Banana Coconut Bread

One of the best things about bananas is their availability all year round.  They don't have any specific growing season so we can eat them to our heart's (or should I say stomach's) content anytime we want.  But sometimes in our zeal to buy bananas, especially if they are on sale, we buy too many.  And so was the case with the last four bananas in the basket on my table.  They were well beyond their best before date for eating but were perfect for muffins or banana bread.  I laid them aside and started looking through my files to see what I'd make with them and settled on Banana Date Bread which is a favourite of mine.  But as you can see by the title of this post I didn't make that.  

One day went by with the bananas getting darker and musher by the hour.  I just had to get that banana bread made but then I had a dentist appointment, a doctor's appointment, another dentist appointment and work at the church.  And still the bananas languished on the counter for two more days.  If I waited any longer the bananas wouldn't be fit for cremation much less for baking.

And then I was hit with inspiration.  Well, I was really just sitting at the computer looking up the Banana Date Bread recipe when I spied the Banana Coconut Bread recipe.  Hmmm..., I thought, I haven't made that in a while

And that's all it took.  Next morning, without anymore fooling around, I made the Banana Coconut Bread.  Surprisingly, the bananas weren't too bad once they were peeled.  They were soft but not rotten (which was really good for all concerned).  So to rewrite the old maxim--never judge a banana by its peel.  

My friend, Kitty, who was a fellow teacher gave me this recipe. Her four children were particularly fond of this banana bread and she thought we (the teachers) might enjoy it as well.  She brought some to the staff room to share at recess and it was delicious.  She was also smart enough to bring the recipe to share.   Thanks Kitty!

The recipe is originally from Company's Coming Muffins and More by Jean Paré.  (I'd link to their site but it's under reconstruction.) 

Banana Coconut Bread
2 eggs
1 cup white sugar
½ cup butter, melted
1 cup mashed bananas
½ teaspoon almond extract
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour   
½ cup flaked coconut
1½  teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup chopped walnuts
½ cup maraschino cherries, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9x5-inch loaf pan.

In a large mixing bowl mix together flour, coconut, baking powder, baking soda, salt, chopped walnuts, and cherries.

In a medium mixing bowl, beat together eggs and sugar.   Add the melted butter, mashed banana and almond flavoring. Beat together until well combined.  You can use a spoon or wire whip.  No need to drag out the stand mixer for this.

Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the liquid ingredients.  Stir just to combine. There may be a little flour showing but as long as most of the flour is mixed through it will be fine.  Spoon into the prepared loaf pan.

Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let stand for 10 minutes, and remove from pan. Cool.

Once the banana bread is cold it can be cut, but as with any quick bread, it will cut and taste better the day after it has been baked.   Serve plain or with butter.

Makes 12-16 slices.

Mix the flour, coconut, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a large bowl.

Mix in the cherries and nuts.  

Beat the eggs, sugar, banana and almond flavouring together.

Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients.  

Stir together until just mixed.

Make sure your loaf pan is well greased or sprayed.  If you wish you can line it with waxed or parchment paper but it should come out of the pan without any trouble with just a good greasing.

Pour the batter into the well greased loaf pan and place in the preheated 350 degree oven.

Bake 1 hour or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Let cool thoroughly and then wrap in plastic or foil until ready to cut.

The Banana Coconut Bread cuts and tastes much better the day after it has been baked.  Can you wait that long?

So moist and tender, sweet with cherries and bananas and crunchy with coconut and walnuts.

Banana Coconut Bread with a spread of butter. 
 Perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner!


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