When I was maybe seven or eight, my dad took my sister and I to the home of one of his tax clients to pick raspberries from her backyard garden. The woman, who was wrinkled and kind-eyed and lived on her own, gave my sister and I each a basket to gather the fruit. It was late afternoon, and the deep pink berries were still warm from the day's sun as we plucked and ate and plucked and ate. When the mosquitoes finally chased us inside, we sat down with powdered sugar dusted brownies and cold glasses of milk at her cozy kitchen table. We ate the brownies topped with just-picked raspberries in her cool, homey kitchen in the fading summer light.
I was not a child who enjoyed mixing flavors, let alone allowing the foods on my plate to touch one another, but that day I fell head over heels for the marriage of raspberries and chocolate: the crunch of the raspberry seeds in the thick of the brownie's soft crumb, the sunny tang of the fruit cutting through dark bittersweet chocolate.
I only met her once. I can't remember her voice or her name, but I still remember the graciousness with which she let us roam her raspberry bushes and the delight she seemed to take in watching us enjoy the fruits of her labor. Food is love my friends, food is love.
Raspberry Chocolate Swirled Banana Bread
gluten-free, grain-free, low added sugar
Adapted from Deliciously Organic
Makes one 9-inch loaf
- 4 medium bananas (about 1 pound, peeled)
- 4 large eggs
- ¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter, melted
- ½ cup almond butter
- ½ cup coconut flour (now widely available, including at Trader Joe's and online
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
For the swirl:
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 3/4 cup raspberries, at room temperature
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Generously grease a 9-by-5-inch metal loaf pan.
2. Combine the bananas, eggs, butter, almond butter and vanilla in a blender or mixing bowl (immersion blender works well here) and blend until mixture is smooth and uniform.
3. Combine the coconut flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl, mix well to break up any clumps and then add to the banana mixture, stirring until totally combined and no lumps remain. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread it out evenly.
4. Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave until just smooth. Add the room-temperature raspberries and mash with a fork into the chocolate. If the chocolate becomes hard, warm again in the microwave briefly. Spoon the raspberry-chocolate swirl in little plops on top of the batter and use a butter knife to swirl the mixture throughout the batter.
5. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the bread passes the toothpick test. Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for at least 15 minutes before serving. Keeps well in the refrigerator for 5-7 days.