Preheat the oven to 350°F / 175°C and grease a ceramic loaf pan with coconut oil and dust with flour; tapping out any excess. Alternatively, line a loaf pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
Place the chia seeds and water in a small bowl and let stand for about 5 minutes (or until it takes on a gel-like texture).
Meanwhile, mash the bananas in a mixing bowl with a fork. Add the maple syrup, vanilla powder and almond milk. Whisk together until combined. Once the chia seeds have formed a gel, add them to the bowl, whisk to combine and set aside.
In second mixing bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, cacao powder, and salt.
Add the wet mixture to flour mixture and mix/fold gently with a spatula just enough to combine. Be careful not to over mix! Add the chopped chocolate and almonds and gently fold in to combine.
Pour the batter into prepared loaf pan and level gently with spatula. Sprinkle with cacao nibs (if using).
Bake for about 1 hour and 25 minutes or until the toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Check after 1 hour and 20 minutes for doneness.
Remove from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack to cool for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, remove the chocolate banana bread from a loaf pan and place on the cooling rack to completely cool before slicing.
Store covered or wrapped in parchment paper (in a cool dry place) for up to 5 days. Enjoy!
For this recipe, I use a ceramic loaf pan (30.5 x 13.5 x 8.5 cm) – this one to be exact.
I use a vegan, organic pure dark chocolate bar with sea salt (70% Cacao) from GEPA cause it tastes awesome. Feel free to use your favorite brand of chocolate and an extra pinch of salt. I do however recommend choosing a high-quality brand that uses whole cane sugar rather than refined sugar. I you like things really chocolaty, go ahead and increase the dark chocolate to 100 g.
Cacao nibs can be found at your local organic food store. For the best value for money, I recommend buying them online.
I have also made this recipe with 2 large ripe bananas (235 g peeled weight) and it takes slightly less time to bake — 1 hour and 15 minutes. Chia seeds are great at absorbing moisture which gives you the flexibility to make the bread using more banana.
If you prefer a non-vegan version: bake the bread using 2 large ripe bananas and replace the chia seeds and water with 2 large eggs, lightly beaten. If preferred maple syrup can be replaced with honey.