Saturday, March 19, 2011

This isn't your Mom's Banana Bread

That's right - I can't think of the last time I made a plain old banana bread. I tried making a banana apple bread once and never looked back. Now every time I have over ripe bananas I can't bear the thought of throwing them away. I found some smart advice once that suggested freezing the bananas just before they're ripe enough to use for baking - that way you can make the bread when you need it, not just when the bananas dictate they're ready to be baked! This time around I wanted to try a sort of coconut, tropical banana bread and I must say I had great success! I looked at a few different banana bread recipes and jumbled together pieces of different recipes to produce this one below, which I don't think I'd make any changes to! I noticed mangoes were on sale at Shaw's this week, which was where that idea came from. It's probably the most moist banana bread you'll ever eat - and I had so much batter I was able to make the whole loaf plus a batch of mini muffins (12).

Tropical Banana Bread
2 cups flour
2 TB ground flax seed
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 stick butter, room temperature
2 eggs
2 mashed over ripe bananas
1 mango, pureed
2 TB orange juice
1 TB fresh lime juice
3 TB yogurt (pina colada danon light'n'fit)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1 apple, peeled and chopped into small pieces

1. Measure ALL of your ingredients out (as you can see I did above). As I've mentioned before in other recipes, this makes your life a lot easier, especially when you're trying out a new recipe.
2. For the mango, cut into chunks and add to a food processor or blender. Add the orange juice and lime juice, puree until very well blended and your mango is ready to go.
3. At this point you can also get your banana ready by mashing it with a fork. You can do this in a large mixing bowl - because we'll add our wet ingredients right to the banana.
4. Add the butter (at room temperature) and both sugars to the bowl with the mashed banana. Blend with an electric mixer until very well blended together. Then add one egg at a time and blend well in between each addition.
5. Add the vanilla, yogurt and mango puree next - blend lightly, don't over mix.
6. In a separate mixing bowl combine all of your dry ingredients - whisk together.
7. Add the dry ingredients gradually to the banana mixture, mixing with the electric mixer just until the dry ingredients have been mixed in. Once that's done, you can stir in (by hand) the coconut and chopped apple.
8. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and get your loaf pan/muffin pans ready. For the loaf pan you'll want to butter or grease all of the sides and bottom, and then add flour to it, shaking it around to get all of the surface covered - now you have your floured pan. This will ensure that the loaf doesn't stick to the sides of the loaf pan. For the muffin pan - you don't need to flour, just spray with baking pam.
9. Add the batter to your loaf pan first - don't fill it too much - keep a good inch on the top because the bread will rise as it cooks and you don't want it overflowing and making a big mess in your oven. With whatever batter you have left you can make muffins - mine were mini-size. Don't overfill these either - they'll overflow much easier, so don't go too far above the top of the pan line. You can also sprinkle a little extra coconut on top before you put it in the oven (which just makes the loaf look prettier and more homemade!).
10. Place both of the pans in the oven at the same time. With mini muffins they should cook in about 14-15 minutes, and then the loaf will take an additional 45 minutes more than that (for 1 hour total). For the first time I tried putting my loaf pan on top of a baking sheet in the oven - I've read that this helps the bottom of the loaf, so that it doesn't over cook or cook faster than the rest of the loaf. I think it worked like it was supposed to! If you notice that the top of your loaf is browning pretty quickly or that the coconut is starting to look toasted you can tent a piece of foil and put that over the loaf for the rest of the cooking time. It will allow the bread to keep cooking without exposing the top to the direct heat, which will help it from burning or just being really dark brown.
11. For both the muffins and loaf, they are done when a toothpick stuck into the middle comes out clean, without any batter on it. Remember, just like with my cookie tip, they'll keep cooking a little after you take them out of the oven. You have to be especially careful with mini muffins because, well, they're mini! They cook fast and are easy to dry out. If you look in the background of this picture to the right, the muffins almost look still like batter, but I swear they're done (as you can see from the inside of this one!). I love that the food processor left a few chunks of mango so when you bite into one of these muffins you get a surprise piece of mango that's delicious!
6 Fruit Banana Bread -
Apple, Coconut, Mango, Banana, Lime, Orange

Bananas on FoodistaBananas


  1. You took banana bread to a whole different level. I love this!I followed you from the foodie blog roll and I'd love to guide Foodista readers to your site. I hope you could add this banana widget at the end of this post so we could add you in our list of food bloggers who blogged about banana recipes,Thanks!

  2. Thanks Alisa - for the nice comments and suggestion! I've added the banana widget, so now I'll have to check out more banana recipes on Foodista!