May 4, 2024

From the Heart Banana Bread with Zucchini, Spinach and Chocolate Chunks

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

From the Heart Banana Bread is an adaptation of my Wholesome Banana Muffins with Zucchini and Spinach recipe. Enjoy a slice for breakfast, lunch or dinner with a mix of ripe berries. The crumb is tender, light and delectable. Grab a beverage, turn on some tunes and let’s get baking.
From the Heart Wholesome Bread with Zucchini, Spinach and Chocolate Chunks featured image with berries for garnish.

It’s healthier and delectable. From the Heart Banana Bread is an adaptation of my Wholesome Banana Muffins with Zucchini and Spinach recipe. The balance of chocolate, cinnamon and nutmeg deliver a satisfying combination of rich and warm flavour notes. There are times when I prefer something that is simple and easygoing and I want it to come together with little effort and still be delicious. You get that with this recipe and it will be added to your go–to list of unpretentious recipes that you can whip up in a snap.
One of the best parts? This loaf tastes even better the next day!

Enjoy a slice for breakfast, lunch or dinner with a mix of ripe berries. Grab a beverage, turn on some music and let’s get baking.

What you’ll need to make this recipe

  • Ripe banana
  • Frozen spinach cube *see Last Minute Info For This Recipe
  • Zucchini
  • All purpose flour
  • Whole wheat flour
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Ground flax seed
  • Ground nutmeg
  • Sea salt
  • Chocolate chunks or chips
  • Granulated sugar
  • Brown sugar
  • Oil *see notes
  • Eggs
  • Vanilla extract
  • 9×5 Inch loaf pan
  • Special equipment: Box grater *This is helpful however, not necessary to make this recipe.

Fun Fact

Nutmeg is a distinctively fragrant spice that enhances various dishes in a delicious way. Its sweetness and woodsy characteristics deliver unforgettable tones even when it’s used in small quantities.

Any recipe that includes nutmeg is quite enjoyable and for more information, click on the link for Nutmeg in my spice library.

Print
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
From the Heart Wholesome Bread with Zucchini, Spinach and Chocolate Chunks featured image with berries for garnish.

From the Heart Banana Bread with Zucchini, Spinach and Chocolate Chunks


  • Author: Jordana Eloise
  • Total Time: 70–75 Minutes
  • Yield: 15 Servings 1x

Description

It’s healthier and it’s delectable. From the Heart Banana Bread is an adaptation of my Wholesome Banana Muffins with Zucchini and Spinach recipe. Let me know which one you like best!

Enjoy a slice for breakfast, lunch or dinner with a mix of ripe berries. Grab a beverage, turn on some tunes and let’s get baking.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 frozen spinach cube-or fresh spinach (washed and finely chopped) *see Last Minute Info For This Recipe
  • 1 medium zucchini-1 cup (washed, trimmed and grated)
  • 1 cup (120g) all purpose flour weighed or spooned and levelled
  • 1 cup (96g) whole wheat flour weighed or spooned and levelled
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 12 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/21 teaspoon ground flax seed
  • 1/81/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chunks or chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup (67g) granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup (73g) brown sugar (light or dark) packed *see Last Minute Info For This Recipe in the Notes section.
  • 1/2 cup oil-olive oil (100g), coconut oil-melted and slightly cooled (113g) or vegetable oil (92g) *see notes in the Last Minute Info For This Recipe section.
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or vanilla essence *see Last Minute Info For This Recipe
  • 1/2 cup mixed nuts or dried fruit *optional

