Whole wheat flour, coconut milk, coconut oil, bananas, and cashews bake up into this delicious, lightly-sweetened bread that is great for breakfast or for snacking.
Once upon a time I made banana bread on a weekly basis.
Once upon a time a 9×13 pan could last for three meals for our family.
Once upon a time, I had to freeze milk because we couldn’t drink up a gallon before it went bad.
Those times? Are long gone. I haven’t had bananas last long enough to make banana bread in quite awhile. The kids love them to snack on; FishBoy16 uses them in his daily smoothies. For some odd reason, this week, there were six bananas to be used up.
Between Easter and recipe development, I have felt the excess of food and ingredients everywhere I turn. This week, I made up my mind to deal with some of it. The bananas were the first to go.
While I have many different banana recipes to rely on — Coconut Banana Bread with Chocolate Chips, Chocolate Chip Banana Bread, Banana Pecan Coffeecake, and Banana Cupcakes with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting — I decided to try something different.
I wanted something lightly-sweetened. The kids have been great about not going overboard since we went off our sugar fast, but there’s been an increase in bad attitudes that has me wondering.
I wanted something whole-grain. I know that I feel better when there’s at least 50% whole grain flour. We ran out of whole wheat pastry flour recently, and I’m feeling it.
I also wanted something dairy-free. I had an odd reaction to Easter dinner this past weekend that I think was due to excess cream and half-and-half.
So, I took the Cinnamon Banana Bread recipe from my freezer cookbook and tweaked it a little. I basically took the flavors of Monkey Salad and put them in a bread. Can you say Yum-O?!
I used both coconut oil and coconut milk in the batter and topped the loaves with chopped cashews. You can mix the cashews into the batter, but I put the cashews on top so that I could easily leave a loaf plain for the folks who don’t care for or can’t have nuts. Do what you will.
I also reduced the amount of sugar, relying on the nuts, coconut and banana to add extra sweetness. During our sugar fast I did make banana bread without any sugar or sweetener. It definitely effects the texture, so I wanted to make sure there was some sugar in this bread. I used demerara which is the least processed of cane sugar products.
This recipe makes three loaves. I’d suggest that you eat one and freeze the others. My people ate two loaves in just a few hours. Ahem. See why I can’t keep milk in the house?
Recipe: Coconut Cashew Banana Bread
- 6 bananas, mashed
- 3 large eggs
- 3/4 cup coconut oil
- 1 1/2 cups demerara sugar
- 14-ounce can light coconut milk (I use Trader Joe’s)
- 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 3 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 3/4 cups roasted and unsalted cashews, optional
- Preheat the oven to 325°F. Spray three loaf pans with nonstick cooking spray
- In a very large bowl, blend the bananas, coconut oil, eggs, and sugar until mostly smooth. Add the coconut milk and stir.
- Add the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Fold together until well mixed.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pans. Coarsely chop the cashews and sprinkle those over the top of the batter. Press down slightly to adhere.
- Bake the loaves for about 1 hour, or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Transfer the pans to a rack and let cool for 10 minutes, then remove the breads from the pans and place on a rack to cool completely.
- Freezing instructions: Wrap each cooled loaf in plastic wrap. Place two wrapped loaves in a freezer bag and freeze.
Preparation time: 15 minute(s)
Cooking time: 1 hour(s)
Number of servings (yield): 36