Sunday, February 3

Banana Bread with Toasted Coconut and Almonds

Which of the following is the most frequently consumed fruit in the world?

A. bananas
B. mangoes
C. strawberries
D. apples
E. All of the above

If you picked "E," don't feel bad. Just pour yourself another cup of coffee and try again.

I always thought it was bananas, but it's actually mangoes. If you chose "bananas," I'll give you half credit since they're the most consumed fruit in the United States.

Since bananas are only 19 cents each at Trader Joe's, I always have a huge, happy yellow bunch in my fruit bowl. Since they're only 19 cents each, I also have a lot of brown, speckled bananas in my fruit bowl.

What's not to love about bananas? They're fast, easy, non-messy energy food. At only 100 calories per fruit and no fat, they're also a great source of potassium, Vitamin C, and fiber.

The greatest thing about bananas though is that you never have to throw one away. If it's too ripe to eat out of hand, you can toss it in a smoothie, freeze it for a snack, or, best of all, make banana bread.

Banana bread surfaced in American kitchens in the 1930's, at the same time that baking soda and baking powder were becoming popular leavening agents (instead of yeast) for quick breads. By the 1960's, banana bread's popularity burgeoned, and cookbooks commonly listed multiple recipes for it.

Apparently, we have the Australians to thank for introducing chocolate into banana bread -- I always thought my mom invented that on a particularly inspired baking day in the '80's.

Banana bread is so popular, it even has its own Wiki page. (How else would I have gotten all of this information?)

Even though the blogosphere is teeming with banana bread recipes, this one's too good not to share. Made with aromatic toasted coconut, crunchy almonds, and creamy coconut milk, it's one unforgettably moist, delicious banana bread. So I'm submitting it to the lovely Gretchen Noelle of Canela and Comino, who has selected quick breads for this month's Homegrown Gourmet.

What's your favorite way to make banana bread?

This recipe is adapted from Dorie Greenspan's Lots-of-Ways-Banana Cake, in her cookbook, Baking: From My Home to Yours. Note: You can lighten both calories and cholesterol in this bread by substituting Smart Balance for butter, Egg Beaters for eggs, and light coconut milk for regular. I have made it both ways, and they're both delicious.

Banana Coconut Almond Bread
Print recipe only here.

2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 sticks (12 Tbsp) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup canned unsweetened coconut milk
4 very ripe bananas, mashed (about 2 cups)
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut, toasted
3/4 cup coarsely chopped almonds, toasted

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat two 9 X 2-inch round cake pans, or five 6-by-2 3/4-inch mini-loaf pans with cooking spray.

To toast the coconut, place in a dry skillet over medium heat, and gently stir until aromatic and golden brown, about 2 minutes. Keep your eye on it since it burns quite quickly! Remove from heat and set aside.

To toast the almonds, place in a dry skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and lightly toasted, about 5-7 minutes.

In a medium size bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon together.

In a large bowl, beat the butter until creamy. Add the sugars and beat at medium speed for a couple of minutes. Add eggs, and beat well. Add the vanilla and coconut milk, and beat until batter is silky. Lower the speed, add the bananas, and beat briefly.

Add the dry ingredients to the liquid ingredients, and mix until just incorporated. Using a rubber spatula, gently stir in the coconut and almonds. Divide the batter evenly between the pans.

Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the cakes are a deep golden brown. You'll know they're done when a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. Transfer the cakes to a rack and let cool for 10 minutes, then unmold and invert onto another rack to cool to room temperature right side up.

You might also like:
Chestnut Pancakes with Pancetta and Creme Fraiche
Coconut Lemonquat Tea Cake
Heart Healthy Date, Fennel, and Pistachio Scones
Olive Oil Cake with Rosemary and Lemon

Some other delicious banana breads:
Banana Maple Pecan Bread from Marisa of Slashfood
Banana and Nutella Cake from Bleeding Espresso
Banana Bread with Chocolate and Cinnamon Sugar from Tinned Tomatoes
Banana Chocolate Walnut Bread from The Wednesday Chef

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Sig said...

oh I'd have gotten full points for this quiz, I knew it was mangoes... yay! Banana bread looks awesome, love that last picture...
BTW, hope you are doing okay, I know you are a Pats fan..

Manggy said...

That looks great-- I lurrve banana bread :)

I wonder what they based that statistic on... Pound for pound? Bunch for piece? Because I can eat 3 bananas easily but it takes a little effort to eat one mango...

Anonymous said...

I am so surprised by the answer to your trivia question! Very interesting piece of info!
This bread looks so hearty and delicious!

