wheat banana bread recipe that I love, but the kids have been obsessed with Nutella lately, and a sweet variation on a classic isn’t such a bad thing. Super moist, this banana bread is swirled with rich Nutella-infused threads for a more decadent breakfast or snack.

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Nutella Banana Bread - Moist banana bread is swirled with rich Nutella for a sweet breakfast or snack.

Nutella Banana Bread

Moist banana bread is swirled with rich Nutella for a sweet breakfast or snack.
Course Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 12
Author Liz

Ingredients

  • cooking spray
  • 1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 c. vegetable oil
  • 3 ripe bananas mashed (about 1 cup mashed banana)
  • 1/2 c. Nutella

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Spray a standard loaf pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda and salt.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together eggs and vegetable oil. Add wet ingredients as well as mashed bananas to the dry ingredients. Stir with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon until combine.
  4. In another microwave-safe bowl, place Nutella. Microwave for 10 seconds to soften. Remove from microwave and add about 1/3 of the batter. Stir to combine.
  5. Place non-Nutella batter into load pan. Top with Nutella mixture. Use a butter knife to gently swirl Nutella mixture into regular batter.
  6. Bake for 55-65 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into bread comes out clean.

This recipe was adapted from Rachel Ray.

Nutella Banana Bread - Moist banana bread is swirled with rich Nutella for a sweet breakfast or snack.

Whole Wheat Banana Bread

Moist whole wheat banana bread – customized to taste with chocolate chips or walnuts – it a healthy(ish) breakfast or snack for busy days. Best part? It’s kid-approved.

Moist whole wheat banana bread - customized to taste with chocolate chips or walnuts - it a healthy(ish) breakfast or snack for busy days.

Two months full of travel and houseguests has finally come to an end. Last week was the last trip on my calendar for a while, and I’m thrilled with having some downtime. I got a surprise day off last week due to some pretty horrendous winds and managed to knock out most of the laundry that had piled up. And I got to spend some special “craft time” with my daughter (who is soooo much like me!). The winds died down enough over the weekend for me to get in a nice long walk, some time with friends, and quite a bit of time in the kitchen. I even managed to steal a few hours to work on a scrapbook. I can’t remember when I managed to fit so much into a weekend!

Moist whole wheat banana bread - customized to taste with chocolate chips or walnuts - it a healthy(ish) breakfast or snack for busy days. Best part? It's kid-approved.

This recipe is what I call a Mom Win. It’s relatively healthy, as it’s made with whole wheat flour, bananas, and apple sauce (to reduce the amount of butter in the recipe). AND BOTH MY KIDS ATE IT!!! Miss. Hazelnut – the world’s pickiest eater who is known for gagging when a banana comes within an inch of her mouth – actually liked it! I was shocked! Who am I kidding? I am STILL in shock.

I’ve made this bread several times before. My personal favorite is adding in coarsely chopped walnuts, because I love the contrasting texture it brings to a soft, moist bread. Not to mention the extra protein and fiber. Unfortunately, walnuts aren’t daycare-friendly. Instead, I used mini semi-sweet chocolate chips, which I knew the kiddos would love.

So if you’re looking to make a healthy snack or breakfast for your or your family, may I suggest this banana bread?

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Whole Wheat Banana Bread

Moist whole wheat banana bread – customized to taste with chocolate chips or walnuts – it a healthy(ish) breakfast or snack for busy days. Best part? It’s kid-approved.

Course Snack
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Cool 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 10 Servings
Author Liz

Ingredients

  • Cooking spray
  • 1/4 c. unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1/4 c. unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1 c. granulated sugar
  • 2 ripe bananas mashed (about 1 c. mashed banana)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 c. whole wheat all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips or walnuts optional

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a standard loaf pan (8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inches) with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat butter, apple sauce and sugar until combined. Add mashed banana and beat in. Repeat with eggs and vanilla extract. Finally, add flour, baking soda, and salt. Beat to combine, scraping down sides of the bowl as necessary. With a rubber spatula, fold in chocolate chips or nuts, if using.
  3. Pour into prepared loaf pan and bake for 55-60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  4. Allow to cool for 15 minutes in plan before removing and transferring to a wire rack to cool complete.
  5. Store, covered in plastic wrap, at room temperature.

Recipe Notes

Makes 1 loaf of banana bread, about 10 slices. 

This recipe was adapted from Whole Wheat Banana-Nut Bread in Williams-Sonoma Cooking At Home (p. 434).

Whole Wheat Banana Bread on Books n' Cooks - Moist whole wheat banana bread - customized to taste with chocolate chips or walnuts - it a healthy(ish) breakfast or snack for busy days. Best part? It's kid-approved.

