Today I am going to share with you one of my son’s favorite snacks, Black Bottom Ovaltine Banana Bread. Since it is fall, it’s the perfect time get back in the kitchen and start baking! I love to bake quick breads (pumpkin and banana) throughout the year. In fact, several times a year I bake a few loaves at a time and freeze for later use. It makes for an easy (portable) breakfast or perfect after-school snack.
This recipe was inspired by a recipe I found from Cooks Illustrated years ago, and I have made tweaks to it along the way. If you know me, you probably know that I tinker with recipes to make them a bit healthier. I pushed this bread as far as I could – with my kids tasting along the way – and ultimately landed on a recipe the entire family enjoyed. Since I have chocolate lovers (and three young kids) in my household, I added Rich Chocolate Ovaltine to the batter… and just in case you’re wondering, Chocolate Nesquik works just as well!
Don’t let quick breads scare you; they are very simple to make. And they are just that, quick. You combine dry ingredients in one bowl, the wet in another. Combine the two and you are nearly done. There are a few rules to remember though. Baking soda and baking powder release gas the instant they are moistened, so it’s important to have your oven preheated in advance, your pan sprayed with cooking spray and your ingredients all measured out before you start putting the recipe together.
In this recipe, to get the black bottom, I remove 1 cup of batter and mix with Ovaltine. I spoon the rest of the batter over the chocolate batter. Then I bake the bread at 350 for 50-55 minutes.
Oh the anticipation! The entire house smelled of sweet banana bread. And chocolate. The texture is best when the loaf is eaten fresh, but it can be stored (cool completely first), covered tightly with plastic wrap, for up to 3 days. It also freezes very well. So bake two loaves and freeze one for later use. And of course, enjoy with milk!
- For banana bread, it’s best to use ripe bananas. So be sure to look for those that are heavily speckled.
- To speed the ripening process, place bananas in a brown paper bag with a ripe apple.
- Store ripe bananas in a tightly sealed plastic bag in the refrigerator. The peel will be dark but the flesh will remain unchanged.
- If you have ripe bananas but aren’t ready to make bread, they can be stored longer-term in the freezer. Slip them into a plastic bag unpeeled and freeze for up to 6 months. Or, peel and mash, stir in 1 teaspoon lemon juice for each banana and freeze in an airtight container for up to 6 months. Defrost overnight in refrigerator before using.