Ivy said...

I thought apples would be the most popular answer.
This banana bread really looks so good and I love coconut. Must be a great combination.

Susan @ SGCC said...

What in the world would we do without great banana bread recipes to use up our splotchy old bananas! This one looks really wonderful and unique!

Le Flâneur Novice said...

"I always thought my mom invented that"

Another make-a-day bright! :)))

We never have rippen bananas at home as me, and dad never let them get rippen in the fruit bowl lonely :))

But the ingredients show that the aroma of the bread must be so inviting!

Chibog in Chief said...

i thought the answer would be apple though btw banana bread is my fave!! love the last photo it looks really delicious

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

Did you notice during the Super Bowl that each team had a big bunch of bananas standing by, so the players could replace potassium during the game? First time I'd seen that. Now, if only they'd had a few loaves of this banana bread instead, perhaps that Pats would have won!

Peter M said...

Mangoes makes sense, Asians alone must eat so many and they are everywhere!

I enjoy banana bread in the morning with coffee and your loaf would be gone in a day.

Susan, sorry about the Pats, it was the Giants' turn again.

Asha said...

I LOVE sweetened coconut. Yesterday, I made Raspberry jam and coconut filled Puffs for the game.loved it. Banana loaf looks delcious!:))

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Your banana breads look fabulous! The answer to your trivia makes sense... I hear so many people raving about that speciality!



Anonymous said...

I just made some banana bread yesterday. Pity you didn't post about it yesterday or I would have tried this recipe. Love the extra addition of coconut milk.
Mine was just banana (half of the weight was banana), no fancy stuff, but it was very good despite it ;)

Susan from Food Blogga said...

sig- You get a gold star. :)

manggy-I'm not sure.

kristen-It really was.

ivy-The coconut is so fragrant and delicious.

susan-I know!

bal-Thanks, I'm glad it made you smile.

dhanggit-Thanks. I liked it because you could really see the flecks of coconut.

lydia-We noticed the bananas too! I'll send Tom a loaf of the bread next year. ;)

peter- Aw, thanks. I'll just eat a lot of chocolate today. That will make me feel better.

asha-Your dessert sounds divine!

rosa-It's really delicious and comforting.

linda-Maybe next time. :)

Anonymous said...

Banana bread is one of my favorite things EVER. And I honestly think it's best when you're using up those brown/black ones oin the fruit bowl because then you get the added satisfaction of having been thrify. :-)

Your recipe looks wonderful.

Suzana said...

Mangoes?? I'd never get that one right... *rolling eyes* I'd go for apples anyway.

Yummy banana bread, Susan!

Finla said...

I thought it was banana and was surprised to read it was mangoes.
I love the benana bread.

Brilynn said...

I've made a few variations of this banana bread, it's great!
I would make banana bread more often but I always end up eating the bananas before they get ripe enough. I've started stock piling them in the hopes that I can bake soon.

Mishmash ! said...

My fav way of eating banana bread is by warming a slice, drizzling some coco sauce, a dollop of ice cream on the side and some chopped fresh bananas and toasted nuts on top....a quick dessert if you have banana bread in ur bread box :)


Kelly @ Love Well said...

I would have guessed bananas. Darn.

(Although I love me some mangoes. If we had ripe ones near us, I would eat them by the bushel.)

What a wonderful recipe. I'll have to bookmark it.

Katy said...

When our dining hall would have fruit salad in college, I would always sit there and pick out as many banana slices as I could find... how annoying was I?!? But I agree, they are just awesome.

PS -- I assume that the statistic doesn't include juice -- wouldn't it definitely be oranges if that were true?

Suganya said...

No doubt, its mangoes. It is with a reason its called 'King of fruits'.

I never get tired of banana breads. Every one of 'em have something unique to offer.

Megan said...

I guessed bananas too. Who know? Mangos? I love coconut in my banana bread.
Time to check the bananas!

Deborah said...

We love bananas at my house, and I always buy a few extra for baked goods! This sounds delicious - I don't think I've ever had the banana coconut combo.

Anonymous said...

mango is my favorite fruit too, too bad there's only a few variety sold in the US. i do love making banana bread with nuts and chocolate chips.

Dana said...

YUM! So funny -- I just baked banana bread yesterday (altough mine was your fairly standard breed...). But I have one that uses coconut, and I LOVE it. I'll have to try this one too!

Namratha said...

The mini loaves are sooo cute :D Mangoes huh...I made no guesses!

Anonymous said...