Chocolate Zucchini Bread #Choctoberfest

A rich chocolate bread topped with a generous sprinkle of sea salt, children and adults alike will enjoy this Chocolate Zucchini Bread, or “Chocolate Cake,” for those fearful of veggies!

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Disclaimer: Thank you to #Choctoberfest Sponsors  Barleans, The PinterTest Kitchen and our gold sponsor Imperial Sugar for providing prizes for #Choctoberfest free of charge. These companies, as well as sponsors Rodelle and Davis Chocolate also provided the bloggers with samples and product to use for #Choctoberfest.  All opinions are my own.

Sweet things happen when families are together in the kitchen. When I pull out my sugar jar – which is currently filled to the brim with Imperial Sugar, my kiddos come running. They know that Mommy is going to be making something, and even if they won’t eat it, they’re sure going to help make it. I have memories from baking with my own mother and grandparents and I love the time I spend making those same lifelong memories with my own children. Holidays and every day.

And so, a couple of weeks ago, the sugar jar came out and little feet came running. Out came the flour, Rodelle cocoa powder, vanilla, and salt. What are we making, Mommy? Wait for us, we want to help! We set up the ingredients, got each kid propped up on a stool and started measuring and stirring.

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

One ingredient remained hidden from my kiddos though. Remember all of that zucchini that I had this summer? Well, some of it ended up shredded and in my freezer for baking at a later date. And one of those bags of zucchini was destined for the recipe the kiddos and I were making. They just didn’t know it.

You see, I love my usual zucchini bread recipe, but the kids won’t touch it because they can see flecks of green. With this bread, the kids can’t see the zucchini. I can call the bread “chocolate cake” and they’ll eat it with no problem. While not the healthiest out there, the little bit of zucchini in each slice is more vegetable they usually get in a day. (Side Note: Can someone please tell me when picky eaters get easier? Anyone? Lies being accepted!) For myself, I added a generous sprinkle of sea salt to the top of the bread, the perfect balance to the sweet, rich chocolate bread.

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

HUGE thanks to Imperial Sugar and Rodelle for sponsoring #Choctoberfest! Be sure to scroll down to enter the GIVEAWAY, which includes a ton of sugar and a $100 gift card to Williams Sonoma both from Imperial Sugar, as well as some other goodies. Full giveaway details here.

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Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

A rich chocolate bread topped with a generous sprinkle of sea salt, children and adults alike will enjoy this Chocolate Zucchini Bread, or “Chocolate Cake,” for those fearful of veggies!

Course Snack
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 10
Calories 315 kcal
Author Liz

Ingredients

  • cooking spray
  • 1 1/2 c. packed shredded zucchini unpeeled
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 c. Dutch process cocoa powder I used Rodelle
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt plus more for top
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1/4 c. unsalted butter melted and slightly cooled
  • 1/4 c. canola oil
  • 3/4 c. packed light brown sugar I used Imperial Sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract I used Rodelle
  • 1 c. semisweet chocolate chips divided

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Place shredded zucchini in a clean towel or wrap in cheese cloth. Squeeze to get out most of the water. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, stir or whisk together eggs, melted butter, canola oil, brown sugar, and vanilla. Add shredded zucchini, breaking up any large pieces. Stir in dry ingredients. When almost all of the dry ingredients are mixed in but some of the flour mixture remains on the sides and bottom, add 3/4 c. chocolate chips. Continue mixing until chocolate chips are evenly distributed and no more flour is on sides of pan.
  5. Pour into prepared loaf pan, spreading as needed with a spoon or spatula and tapping the counter with the pan a few times for dough to settle. Top with remaining 1/4 c. chocolate chips and a generous sprinkling of sea salt.
  6. Bake for 45-50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center comes out mostly clean. The bread is moist, so it likely won't be complete clean. Don't overbake.
  7. Allow bread to cool for 15 minutes before removing from pan and placing on a serving dish.
  8. Store airtight at room temperature.

This recipe was rewritten but barely adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod

Chocolate Zucchini Bread on Books n' Cooks

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Mom’s Zucchini Bread #FarmersMarketWeek

My Mom’s Zucchini Bread is moist and flavorful, making it a wonderful breakfast or mid-day snack.

Zucchini Bread

The year I graduated college, right before I moved out on my own, my mom gave me one of the best, most thoughtful, most frequently-used Christmas gifts ever. A set of cookbooks. Four cookbook binders, filled with all of our family recipes and interspersed with family photos. She painstakingly typed up what was probably over a hundred recipes, printed them on beautiful paper, and slide each recipe into a protective plastic sheet so that no matter how far away from home I went, I would be able to make our family classics. These cookbooks get a little fatter each year as we find new recipes we love, but they are definitely one of the best Christmas presents I have received. Ever.

