Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Cranberry and chocolate chip banana bread

On Sunday we went to a pot luck Christmas event, organised by one of the mother's I met through a local mother/baby group. Mr Bite and I are not the most sociable couple (I think it's safe to say we are both introverts!) but with moving to a new country and then a new town, I have tried to make an effort to build our social networks. Our school and university friends are back in Australia, as our are families, and I don't think it's healthy for us to be completely isolated. The pot luck event was enjoyable and a nice opportunity to socialise with other couples with babies.

I took along some hummus and vegetable sticks, as well as this cranberry and chocolate chip banana bread. I adapted it from a non-vegan cranberry banana bread, but opted to swap out the walnuts used in the original for more decadent chocolate chips. I really loved the bread and am pleased to share the recipe now.

The only problem I had with the original recipe was the cooking time, which was listed as 1 hour 10 minutes. That felt far too long for a loaf cake and so I set my oven timer to 45 minutes. Even then, the top was slightly burnt and I had to cut a few over-cooked bits off the loaf (fortunately not noticeable once it was sliced up!). I thus recommend checking your loaf from the 35-40 minute mark.

I used fresh cranberries for this, which I know aren't available in Australia. If you have access to them, definitely use them because they give a beautiful tart contrast to the sweet chocolate chips and banana tones. If you don't, frozen would be an obvious swap or otherwise you could use dried cranberries or a different form of fresh berry.

Cranberry and chocolate chip banana bread
A delicious, festive bread
Makes 1 large loaf, to serve 10 to 20 depending on slice size

Author: Bite-sized thoughts, adapted from a cranberry banana bread recipe on

1 cup white sugar
1/4 cup non-dairy spread / margarine, softened
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk, or non-dairy milk of choice
1/2 cup apple sauce
2 cups plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup dairy free dark chocolate chips
1-1/2 cups fresh cranberries

Preheat your oven to 175'C (350'F) and prepare a large loaf pan.

Using a wooden spoon, mix together the sugar and non-dairy spread in a large bowl until well combined and creamy. Add the mashed banana, milk and apple sauce and mix well.

Add the flour and baking powder and stir through until fully incorporated.

Stir in the chocolate chips and cranberries and then transfer the mixture to your pan.

Bake for 35-45 minutes, checking regularly from 35 minutes to avoid over-cooking. 

Submitted to Healthy Vegan Fridays.

Have you been to any Christmas celebrations / events this week?


  1. I wish we had fresh cranberries as the combination of chocolate and cranberries is a good one. But part of me feels that as we can only have them as imports then perhaps we just have to accept that. Hope you are meeting some nice people through your mothers' circle.

    1. On the flip side, you can get local mangoes in summer and ours have to be imported :-) I know what you mean though, cranberries were a big discovery when we moved.

    2. Hmmm you would convince me more with our lovely stone fruit - which is so much nicer than in the UK but I just can't get excited about mangoes (though you have reminded me that we were at the farmers market and no stone fruit in sight - can't wait til we can buy some there)

    3. Stone fruit it is then :-) I prefer that to mangoes too actually!

  2. This bread looks delish - and it sounds like a great way to meet new people.

  3. Ah yes, when we first moved to California, I dragged Terry along to all sorts of potlucks in hopes of making connections with people. I love that sort of thing... he does not ;)
    Thank you for swapping the walnuts for chocolate chips! Not that I don't like walnuts - they are quite tasty... but chocolate chips are waaaaay better haha.
    Sounds delicious, we are lucky enough to have fresh cranberries right now (for a short time!), so I had better make this soon =)
    Thank you so much for sharing at Healthy Vegan Fridays. I am pinning & sharing!

    1. Haha, my husband is not such a fan either, although he tolerated coming :P

      I think chocolate chips always beat nuts, although I am partial to both!

  4. Ah it is important to socialise but I understand why you don't do it often, you and Mr Bite remind me of myself and my husband, we are terrible for going out and mingling and truth is we don't have any friends near us, so its good that you are making an effort. The bread looks fabulous, i love the popping red from the fresh cranberries.

  5. Fresh cranberries, what a treat! I have to force myself to be extroverted sometimes, I think motherhood changes your personality a bit, you become a bit fierce when your child is involved! Someone once told me I'll make the best friends of my life when my kids start school, although I find it hard to see how that would happen what with life so hectic and other parents being just a busy as I am. I suppose school social activities and sport must be a good connection tool!


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