re-engineering a classic: coconut blueberry banana loaf

Believe me when I say that this loaf has seen more transformations than Madonna in the 90s. One morning in 2009, I searched for a simple banana bread recipe, and after baking said loaf, finding it just okay, I decided to tinker with it. Over the years, I’ve had tremendous triumphs: the nutella banana loaf, the banana chocolate chip nutella loaf, the pistachio coconut banana loaf, and on it goes. However, nothing awakens my cold, dead heart than a smattering of blueberries, a pile of bananas and sweet coconut.

In this go-around, I decided to begin the slow transformation from a loaf that is heavy with white flour and sugar to something richer, something more complex. I’ve made many flour substitutions, which have ended violently (read: me tossing the wreckage in the bin, me wailing in front of a hot oven, me wondering what was I thinking when I decided to incorporate quinoa flour? WHAT WAS I THINKING?!), so I’m going slow with this. So far, I’ve swapped out the oils, reduced the sugar (rationalizing that the coconuts and blueberries will help), and added in agave. I’m moving toward brown rice syrups, honey (in my heart I KNOW honey will make this loaf SING), and coconut, tapioca and almond flours. I’ll keep you posted on all my attempts (and inevitable failures), along the way.

For now, know that this is the sort of loaf that will wake you up at night. The sort of loaf that I’m carrying, right now, so I can pawn off to someone else. Simply put: this kid is DANGEROUS.

INGREDIENTS (makes two loaves)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs, room temperature
3/4 cup cane sugar
1/2 cup agave
3/4 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup ripe mashed banana (about 2 medium)
1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
1/2 cups almond milk
Nonstick coconut oil cooking spray

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat two 9×5 inch loaf pans with cooking spray; set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs, sugar, agave and coconut oil on medium-low speed until combined. Beat in the flour mixture. Add the vanilla, banana, coconut, almond milk, and beat just to combine. Fold in the blueberries.

Divide batter evenly between prepared pans; smooth with an offset spatula. Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in the centers comes out clean, 50 to 55 minutes.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Remove loaves from pans and let cool completely. Bread can be kept at room temperature, wrapped well in plastic, for up to 1 week, or frozen for up to 3 months. But honestly, are you going to do this? Shove a delicious loaf in the freezer and abandon it so cruelly? Hardly. You’re going to end up cutting small slices in the middle of the night, and eat this, standing up, in the kitchen, in the DARK.


6 thoughts on “re-engineering a classic: coconut blueberry banana loaf

  1. You must have a system like the Energizer bunny to keep up with your diet. It always takes me a month of serious cycling to reset the needle after a week or so in France or Italy. Ken


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