When my garden started producing zucchini last month, I knew immediately that I was going to dig into those cookbooks and make one of my childhood favorites for you. Farmers Market Week with my blogger friends was the perfect excuse. If you don’t have any zucchini growing in your back yard, be sure to check your local farmers market. I’ll betcha a loaf of bread that you’ll find some beautiful zucchini there, maybe even big enough to eek out two loaves of this bread (one for now, one for the freezer? one for home, one for work? It won’t go to waste, I promise).

Zucchini Bread

One recipe note: My favorite version of this bread is with a generous cup of walnuts – I just love the slight crunch to an otherwise soft and very moist bread. Include nuts or skip them (as I did this summer, since our daycare is nut-free) or even add mini chocolate chips if you’d like – whatever your family enjoys.

Zucchini Bread

Thanks to Cynthia at Feeding Big and Christie at A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures for hosting Farmer’s Market Week this year. Be sure to scroll to the bottom of this post to check out more recipes inspired by our local farmer’s markets from our blogging community.

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My Mom’s Zucchini Bread is moist and flavorful, making it a wonderful breakfast or mid-day snack.

Mom’s Zucchini Bread

My Mom’s Zucchini Bread is moist and flavorful, making it a wonderful breakfast or mid-day snack.

Course Snack
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 1 Loaf
Author Liz

Ingredients

  • cooking spray
  • 2 c. shredded, not peeled zucchini
  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground all spice
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 c. vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 - 1 c. chopped walnuts or mini chocolate chips optional

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Press shredded zucchini in a clean dishtowel or cheesecloth to remove as much liquid as possible. Set aside.

  3. In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and allspice. Make a well in the center of dry ingredients. Add eggs, vegetable oil, and vanilla into the well and stir to mix well. Fold in shredded zucchini as well as nuts or chocolate chips, if using.
  4. Pour into prepared loaf pan. Bake for 55-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  5. Cool before moving to a serving plate.
  6. Bread will keep, covered tightly with plastic wrap, for about 5 days.

Recipe Notes:

  • Bread can also be made into muffins. Makes about 18 muffins. Cook at same temperature, but for 20-25 minutes.

#FarmersMarketWeek - A week of #FarmFresh recipes

#FarmersMarket Wednesday Recipes

Chicken and Summer Veggie Tostadas by The Redhead Baker
Peach-Almond Mousse by Red Cottage Chronicles
Easy Creamed Corn by Feeding Big
Easy Zucchini Refrigerator Pickles by Simple and Savory
Fresh Applesauce by Palatable Pastime
Fresh Raspberry Streusel Muffins by Family Around The Table
Grilled Garden Pizza by Jolene’s Recipe Journal
Italian Sausage and Summer Vegetable Sheet Pan Dinner by Cooking with Carlee
Lemon Curd by The Freshman Cook
Mom’s Zucchini Bread by Books n’ Cooks
Peaches & Cream Protein Smoothie by Tip Garden
Quick Pickles by Bear & Bug Eats
Roasted Brussels Sprouts Carbonara by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
Roasted Eggplant with Tahini by Caroline’s Cooking
Spicy Summer Squash Refrigerator Pickles by Culinary Adventures with Camilla

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Garlic Ciabatta Bread

garlic-ciabatta-bread

Hearty Italian meals have always been some of my favorites to both make at home and order out. I can eat pasta day and night for weeks without getting tired of it. And sometimes I do. But it’s rare that I serve or indulge in the wonderful Italian breads that so often accompany those meals. After all, a girl has to watch her figure with all of those carbs, right? 😉

But in all seriousness, I do enjoy a good Italian bread, slathered in sweet butter, dunked in herb-infused olive oil, or well toasted with a hefty dose of garlic. All of that goodness comes out when I entertain. This garlic ciabatta bread is one of my favorites to prepare, as it’s got enormous flavor and is easy to prepare. When entertaining, I make the garlic-olive oil mixture in advance, so that it only takes a minute to put together and move to the oven for a quick bake while I spend time with friends. Enjoy!

garlic-ciabatta-bread

Garlic Ciabatta Bread

Adapted from Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics (p. 184)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 c. fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 6 large cloves of garlic, crushed or finely minced
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 loaf ciabatta bread

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, heat olive oil, parsley, garlic, salt, and pepper until garlic is translucent and has infused the olive oil, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

Slice a loaf of ciabatta horizontally. On one half, spread butter. Spread the garlic-olive oil mixture on the other half. Put back together and wrap in aluminum foil.

Place on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, until bread is heated throughout. Remove from oven and slice.

Serve immediately.

garlic-ciabatta-bread-pint

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