Whole Wheat Banana Bread

I have always thought banana bread was better with some whole wheat flour in it to add texture, and now I think it is even tastier with chocolate. I added grated chocolate to my best banana bread and it turned out to be super moist, with subtle chocolate flavor flecks through and through. It is good and good for you.

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/ 4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, grated
1/2 cup mashed ripe banana, about 1/2 large banana
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons firmly packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 tablespoons well-beaten egg or egg substitute
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, optional

Position rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter a petite loaf pan (2-cup capacity, 5 x 3 inches) and set it aside.

Place the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl; whisk to blend. Sprinkle the chocolate on the flour mixture, and toss with a fork until well combined. Make a well in the center of the mixture.

Place the banana brown sugar, oil, egg, and vanilla in a small bowl; stir to blend well. Add to the flour mixture and stir just until blended. Stir in the walnuts, if using.

Pour into the prepared loaf pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 30 to 32 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven and let it cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Then remove the bread from the pan and let it cool upright on the rack. Serve warm or at room temperature. (The loaf may be wrapped in aluminum foil, placed in a freezer bag, and frozen up to 1 month.) Makes one loaf; 4 or 5 slices.

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