I just happen to have 4 very, very ripe bananas sitting in my fruit bowl today. Guess what I am going to do with them now?? LOL

I can almost smell it....I'm going to have to use pecans because I am too lazy to go to the store right now, but I think it will be fine.

This afternoon I'll be eating this coconut banana bread, drinking some coffee and watching my weenie dogs play in the snow.

A perfect day!

Thanks for sharing this recipe!

Rachael said...

Oh my, the first thing I thought when I saw this was "Oh no... I can't make another banana bread...", but then i read on through to the recipe and wow - I will definitely be making this in the next week. Toasted coconut? And coconut milk? This looks creamy and amazing...!

Lisa Johnson said...

I love banana bread! I'm going to grab one of my Banana Nutella muffins! : ) Your recipe looks great. I would have never thought to put coconut in it. I need to use coconut more...

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

I knew there was a reason I liked Australians - too bad some enterprising Aussie didn't take out a patent on Chocolate and Banana Bread!

Annemarie said...

Great quiz, and I do love a good banana bread. I'll tell you a banana fact I just learned: Ireland is the biggest banana exporter in Europe because it buys almost the entire crop of bananas from Ecuador, and then sells them to the rest of Europe.

Nora B. said...

I'm glad that you decided to share this recipe - i can just imagine the flavours and texture. And also the aroma while they were being baked.

Susan from Food Blogga said...

ann-I like your perspective on the thriftiness. :)

suzana-Glad you like it!

happy cook-You're not alone!

brilynn-I know, I eat one every morning, and sometimes another in the afternoon.

shn-Oh, my! A banana bread sundae. That sounds absolutely fabulous!

kelly-Great! I hope you try it soon.

katy-A girl after my own heart. That's a good point about the juice.

suganya-That's a good way of looking at it.

megan-Yup, it's mangoes!

deborah-The coconut adds flavor, texture, and aroma.

eliza-You can never go wrong with nuts and chocolate chips.

dana-I just love it too.

namratha-Plus they cook so perfectly every time.

cowgirrlup-Oh, yeh! Let me know how it turns out!

rachael-I know, it's worth a second look (and taste). ;)

anali-Your muffins sound delicious too.

tw-Good one. ;)

annemarie-Really? Thanks for sharing. I didn't find that.

nora-The aroma really is fabulous.

Unknown said...

never thought mangoes are the most popular fruit. i don't mind, though, as they are my fave too hehehe... lovely moist bread!

Chris said...

mangoes? How interesting! I love them though, so I am cool with that. I like this B-Bread. It looks great - especially the one with it sliced. I bet it travels Georgia..LOL!

La Cuisine d'Helene said...

My bananas are on the counter waiting to ripen. I thought that the bananas were the most eaten in the world. I was wrong.

I saw that recipe in Dorie's book. Now that I see it on your website I'm more tempted to try it. It looks so good.

Wendy said...

Yum yum. I love this stuff but have not yet found the perfect recipe. Will have to try out this one out soon. :)

Anonymous said...

I bet the coconut milk really makes it! Love banana bread :)

Anonymous said...

lovely piece of bread. coconut? yes!
and who would have thought mango is the most eaten fruit. it's my all time fave fruit so im happy to hear that...really had no clue

Pip said...

I would have answered banana, too! ;)
This bread looks sooo delicious, do you think it would be good as well if I omit coconut flakes? My boyfriend doesn't like it so much... (but I won't tell there's coconut milk! ;-P )

Michelle | Bleeding Espresso said...

I love banana bread *any which way* ;)

Thanks so much for the shout out Susan!

Meeta K. Wolff said...

Susan you reminded me that it's been far too long since I made banana bread. This looks delicious! I am like Bril though, I end up eating thr bananas before they get ripe to bake with!!

Scribbit said...

Yup, I would have said bananas too.

I throw coconut into my bread too, mostly because my husband's favorite flavor is coconut. He thinks it's great with anything.

I don't really like bananas but I do love banana bread. Throw anything into a cake and I'm good with it.

Gretchen Noelle said...

Susan, this looks delicious! I have a similar recipe I have been making, but I like the idea of coconut milk and toasted coconut. I shall have to try this one next time I have those extra bananas laying around!

Thanks so much for entering Homegrown Gourmet!

Annie said...

Susan, it looks lovely. I love coconut and almonds. I will definately give this one a try.
By the way, I use Smart Balance too many times in my baking. It isn't too bad, although there's nothing like good ol' "butta"(from one Rhode Islander to another) ;)

sra said...

