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Banana Coconut Chocolate Chip Bread

Updated: Feb 1, 2019

Never mind the wind and chilly temps, let's think tropical this weekend!

I started baking at 8 years old, and it's a hobby that has stuck with me through the years. I don't believe in "good" or "bad" foods - nothing should be off limits if you are eating a healthy and balanced diet most of the time. Even though I enjoy making, sharing, and eating various combinations of butter/sugar/flour, there are times when a little sweetness and healthier fats can go a long way. This recipe fits the bill. I based it on a couple of recipes (Smitten Kitchen's coconut bread and America's Test Kitchen the best banana bread) and my baking experience. Most of the sweetness comes from the bananas, as I've reduced the sugar by half the usual amount used in quick breads.

  • 2 1/2 cups (300 g) white whole wheat flour (can substitute 1/2 regular and 1/2 whole wheat, but will be a little grittier texture)

  • 1/4 tsp (1.5 g) salt

  • 2 tsp (10 g) baking powder

  • 2 tsp (4.6 g) cinnamon

  • 1/2 cup (115 g) sugar

  • 1 1/2 cups (180 g) shredded unsweetened coconut

  • 1/2 cup (about 90 g) bittersweet choc chips

  • 1/2 cup (60 g) toasted (and fully cooled) chopped nuts (optional)

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk (295 ml) (I used about 1/4 c plain greek yogurt mixed with 2% milk to equal 1/1/4 cups)

  • 1 TBL vanilla

  • 4-5 overripe bananas

  • 6 Tbl coconut oil (can substitute half of that with grass fed cow butter, unsalted) melted and cooled to room temp

  • scant 1-2 TBL sugar (optional topping; turbinado or demerara are great here, but granulated or caster also works)

Preheat oven to 350 and butter and flour a loaf pan.*

Microwave the coconut oil and set aside. Microwave bananas for 5 min in a small bowl covered in plastic wrap that you have punctured in a few places.  Drain liquid from the bananas through a mesh strainer into a small saucepan.  Cook this over medium high until it reduces to about 1/4 cup (about 5 minutes).  Set aside to cool, and in a medium bowl, mix the eggs through the coconut oil.  Add the bananas and mash with a fork or potato masher, then add the cooled banana liquid.†

Mix dry ingredients (flour through choc chips and nuts, if using) in a large bowl and make a well in the center.  Add wet ingredients to the center of the dry, and gently fold in with a spatula until just combined, being careful not to overstir.  

Add mixture to prepared pan, sprinkle lightly with sugar, if using, and bake for 55-75 min, rotating the pan halfway through bake time.  Test for doneness with a toothpick.  Let cool for 5 minutes in the pan on a wire rack before removing.  Continue to cool before cutting. Enjoy! 

* I have a long skinny pan from Ikea that works really well for quick breads.  You may have leftover batter if you use a regular loaf pan, which you can use to make muffins.

†I know this may seem like a bit of extra work, and it is, but it makes a huge difference in the final product.

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