With a few new projects in the works and taking up much of my spare time recently, I fell into the bad habit of ignoring the state of my desk. Up until last week, a precarious stack of notebooks sat one side, a messy pile of papers on the other, and multiple receipts lay scattered in between. As someone who’s typically very organized and a bit of a neat freak, it started to drive me nuts!
So this past weekend, I finally tackled all of those stacks. The notebooks found their way to a shelf, the papers tucked themselves away into binders, and the receipts slipped inside of folders. I even dusted off the desk, one of my least favorite chores….
It feels like spring here with temperatures consistently near (or above!) 70°F for the past two weeks, so that must have been my motivation for cleaning!
My mom must have felt the same inspiration from the warm sunshine because she took charge of the kitchen while I slowly moved through cleaning the rest of my office. She wiped lingering flour spills from the countertops, put away the clean dishes from the drying rack, and placed my photography props back on their shelves.
While she whirled about, Mom discovered a bunch of very ripe and speckly bananas tucked away next to the toaster. Although tempted to bake banana bread, I decided to make something else — something with a little more chocolate — as a thank you to Mom for helping me. (I inherited my chocoholism from her — she was a huge inspiration for my Healthier Chocolate Treats cookbook!)
So I baked these healthy chocolate chip banana bread brownies instead! They have the same familiar flavor as banana bread, warm and sweet and fruity, but the extremely fudgy texture of my favorite brownies. It’s quite a fun combination, and when my dad told me he took in a few to share with people at the office, he reported that they all raved about these treats.
Knowing the people my dad works with, that’s quite a compliment!
HOW TO MAKE HEALTHY BANANA BREAD BROWNIES
Let’s talk about how to make the best banana bread brownies!
This easy recipe begins with white whole wheat flour. I know its name sounds a little strange… But white whole wheat flour is made by finely grinding a special type of white wheat, whereas regular whole wheat flour comes from a heartier type of red wheat. This gives white whole wheat flour a lighter taste and texture, similar to that of all-purpose flour, which makes both the banana flavor and fudgy texture of these “brownies” really shine! Even better, white whole wheat flour still has all of the same health benefits of regular whole wheat flour. How’s that for a perfect combination?
Note: Whole wheat pastry flour would be the perfect substitute! If you’d like to make your healthy banana bread brownies gluten-free, then check the Notes section of the recipe. I’ve included my gluten-free recommendations there!
Many typical banana bread or brownie recipes call for ½ cup or more of oil and a couple of eggs. Yikes! However… These sweet treats only contain 1½ tablespoons of coconut oil and absolutely no eggs! The rest of their fudgy texture comes from two key ingredients: mashed banana and Greek yogurt. Yes, the mashed banana provides both flavor and texture! It also replaces the eggs in this recipe, so it’s perfectly safe to eat the batter raw. (Not that I tried or anything…)
As for Greek yogurt, it’s one of my favorite ingredients in healthier baking! It provides the same moisture as extra oil or butter for a fraction of the calories, and it gives your healthy chocolate chip banana bread brownies a protein boost too.
Tip: For a vegan version of these healthy chocolate chip banana bread brownies, substitute additional mashed banana for the Greek yogurt! Or if your bananas are extremely large and you end up with more than ¾ cup of mashed banana, you can add the extra in place of the same amount of the Greek yogurt. This recipe is very forgiving and easily adaptable to what you have on hand!
To give these fruity brownies a little more sweetness than what’s simply in the bananas, you’ll use one of my favorite ingredients: liquid stevia. Stevia is a plant-based, no-calorie sweetener that’s clean eating friendly, and it’s very concentrated. A little goes a long way! I buy this one because I love its sweet flavor and don’t notice any strange aftertastes like with some other brands, and you can find it in many health-oriented stores. However, I’ve found the cheapest price is online here! (You’ll use it in all of these recipes of mine, too!)
Note: Many stevia brands and products have different sweetness levels, so they’re not necessarily 1-for-1 substitutes for each other. For the best results, I highly recommend using the same liquid stevia that I do!
And finally, the most important part… (Well, at least to a chocoholic like me!) You’ll use miniature chocolate chips for this recipe because their smaller size ensures that every bite contains at least a morsel of chocolate. I love these ones because they melt really well, and when chocolate is warm and gooey straight from the oven…
It’s just so hard to resist! 😉 And when you make your own, remember to snap a picture and share it on Instagram using #amyshealthybaking and tagging @amyshealthybaking IN the photo itself! (That guarantees I’ll see your picture! 🙂 ) I’d love to see your healthy chocolate chip banana bread brownies!
Healthy Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Brownies
- 1 ¼ cups (150g) white whole wheat flour or gluten-free* flour (measured like this)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 ½ tbsp (21g) coconut oil or unsalted butter, melted
- ¾ cup (195g) mashed banana (about 2 large – and see Notes!)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup (120g) plain nonfat Greek yogurt (see Notes!)
- ¾ tsp liquid stevia (see Notes!)
- 2 tbsp (30mL) nonfat milk
- 3 tbsp (42g) miniature chocolate chips, divided
- Preheat the oven to 300°F, and lightly coat a 9”-square pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, stir together the coconut oil, mashed banana, and vanilla. Mix in the Greek yogurt, stirring until no large lumps remain.* Mix in the stevia and milk. Add in the flour mixture, stirring just until incorporated. Fold in 2 ½ tablespoons of chocolate chips.
- Spread the batter into the prepared pan, and sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips on top. Bake at 300°F for 17-20 minutes. Cool completely to room temperature in the pan, and let the brownies rest for an additional 3+ hours before slicing for the fudgiest texture.
View Nutrition Information + Weight Watchers Points
You may also like Amy’s other recipes…
♡ Peanut Butter Banana Bread Brownies
♡ Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies
♡ Banana Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting
♡ Banana Cake with Fudgy Chocolate Peanut Butter Frosting
♡ Chocolate Chip Banana Oatmeal Cookies
♡ Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
♡ …and the rest of Amy’s healthy banana recipes and healthy dessert bar recipes!