Tag Archives: Bread

Banana Coconut Bread

~ Banana Coconut Bread ~

In the mood for a pre-packaged healthy snack? Or how about a slice of quick bread to accompany a cup of tea? Look no further than the ubiquitous banana. All zipped up in its own skin (which doubles as a nifty handle) the banana is transportable as a nutritious snack on the go – naturally sweet and rich in potassium, magnesium, B and C vitamins. As bananas ripen, they soften and their sugar content and starch increases. At this point, blend the fruit  into a wholesome sweet bread or cake – or pop them un-peeled into the freezer to save for the proverbial rainy day when baking is requisite.

I prefer to eat bananas just under-ripe, while they are still firm and not overwhelmingly sweet. When they reach the mushy tipping point I toss them into a banana bread. While the ratios for my banana bread remain the same, I sometimes fiddle with the ingredients. This is a heartier recipe with a blend of whole wheat, all-purpose flour and a dusting of wheat germ. Coconut flakes add texture and a tropical brightness. If I were feeling naughtier, I would have added chocolate chunks, but somehow I managed to behave myself. How do you prefer your bananas?

Banana Coconut Bread

Makes one loaf.

3 large very ripe bananas
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
3 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon wheat germ
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsweetened flaked coconut, plus extra for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 350 F. (180 C.) Mix bananas and sugar in a bowl of an electric mixer until smooth. Add eggs and mix well. Mix in oil, vanilla and cinnamon until well combined. Whisk flour, wheat germ, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a separate bowl. Stir into the bananas and mix to incorporate. Stir in coconut (and 1/2 cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips, if you’re naughty.) Pour into oiled pan. Sprinkle additional coconut on top. Bake until knife inserted in center comes clean, about 55 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on rack for 10 minutes. Remove bread from loaf pan and cool completely.

Pumpkin Pecan Spice Bread

Pumpkin Spice Bread tf

This pumpkin bread is a lightly sweet and mellow loaf, redolent with pumpkin and spice. This toothsome cake bread is studded with raisins and pecans, adding natural sweetness and heartiness to each mouthful. It’s delicious for breakfast or in the afternoon with a cup of tea. Either pumpkin or butternut squash may be used for the purée; their orange flesh will add a rich, buttery note and lend a vibrant hue that is necessary for this autumn staple.

Pumpkin Pecan Spice Bread

I prefer to make my own pumpkin purée, but canned will do. To make your own, simply cut a skinned and seeded sweet pumpkin or butternut squash into 1 inch cubes. (You will need about 2 cups to yield one generous cup of purée.) Steam until very soft and then mash with a fork.

Makes one loaf

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
3 large eggs
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup puréed pumpkin
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

Preheat the oven to 350 F. (180 C.) Butter a loaf pan. Line the bottom with parchment and butter the parchment.
Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves in a medium bowl; whisk together and set aside. Whisk the brown sugar and eggs together in a large bowl. Stir in butter. Add the pumpkin and blend thoroughly. Stir in the dry ingredients. Add the raisins and pecans. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan. Bake in oven until knife inserted in center comes clean, about 1 hour.

Banana Cake

Banana Cake

Tried and true, a banana cake (or bread, depending on your perspective) has figured prominently in our home as a baked treat.  The kids love it, as do the adults, and in every country we have lived, bananas have been readily available in the markets.  I have made variations over the years, adding wheat germ and oats for added fiber and nutrients, coconut for a tropical twist, even chocolate for those cravings of, well, chocolate. This recipe is the base recipe I rely on and come back to time and again.  It’s moist, not overly sweet, and keeps in the refrigerator for 4 days.  Actually, that’s a guess, because it never lasts that long.

Banana Cake
Makes one loaf

3/4 cup (150 g.) unsalted butter
3/4 cup (150 g.) light brown sugar
3 eggs
3 very ripe bananas, mashed with a fork
1/3 cup (80 ml.) sour cream or Greek-style whole milk yogurt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups (220 g.) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 F. (180 C.)
Butter a loaf pan and line bottom with parchment paper.
Beat butter and sugar until they are light and creamy.  Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Mix in bananas, sour cream, vanilla and cinnamon.  Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl.  Add to bananas and stir to combine well.  Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.  Bake in oven until knife comes clean, about one hour.  Remove from oven and let cool completely before removing from pan.

Try these variations:

Tropical Twist: Add 1/2 cup flaked, unsweetened coconut to dry ingredients.  Sprinkle additional tablespoon coconut on top of cake before baking.

More Fiber: Reduce flour to 1 3/4 cups.  Add 1/2 cup oats and 2 tablespoons wheat germ to dry ingredients.

Chocolate Boost: Add 1 cup dark chocolate chips to batter before pouring into loaf pan.