Carob chip banana bread is a new spin on a classic treat that many of us know and love. Not only does it work as a breakfast or snack bread, but with the addition of carob chips, banana bread can be transformed into a dessert bread. Whether you dream of childhood memories or you find comfort in a warm slice of banana bread, it is a staple baked good.
What Are Carob Chips
Carob chips are considered the sibling of chocolate chips. However, they are not the same.
Carob chips are produced from carob powder. Carob powder is manufactured from the pod of the Mediterranean carob tree.
The seeds along with the pulp, are removed from the carob pod, then the pulp is dehydrated, roasted, and ground into a fine flour-like powder. Carob chips have an earthy flavor that is reminiscent of cocoa but more subtle than chocolate.
Even though the flavor of carob chips is not as intense as chocolate, carob chips can be substituted in any dessert recipe that calls for chocolate chips. Alternatively, you can also use carob chips along with chocolate to take away some of the richness of the chocolate and add an intense earthy flavor to chocolate desserts.
What Is Xanthan Gum?
This carob chip banana bread is made with a store-bought gluten-free flour blend, which means it contains xanthan gum. Xanthan gum is a food additive that thickens and stabilizes foods.
Xanthan gum is produced when sugar is fermented by the bacteria Xanthomonas campestris. The fermentation process yields a goo-like gelatinous substance that is converted to a solid by adding alcohol. The solid xanthan gum is then dried and ground into a powder.
Xanthan gum is used in gluten-free flour blends because it mimics the sticky nature of gluten, stabilizes baked goods, and helps create a product that replicates the texture of traditional wheat baked goods. Scientists discovered xanthan gum in 1963.
Some people have experienced digestive issues such as increased bowel movements, defecation, gas, and softer stools after consuming xanthan gum. However, because xanthan gum has been adequately researched, it is considered safe and on the list of FDA-approved food additives.
If you cannot consume xanthan gum due to health reasons or simply do not want to use a gluten-free flour blend with xanthan gum, you can make your own xanthan gum-free gluten-free all-purpose flour blend or substitute cassava flour.
Tips For Making Carob Chip Banana Bread
Whether you are making regular banana bread, banana oat muffins, or carob chip banana bread, the trick is to use ripe mushy bananas.
The ideal bananas for banana bread have a brown peel or are starting to turn a brown color. In addition to this, the bananas should be easy to mash, which means bananas should feel soft or squishy when you squeeze them with your fingertips.
Do not mash whole bananas into the batter. Although it seems easier to mash the bananas into the batter after it is mixed, it defeats the purpose of making banana bread. The purpose of banana bread is to combine the sweet flavor of the bananas throughout the batter.
Therefore, to achieve the perfect banana bread, you must mash them before you incorporate the bananas into the batter. To make it easier, I mash the bananas in a large bowl first until they resemble chunky applesauce, then I add the wet ingredients and whisk them to further incorporate the bananas into the batter.
While some texture is always great, if you want a smooth banana bread that is free of banana bread, mash the bananas into a smooth paste before adding it to the rest of the batter.
Whether you make this carob chip banana bread in a bowl or stand mixer, do not overmix the batter. The carob chip banana bread batter should have a thick consistency and have small clumps of banana throughout the batter.
The trick to moist, fluffy banana bread is not to overmix the batter. Another trick to create moist banana bread is to swap butter for oils. Oils create a moister loaf than butter.
Furthermore, gluten-free baked goods are known to stick to the pan. Therefore you must grease your loaf pan really well. In fact, I usually add a layer of parchment paper to the loaf pan to ensure the carob chip banana bread does not stick to the pan.
Even though it is tempting to open the oven and check on the progress of your carob chip banana bread, do not open the oven. Not only will you decrease the oven’s internal temperature, but your carob chip banana bread could collapse due to the influx of cold air. You can always turn on the oven light and monitor the progress of your carob chip banana bread through the viewing window.
If your carob chip banana bread’s exterior is browning too quickly, tent the top of the bread with a sheet of foil while it is baking. This will allow the inside of the bread to cook and prevent the bread’s exterior from browning too much.