There is a word in Swedish that specifically describes that warm, comforting feeling you get when cozying up to a fire, tea cup in hand, and the taste of sweet baked bread lingering in the tongue. Fika is only specific to northern countries where days become shorter and nights colder during the long winter months. Growing up in Puerto Rico there was no need to cozy up to anything. We were sweating through the day; findings respite in shaded spaces, with just enough sea breeze to easy all troubles away. When moving to the states, I discovered the power of tea in negative digit temperatures and the gratifying effects of well-spiced cookies. Banana bread gained a whole new meaning and so did ginger cookies. These previously irrelevant treats now seemed essential to survival. They magically warmed up the bones and soothed the mind.
Fall baking should feel like a warm hug: always be spicy, mildly sweet, and decadent. This quick bread is a delicious hybrid of banana and pumpkin bread. The secret ingredient is butternut squash. When mixed with a ripe banana, almond flour, and oatmeal, butternut squash pure serves as a super moist base to a super moist bread. It is seasoned with fresh ginger, nutmeg, vanilla, and cloves, the topped with rich dark chocolate. Gently sweetened with maple syrup and a few dates, this cake is decadent without being overtly sweet. The balance between the aromatic spices, sweet bananas, and savory cake, against bitter chocolate makes for one tasty treat.
Perfect for breakfast, this recipe is best when served warm with a tall mug of steamy tea. Cozy up!
Banana & Pumpkin Spice Bread with Dark Chocolate
Cook time 60 minutes
- 1 large extra ripe banana
- 1 cup roasted butternut squash or pumpkin puree
- 3 eggs
- ½ cup maple syrup
- 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
- 2 dates
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1-inch piece fresh ginger
- ¼ tsp. cloves
- 1 ½ cups almond flour
- 1 cup gluten-free rolled oats
- ½ tsp. sea salt
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- ¼ cup chopped dark chocolate
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a loaf pan with coconut oil. Line with parchment paper. Set aside.
Add bananas, squash puree, eggs, maple syrup, vanilla,coconut oil, and spices to a blender. Pulse until smooth and well incorporated. Add dry ingredients and pulse until well incorporated.
Pour batter into greased pan. Add chocolate chunks over the top. Bake for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for another 20 minutes.
Remove from oven and let cool completely before transferring out. Tastes best warm.