“You don’t know what you’ve got ’till it’s gone…” ~Joni Mitchell
I’ve always loved banana bread, but coconut – until recently – was not something I was fond of .
Once, when my father returned from work-related trip, I asked him (as we did when we were kids) what he had gotten me.
My dad, I realize now, was no doubt exhausted, and (which I also now realize) had other things on his mind than souvenirs.
He covered up well, though, and rustling through his pockets, pulled out a chocolate bar. A Mounds bar, I think.
I’m not sure if I was able to hide my disappointment. I’m pretty sure I said thank you, and I definitely did eat the bar – all melted and squishy from spending too much time in his pocket during a long flight from nowhere in particular.
It was a long time before I would eat anything remotely similar.
If I could go back to that moment, I like to think that I would be more gracious. Kinder. But those moments – those cracks in childhood when you catch a glimpse of your parents as fully people with lives apart from you – are small and easily lost in the rush of what comes next…
The things we take for granted.
Bananas, on the other hand, have never been problematic.
This loaf is adapted from a recipe I found in a Harrowsmith book years ago.
I’ve cut the sugar, but it is still sweet enough. I added whole wheat flour because I think it improves the texture. I use oil instead of butter so that the taste of the banana comes through more clearly.
The recipe doubles easily, so make extra for the freezer if you have a glut of overripe bananas.
- 3 medium overripe bananas
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 cup shredded coconut
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Grease one large or two small loaf pans.
In a mixing bowl, mash bananas thoroughly.
Stir in yogurt and baking soda. Let the mixture sit for at least 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a larger mixing bowl, beat eggs.
Add sugar, then blend in oil. Mix thoroughly.
In a separate bowl, mix together the remaining dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and coconut.
Add banana mixture to eggs, stirring to blend.
Add flour to the banana-egg mixture, stirring gently to make sure all flour is moistened. Do not overmix.
Spoon batter into prepared pans.
Bake for 35-45 minutes.
Let cool in pan 5 minutes. Turn out of pans and let cool on wire rack