King Arthur Baking Ingredient Weight Chart


Instructions

  1. Start by preheating your oven to 350°F.
  2. Secondly, take the cold ingredients (eggs and zucchini) out of the fridge. They do not need to come up to room temperature in order to have great results because by the time these ingredients are combined with the mashed banana, spinach, oil and sugars they will be at a temperature that will not compromise the finished loaf.
  3. Then take a frozen spinach cube out of the freezer and put it in a medium bowl. Set aside.
    There is not need to squeeze out any of the excess liquid from the spinach cube. I find that it adds moisture to the crumb during the baking process which increases its yummy texture after a couple of days. If it lasts that long. 😉 
    *Do you prefer a drier texture/crumb for your quick bread? Squeeze out some of the extra liquid from the grated zucchini by using a kitchen towel or paper towel. 
    *If you are using fresh spinach instead of frozen spinach, see the section on the Last Minute Info For This Recipe
  4. Next, prepare a 9″x5″ baking pan with spray, butter or coconut oil and if using, line it with parchment paper. Then set it aside.
    Add layer of protection by using parchment paper to line your baking pan before placing the unbaked banana bread into the oven. The results will be a softer crust with your loaf. If a crisp layer is what makes your tastebuds sing, omit lining the pan with parchment paper before placing the quick bread in the oven.
    *An equally important detail to remember when selecting the type of pan you use when baking is how you want the results of your baked goods. For example, a darker pan will bake ingredients faster and darker because it absorbs heat with a greater intensity than a lighter baking pan. If you have a silicone baking pan your baked goods will take longer to finish and the exterior will be much softer then baking with metal pans.
    I will be doing a more detailed post about the pros and cons with each baking pan at a later date.
  5. Next, select a bowl that is large enough to hold the dry ingredients including the chocolate chips. Then stir the mixture for about 30–40 seconds until everything is fully combined and set the bowl aside.
    There are some helpful steps that should be included when you are preparing your loaf before baking. Stirring the mixture thoroughly is important because it will help to distribute the ingredients evenly which will increase the quality of your finished loaf.
    Dry ingredients and chocolate chips in a red bowl.
  6. Peel and mash a banana then place it in the medium bowl with the spinach cube. The best way to mash the banana is by using a fork in order to achieve a smooth texture. Moreover, this will ensure that the banana will not become gummy and will easily combine into the rest of the ingredients.
    *This is another step that will enhance the results of your banana bread.
  7. Next, wash, trim, grate and measure the zucchini (equaling about 1 heaping cup). Then place the grated zucchini in the same bowl with the frozen spinach and mashed banana.
  8. Next, stir the mixture to combine then set it aside.
    *Depending on the time of the year zucchini will have more or less liquid so it is up to your preference whether you remove the excess water from it or not. If you like a loaf that has less moisture then squeeze out some of the excess liquid from the zucchini before adding it to the bowl with the spinach and mashed banana.  do prefer a loaf that has more moisture so I never squeeze out the liquid. Also, it is another layer of ensuring a tender crumb with the loaf during the baking process. I find that it helps with maintaining a softer loaf even after a few days.
    Unblended mashed banana, grated zucchini and a spinach cube in a small glass bowl.Blended mashed banana, grated zucchini, spinach in a glass bowl.
  9. Select a large bowl then add two eggs and the measured sugars and stir or whisk until the sugars are almost dissolved. You want to achieve a smooth consistency with the eggs and sugars before going to the next step. If the sugars are not properly dissolved with the eggs, the texture of the banana bread will be not as delicious. You want the loaf to be as amazing as it can be and this is another step that will help you have that.
  10. Then slowly drizzle the oil in while giving everything a good whisk or stir until the mixture is well blended. This will look almost like custard when the ingredients are combined. Furthermore, the goal is to keep the mixture as light as possible because that is another step that will give you a tender loaf.
    Unblended brown sugar, granulated sugar in a large red bowl, a side glass bowl with two eggs and a small glass with olive oil.
  11. Next, measure the vanilla extract then mix it into the wet ingredients until everything is fully combined.
    *As always, I suggest that you use what you have on hand in your pantry. Your results with this recipe will be delicious whether you use pure vanilla extract or vanilla essence. In addition, the flavour intensity of vanilla differs between the two with vanilla essence delivering stronger profiles than that of pure vanilla extract. 
    Combined wet ingredients in a red bowl with vanilla extract on the side.
  12. Next, add the mashed banana, grated zucchini and spinach to the large bowl with the eggs, sugars and oil. Then gently fold the ingredients until they are well combined.

    Wet ingredients in a large red bowl with mashed bananas, grated zucchini and spinach in a glass bowl beside it.

  13. Add the dry ingredients to the large bowl with the wet ingredients.
    *For a lighter crumb, combine the ingredients with a spoon or spatula until the mixture is light and resembles the consistency of an almost smooth custard. Gently fold the mixture until the ingredients are almost just combined.Try your best not to over mix these ingredients. There should be some lumps which is another key step that will ensure a softer loaf. Over mixing will result in a denser banana bread and we are aiming for a loaf that is light and delicious.

    From the Heart Banana Bread with Zucchini, Spinach and Chocolate Chunks with two red bowls of wet and dry ingredients.From the Heart Banana Bread with Zucchini, Spinach and Chocolate Chunks with two red bowls. One blended dry ingredients and one with wet ingredients.

