Homemade holiday gifts are my favorite. They can be inexpensive, healthy and fun to make (and eat) like this Chocolate-y, cherry, banana bursting bread studded with pecan pieces. The combination of ingredients is fresh and delicious, a great hand crafted treat to deliver this joyful season.
With the substitution of low fat yogurt for half the oil, white-whole wheat flour for all white and reduced amount of sugar I slashed nutrition info of the original recipe down from 220 calories per slice to 170 per slice. And it’s still just as delicious and moist as the original – your taste buds and body won’t miss the abandoned calories, I promise.
Still shopping for a hard to buy person? I made this baked goodie into 4 mini loaves, placed a lid, added ribbon and tag to give as healthy presents to those I wanted to bless and thank this year. Pair a large loaf with a bag of coffee or assorted teas and some fresh Clementine oranges for a stunning, inexpensive gift basket for family members, friends, teachers or others you want to spread some joy to this season.
CHOCOLATE-CHERRY BANANA PECAN BREAD
makes 2 large or 4 mini loaves
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 2 large 9 x 5″ loaf pans or 4 mini loaf pans with cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl whisk together 2 eggs, 1/4 c. orange juice, 3/4 c. sugar, 1/3 c. yogurt, 1/4 c. canola oil and 1 1/2 c. mashed bananas.
3. Add 1/3 c. cocoa, 1 1/2 c. flour, 1 t. ground cinnamon, 1/8 t. ground nutmeg, 1/2 t. baking soda, 1 1/2 t. baking powder and 1/4 t. salt to wet ingredients; stir just until combined. Fold in 1/2 c. dried cherries and 1/3 c. chopped pecans.
4. Pour equal amounts of batter into each prepared baking pan. Bake 2 large loaves 40-45 min., 4 mini loaves 25-30 min. or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool and slice into 16 pieces or package as gifts. Also freeze easily.
NUTRITION INFO PER SERVING (1 SLICE): 170 calories, 6g fat, 1g sat fat, 25mg cholesterol, 130mg sodium, 28g carb, 2g fiber, 13g sugar, 3g protein
Recipe adapted from Better Homes and Gardens