I don’t know about you but I always have extra bananas in the house because I love to eat them for breakfast (almost) daily. But somehow the ripening process is too fast, or I buy too many bananas and I find that I’ve got a few blackening bananas on the counter.
Take these bananas – nobody in their right mind would peel and eat one of those really black bananas.
Imagine finding a use for something as unappetizing as that? That’s why I love banana bread. While I have a favorite banana bread recipe, I am always on the look out for something interesting. Everyone in my family feels that chocolate chips add dimension to a standard banana bread, but sometimes I want more.
So when I saw this recipe for coconut banana bread in The Kitchn’s new cookbook I decided to try it.
In addition to toasted unsweetened coconut, the recipe called for Jamaican allspice which I happen to love. It also called for coconut oil and dark rum, neither of which I have in my pantry at the moment. I substituted melted butter and just skipped the rum and the bread still came out great.
1/3 C shredded unsweetened coconut
2 C all purpose flour
1 t baking soda
1 t allspice
4 ripe bananas
1 t vanilla
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 C butter, melted and cooled
2/3 C dark brown sugar
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9.5 or 8.5 inch loaf pan (I used an 8.5 pan). Mix the dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Spread the coconut on a baking sheet and bake for about two to three minutes, until lightly toasted. Remove from oven and set aside.*
In a large bowl mash the bananas with a fork and add the vanilla. Stir in butter, brown sugar and eggs. Add the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Fold in coconut. Pour into prepared loaf pan and bake for approximately 60 to 70 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes and then turn out loaf.
*The recipe called for bringing 3 tablespoons of dark rum to a simmer over medium heat and then adding the coconut, tossing to coat and then turning off the heat and setting aside. I think this could make a delicious addition if you have some dark rum.
Note that if you don’t have a nut allergy in the house (like we do), I would consider folding in chopped walnuts, pecans or macadamia nuts into the batter with the coconut.