  14. Then place the loaf on the middle rack in the oven and bake at 350°F for 25 minutes.
    *If you find that the loaf is browning too quickly, carefully remove it from the oven and loosely tent it with foil or parchment paper and mini clips. Next, Place it back into the oven to continue baking.
    Unbaked loaf in a 9x5 tin
  15. Next, rotate the pan and place it back into the oven to bake for at least another 30 minutes.
  16. Then check the loaf by inserting a toothpick into it and if it comes out with a few crumbs on it take the loaf out of the oven and place the tin on a cooling rack until completely cooled. If the toothpick comes out with a lot of batter on it, return it and continue baking for 5 minutes. Take it out of the oven and check it again for crumbs on a toothpick and let it cool it completely in the tin. The loaf will keep cooking once it is out of the oven. You can always put them back in the oven if needed. If they are overdone it you cannot undo it.
  17. Let the banana bread cool in the pan on a cooling rack.

    Baked banana bread in the tin on a cooling rack.

  18. Finally, remove the loaf from the pan and…
    From the Heart Banana Bread with Zucchini, Spinach and Chocolate Chunks featured image 2

Slice then enjoy

Notes

Last Minute Info For This Recipe:

Q– How ripe should the bananas be for this recipe?
A– They should have a lot of spots because ripe bananas will always provide essential moisture and the best flavour in your recipes.

Q– Can I store bananas in the freezer?
A– Yes. Absolutely, I store a few bananas in freezer bags. The texture will be different (softer/mushy) after they are thawed, however the flavour remains delicious and will still enhance your recipes. This is such a great to store ripe bananas for other recipes like smoothies and baked goods instead of throwing them away.

Q– Can I use fresh spinach instead of frozen cubes?
A– Absolutely. The amount just needs to equal ¼ cup before chopping.

Q– What is the difference with the results between using light brown sugar and dark brown sugar?
A– If you select a combination of granulated sugar and light brown sugar for this recipe the crumb of your banana bread will be lighter in texture and flavour than if you use a combination of granulated sugar and dark brown sugar. The latter gives a more pronounced molasses flavour paired with deep caramel notes which will result in a crumb that contains moisture.

Notes: Use the type of oil that you have. If you choose to use coconut oil the texture of the loaf will result in a denser crumb. No less delicious + a hint of coconut= tropical bliss! You can also use a combination of oils. I tend to mix olive oil with vegetable oil or melted coconut oil with vegetable oil. It usually depends on the amount of oil I have in the kitchen. The total quantity of oil just needs to equal ½ cup.
*I like to use coconut oil in many of my baked goods for its health benefits and for the tropical flavour that it imparts into recipes. I can’t help but have thoughts of sunshine, palm trees and the ocean every time I smell the fragrance of coconut oil.

This is the Frozen Spinach that I use in this recipe and a few others. I am not receiving any compensation by promoting it. I give it top marks for its convenience, portion size and versatility in sweet and savoury recipes. I love it and have been using this for years! 

If you enjoyed my From the Heart Banana Bread with Zucchini, Spinach and Chocolate Chunks recipe leave a comment. I would love to hear from you 😊  

  • Prep Time: 15–20 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 55–60 Minutes
  • Category: Sweet Treats

0 Comments

You May Also Like

No–Chill Ooey Gooey Chocolate Chip Cookies

No–Chill Ooey Gooey Chocolate Chip Cookies

I must say that patience is one of my virtues, however I cannot say the same for some of the sweet tooth lovers out there. So I created a No–Chill Ooey Gooey Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe just for you.

Fresh Citrus Salad with Mixed Greens and Blood Orange Vinaigrette

Fresh Citrus Salad with Mixed Greens and Blood Orange Vinaigrette

Whether it’s winter, spring, summer or fall, the bright flavours of citrus and garlic come together in a satisfying way. This salad dressing/vinaigrette recipe has a few variations which makes it easy for you to combine ingredients that you may have in your kitchen.

Rich Black Velvet Cookies

Rich Black Velvet Cookies

I had so much fun playing around with this recipe. These cookies are rich and smooth in a deep shade of black. A hint of almond and vanilla extract adds a little something that is quite delightful.
Enjoy them with your favourite beverage. I love them with a glass of milk or sparkling wine, depending on the time of day 😉