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Dark Chocolate Almond Butter Bread

Maria Marlowe is a successful writer, author, public speaker, and passionate Real Food Evangelist. She heads up her own integrative nutrition coaching practice in NYC, and offers three distinct programs tailored for healthy weight, beautiful skin, and overall wellness.

We love Maria’s creative recipe ideas because they go the extra mile to transform basic healthy ingredients into signature dishes that are both unique and delicious. Her new book, The Real Food Grocery Guide, is now available to help shoppers make food choices that enable them to look and feel their best.

What could be more wonderful than the scent of warm, fresh bread filling your house as it bakes? Adding chocolate to the mix of course! This lovely recipe, reminiscent of the traditional French pain au chocolat, bakes scrumptious, antioxidant-rich chocolate right into the bread dough!

Maria’s Dark Chocolate Almond Butter Bread isn’t only yummy though, it’s also dairy-free, gluten-free, and loaded with vital nutrition. Almond butter is a great source of good fat, magnesium, prebiotic fiber, and vitamin E, and it also supports cardiovascular health. Bananas are an excellent prebiotic that contain potassium, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and manganese. Eggs are rich in high quality protein, B vitamins, and minerals—and coconut oil adds more healthy fat.

Enjoy this bread on its own for breakfast or dessert, or try it coated with your favorite nut butter, coconut or almond “cheese”, or unsweetened fruit preserve. Whichever way you slice it, this unique recipe is sure to be a hit with your entire family!

Wet Ingredients:
• 3 ripe bananas
• 3 eggs
• ½ cup almond butter (preferably without salt)
• 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
• ¼ teaspoon vanilla

Dry Ingredients:
• 1 cup almond flour
• ½ teaspoon baking powder
• Pinch of pink salt (only if your almond butter is unsalted)
• 1½ oz dark chocolate chunks*

Topping:
• ½ banana, sliced (optional)
• ½ oz dark chocolate chunks*

Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. If you have a bullet blender, blend the bananas in it until liquified, and pour into a large bowl. If no blender, in a large bowl, mash well with a fork for a few minutes, until they turn into a smooth, lump-free liquid or soup-like texture.
3. Add the rest of the wet ingredients to the bowl and stir well until fully combined.
4. Next, add the dry ingredients: almond flour, baking powder, and 1 1/2 ounces of dark chocolate chunks. Stir well.
5. Lightly grease a 9-inch loaf pan with coconut oil. Pour the batter into it.
6. If you like, lay the sliced banana down the middle of the loaf, and sprinkle the remaining chocolate chunks on the top.
7. Bake for 40 minutes, or until top is golden brown.
8. Remove from the oven and let cool before removing from pan.
9. Slice and enjoy!

Notes: *For the dark chocolate chunks, I prefer to make my own from a high quality dark chocolate bar sweetened with a gentler natural sweetener, such as coconut sugar. Simply put it on a cutting board, and chop into small chunks.

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