Banana Rum Bread with Cocoa

It happens frequently.

I'll just be sitting on the couch, usually perusing Pinterest, when I see delicious chocolate desserts.  And then I must have one.  Stat.  My husband will come home from work and there will be a mountain of baked goods on the counter.

The thing I learned about myself is that I only want one.  I want a bite or taste, and then I'm good.  This probably makes my neighbors and friends happy; they reap the benefits!

This recipe was spawned out of necessity and a need for a chocolate fix.  I had some bananas that needed to be used, so I mixed some cocoa powder in the batter.  DEELISH.

Ingredients:

2 1⁄4 c. organic whole wheat pastry flour, like Bob’s Red Mill
1⁄4 tsp. sea salt
3⁄4 tsp. baking soda
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1⁄4 c. natural unsweetened applesauce
1⁄4 c. maple syrup
1/3 c. coconut oil, melted
2 T. flaxseed, ground
8 T. dark spiced rum, like Kraken
1 T. cinnamon
2-3 T. unsweetened cocoa or carob powder
A pinch of cardamom (optional)

cacao nibs, for sprinkling, optional

For the bread:
Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease the loaf pans with coconut oil.

Mix the flaxseed and tablespoons of rum in a small cup. Let it rest for 10 minutes so it becomes thicker.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking soda, cocoa, cinnamon, and cardamom. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine bananas, coconut oil, maple syrup, and applesauce. Add flaxseed/rum mixture until ingredients are incorporated. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the mixing bowl. 

This recipe fills three small loaf pans. Divide the batter evenly and flatten it out with a spatula. (You can also make one larger loaf.)  Sprinkle the loaves with cacao nibs, if desired.

Bake the loaves for about 25 minutes. Insert a toothpick and make sure it comes out clean. (For one larger loaf, bake for 40-45 minutes.) Place on a cooling rack.

The banana bread tastes like a fluffy slice of heaven – a not-too-unhealthy comfort food. If you don’t want to eat or gift the loaves right now, wrap them up in plastic wrap and keep them in the freezer for up to three months :-)

Cheers!
-Aileen