Today was about meeting deadlines, about my internet connection freezing as I attempted to save the full page of text I had just written (I’m normally so “save”-happy, I don’t know what happened today). It was about having to start over, trying to recapture the words that seemed to flow freely before I lost everything. It was about being on hold with the DMV for over an hour while I did other work. At the 1:07 mark the hold music stopped. I picked up the receiver expecting an agent to be on the line. Not quite. The line was dead.
Mondays, oh, well. I know there are much worse things to complain about.
Still, I couldn’t be happier about leaving the workday behind. But having a tall glass of caffeine-loaded iced tea in the middle of the afternoon kept me amped and restless. I thought I might catch up on other work at home but my brain decided to clock out as soon as I put my bags down by the front door. Instead I turned on the oven, mashed the overripe bananas that have been sitting on the counter and I made this bread.
This is yet another variation on my favorite banana bread recipe but this time I made even more changes. I removed the eggs and dairy, replacing them with applesauce and coconut oil. I replaced some of the nuts with flaxseeds, I reduced the sugar to make room for the sweetened shredded coconut and I went heavy on the bananas.
The verdict? I haven’t yet met a banana bread I didn’t like but this just might give my favorite a run for its money. With a crisp, golden exterior, a soft interior and the occasional crunch from the flaxseeds, this bread didn’t suffer at all from the substitutions I made. Even my usually coconut-averse husband had two thick slices before bedtime. As for me, I savored one of these slices after taking these pictures and somehow the day’s troubles just melted away. I can hardly wait for Tuesday morning to come so I can enjoy a slice (or two) with my morning tea.
Banana Coconut Bread
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour plus more for dusting pan
- 1/2 cup flaxseeds whole seeds, not ground
- 3/4 cup chopped walnuts if you omit the flaxseeds, add the same amount walnuts
- 9 tablespoons sugar I like to use superfine
- 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut packed
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground cloves optional
- Approximately 2 cups very ripe mashed bananas (I had 5)
- 1/2 cup applesauce
- 6 tablespoons 3 ounces coconut oil, melted and cooled (I microwaved until 70-80% was melted then stirred until the heat melted the rest. By the time this is done, it's at room temperature.)
- 1 teaspoon rum you can use vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350º F. Grease a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan and dust with flour, tapping out the excess. Toast the walnuts over medium-low heat in a skillet for a few minutes or until fragrant. Set aside.
Whisk all the dry ingredients together (including the coconut, walnuts and flaxseeds) in a large bowl and set aside.
Mix the mashed bananas, coconut oil, applesauce and rum with a wooden spoon in another bowl. Lightly fold the wet mixture into the dry mixture with a rubber spatula until just combined and the batter looks thick and chunky. Transfer batter into the greased and dusted loaf pan.
Bake until the loaf is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Cool in the pan for five minutes then transfer to a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.