Growing up, my mom made a lot of banana bread and we all loved it. Over the years, along with the conflicting nutritional news/fads/trends, the recipe changed slightly as well. Originally, the recipe used butter. When butter became the nemesis of the American public, margarine replaced it. When fat in general became the newest public enemy, it was replaced with applesauce. Straight-up whole wheat flour for awhile also replaced the unbleached all purpose flour used. What never changed were the bananas and walnuts. Even though the recipe changed with the times it still remained delicious anyway it was baked. It was a treat that quickly disappeared from its foil wrapping. My mom also frequently made two loaves and stashed one in the freezer already sliced. It was originally my Grandma Ruth’s (mom’s mom) recipe and it consisted of conventional sugar, butter, sour milk (milk made sour by adding vinegar to it if you didn’t want to use real sour milk or buttermilk), about 4 ripe mashed bananas, flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and chopped walnuts. My grandmother and my mother would take bananas that had slightly gone past their prime and store them in the freezer until the desire to make banana bread came. Like them, I also store my bananas in the freezer for this use.
I eat a banana almost everyday atop of my granola with coconut milk for breakfast. I almost always end up with at least one banana per week that is relegated to the freezer. I had been wanting to make banana bread and alter my grandmother’s recipe. What I ended up with was delicious and not too sweet with a slightly less dense texture. I also had to adjust a bit since I only had 2 bananas. I can’t wait to toast a slice up and spread it with a bit of raspberry jam.
Banana Coconut Bread
prep time: 10 minutes (approximately)
cook time: 40 minutes
serving size: makes 10-12 slices (approximately)
½ c. whole wheat pastry flour
½ c. Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Flour Mix
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
2 ripe bananas, mashed well
½ c. + 2 tblsp coconut milk
¼ c. pure maple syrup
3 tbslp coconut oil, melted
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
½ c. unsweetened shredded coconut
2 handfuls pepitas (pumpkin seeds), toasted if you’d like
1 tblsp dark rum or maple syrup or coconut milk for brushing over the bread
Preheat the oven to 375F and grease an 8 ½” x4 ½ “ loaf pan
In a medium bowl sift together all the dry ingredients (flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt). In a large bowl (or with a mixer) mix all wet ingredients until combined (bananas, coconut milk, maple syrup, coconut oil, vanilla, and cider vinegar). Mix the dry ingredients into the wet and mix till combined and smooth (don’t over mix!). Stir in the coconut and the pumpkin seeds. Pour into the prepped pan and bake for 30 minutes.
Remove banana bread from the oven and lower the oven temperature to 350F. Brush the rum/maple syrup/coconut milk onto the banana bread and bake banana bread for another 10 minutes. Remove from oven and check for doneness. A knife when inserted should come out pretty clean and not feel loose when checking if it’s done.