Personally I think its really hard to make a bad banana bread. Pretty much anything goes in terms of add-ins; chocolate, nuts, fruit, etc. So as I was preparing my bags for my second trip down to South Africa last Friday, I noticed the bunch of bananas sitting in the fruit bowl on the dinning room table. Dark yellow and covered in brown spots, similar to the leopards we saw on our day safari.
I knew I could throw one or two into my morning smoothie but had no use for the rest, and the freezer was already full of frozen bananas that I keep frozen for smoothies and ice cream. So I figure I would bake up a quick banana bread while I was waiting for my morning conference calls to begin. Usually my go to is chocolate banana bread, made with dark chocolate cocoa power and lots of chocolate chips. But, this time I decided to try something new. I still had the coconut flakes, oats, and mini chocolate chips on the counter from the numerous batches of cowboy cookies I made in the past two week. I’m horrible at putting things away, its easier just to keep using them until they’re finished… Plus I figured it would give my hubby something to munch on or bring for breakfast while I’m gone.
I actually had no intention of photographing it or posting the recipe as I just threw things together, but it turned out so good that I decided to share. So amidst the packing and planting of the last seedling in the vegetable gardens I got out my tripod and started shooting. Its wonderfully hearty with a nice fresh/summery flavor because of the coconut. Only slightly sweet as the over ripe bananas really didn’t need much extra sugar added to the recipe. A few slices got thrown into my suitcase as well for a post workout snack during my time away. Oh, and this is a one bowl recipe. If you really feel the need to dirty a second to whisk together the dry ingredients, then go ahead, but know that one bowl and a spatula are really all you need. Just make sure to add the flour and oats first, and finish with the baking powder and cinnamon. This way you’ll avoid ending up with a clump of baking powder in you batter, which isn’t very yummy…
Coconut-Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
Makes 1 loaf (approx 10 slices)
- 1 1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas, about 3 large bananas
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds, mixed with 2 1/2 tablespoons warm water
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3/4 cup non-dairy milk
- 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup toasted coconut flakes, unsweetened, plus extra for topping (optional)
- 1/3 cup dairy-free mini chocolate chips, plus extra for topping (optional)
Preheat the oven 350°F and lightly oil a standard loaf pan. Mix the flax seeds and water and stir until beginning to thicken, set aside.
In a large bowl mash the bananas with a fork or potato masher until no large chunks remain. Add the coconut oil, vanilla, flax seed mixture, and sugar. Using a wooden spoon or silicone spatula stir to combine.
Add the dry ingredient starting with the oats and flour, followed by the salt, baking powder and cinnamon. Stir until just combined, avoid over mixing. Fold in the coconut and chocolate chips, unit evenly distributed.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with the back of the spatula pushing the batter into the corners of the pan. Sprinkle the top with additional coconut and chocolate chips if desired.
Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. The bread should spring back when lightly pressed. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before removing from the pan. Cool completely before serving.
Banana bread can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for 3-5 days.