Healthy Chocolate Chip Bread
Okay, pop quiz. When was the last time you saw the words “chocolate chip”, “bread”, and “healthy” in a single sequence? Probably never. So when the excellent chefs from the Family Food on the Table website told us that they had an outstanding recipe for “Healthy Chocolate Chip Bread,” we were just a tad bit (okay, very) skeptical.
Our first thoughts were the most obvious ones: How the heck do you make something so delicious healthy? Do you need to add items like carrots or wheatgrass to complete the recipe? Is this going to be one of those desserts that promises a sweet and decadent flavor, but falls short? Are we going to make this recipe, only to walk away sad and disappointed?
Thankfully, Family Food on the Table was there to answer all our questions, no matter how ridiculous they were. In the end, they were more than happy to give us a genuinely tasty – and healthy – chocolate chip bread recipe. Add it to your go-to recipe list!
Keeping your chocolate chip bread healthy – minus all the sugar
If we had to cobble together a list of dessert recipes with sugar as the prime ingredient, we’d be drowning in formulas for cakes, pies, and cookies. The real arbiter of what makes a “healthy” dessert healthy is how it sidesteps sugar for other ingredients, ones that add the sweet with none of the cheat.
This healthy chocolate chip bread recipe doesn’t use any sugar, and instead leans on a combination of honey, semisweet chocolate chips, and cinnamon to create a luscious flavor and consistency that isn’t syrupy sweet or cloying.
Vanilla extract is also a major ingredient in this bread, a slight counter-balance to the unsweetened applesauce, egg, flour, and other recipe components.
The understated genius of this recipe, however, comes from its simple preparation. The three, overarching steps in this recipe include a) greasing up a pan, b) mixing all the ingredients together, and c) baking the bread. That’s it.
Well, we’d like to add a step “d)”: Lose yourself in chocolate chip goodness!
Better butter, better bread: Should you use salted or unsalted?
In the recipe, a truly important ingredient is butter. Not any butter will do, mind you – you’ll need quality butter with a high butterfat content.
Here’s a little perspective on butterfat, and why this is so important:
Most butter, on average, uses 80% butterfat. This makes it a little creamy, but not creamy enough to truly stand out. This “average” quality butter is certainly usable, but choosing a butter that goes above and beyond this 80% can make all the difference in how your healthy chocolate chip bread tastes.
At Minerva Dairy, the oldest family owned creamery in America, our butter always comes in at 86% butterfat. We only make butter in small batches, so we can focus on quality, and we’ve spent six generations crafting a formula for the creamiest, richest butter on the planet. It’s practically tailor-made for this recipe!
So, here’s the big question. Should you go with salted or unsalted Minerva butter for your healthy chocolate chip bread?
While our salted butter certainly wins awards for savory flavor and creaminess, our unsalted butter is much better suited for this recipe. This recipe already adds in a little salt to off-set the sweet, so let that smooth, creamy consistency and rich flavor of unsalted butter shine through.
Before you gather all your ingredients, mix them together, and enjoy the extraordinary aroma of your healthy chocolate chip bread as it evolves from a tasty bowl of batter to scrumptious dessert, remember one thing. If you come across other skeptics who can’t wrap their brains around the “healthy” label of this bread, you can always just drop the word “healthy” altogether and simply present it as…chocolate chip bread.
- 2 cups white whole wheat flour
- 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1/2 cup unsalted Minerva Dairy butter, melted
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips (or use dark chocolate chips)
- Lightly grease a bread loaf pan.
- Combine all ingredients.
- Bake at 350 for 40-50 minutes.