I'm really surprised. I didn't think it could be mangoes as they are not cheap, not produced far and wide and are very seasonal, but I am so wrong. Even in India, the banana is considered the most accessible and affordable fruit.

Susan from Food Blogga said...

arfi-Mangoes are wonderful.

chris-I'm cool with that too. :)

helene-It's a versatile recipe, so I hope you try it.

wendy-I hope it's a winner for you.

maryann-It makes it really moist.

flamboyant eats-Thanks so much! Mangoes are a weakness for me too.

pip-Sure you could. Just be sure to add some chocolate instead. :)

michelle-You're so welcome!

meeta-That's why you have to buy lots of them. ;)

michelle-I think I'd pick coconut over cake, unless it was a coconut cake. ;)

gretchen noelle-You're welcome! The coconut milk makes it really moist while the shredded coconut adds texture.

annie-Oh, yeah butta is betta. :)

sra-Really? Now, I would have thought mangoes would be more popular in India!

Tami said...

I always want to make banana bread or a layer cake but my guys always eat the whole bunch before any get soft and banana recipe ready. So, I thought it was bananas. We eat three bunches a week-easy!
Have you ever added mini choc. chips and chopped marichino cherries to banana bread? Oh, that's good.

Jaime said...

oh wow! i love the texture of this looks delicious!

Mansi said...

mangoes! No doubt about it!:)

I'm long due on baking a banana bread, esp after I saw one in the dessert book you sent me! But you know what! your sounds way better:) So I'm going for this one Susan:)

Farmgirl Susan said...

Loved reading this. And the recipe sounds fantastic. What a great combination of ingredients. Never thought to add coconut milk to banana bread, but I can't wait to try it. Thanks for another wonderful recipe! : )

Coffee and Vanilla said...

Hi Susan,

I always make banana bread with walnuts ( )but your recipe sounds very good, I will try it next time I have some ripe bananas... I bought actually the whole big bowl on the market today, just have to wait for them to get ripe enough.

Have a wonderful day, Margot

Nemmie said...

The pictures and recipe make my mouth water - and I'm not a big fan of bananas!

eatme_delicious said...

Mmm adding shredded coconut and coconut milk sounds like it would make a really good banana bread! My mom always made banana bread when I was growing up so it's not something I'm really interested in making often but I'm going to have to try out this variation. :) It looks delicious!

Coffee and Vanilla said...


My fried is coming over tonight and I will be making your banana cake... I was planning to make regular one I that always make but I have some shredded coconut and almonds in the cupboard so I will make something different this time :) I will let you know how did it come out...

Have a nice day, Margot

Anonymous said...

Oh, how I love a good banana bread in the morning! Thanks for the coconut idea. Just thinking about bananas and coconut makes me feel like I'm on a sunny island. And that's a great way to start your day :)

Jeanne said...

Wow - what a great-sounding recipe! I have never liked bananas (since babyhood - really!), but for some reason banana bread and banana muffins have always been exempt from this dislike. My mom would buy bananas and seeing as my share never got eaten (!) there was always a supply of gently browning bananas in the fruit bowl. She used to put plenty of nuts in hers, but I love the addition of the coconut.

Susan from Food Blogga said...

tami-Yes on the chocolate, no on the cherries. But I'll be trying that soon. Sounds great!

mrspresley-The texture really is appealing.

mansi-Oh, that's sweet of you.

susan-The coconut milk makes it extra moist.

margot-I'm usually a walnut gal too, but I love the almonds in this with the coconut.

nemmie-This might make you a fan!

eatmedelicious-Hope you try it!

margot-Oh, wonderful! I'll look forward to hearing from you.

lore-Trust me, you'll definitely feel good after tasting this bread.

jeanne-Whew! At least you'll eat them in breads and muffins. I was really worried there for a minute!

Andrea said...

Oh, this looks so good with all those flakes of coconut!

Anonymous said...

Mmmm, that bread looks so good! Great photo of the sliced bread. Makes my mouth water.

Judy said...

Oh yum! Another recipe for banana bread. I hate throwing out bananas, so any recipe is fine with me. I have some in the freezer now, loaded with chocolate chips, so this variation, with coconut and almonds, will most likely join the rest.

Susan from Food Blogga said...

andrea-It really was!

karen-Oh, thanks so much!

judy-I know, how can you tire of banana bread?

Nora said...

There are lots of comments about how good the bread looks...Blogs with photos seem to get a lot of "looks good" comments. While looking good is important, tasting good is more so!

I got it in my mind that I wanted to add coconut to my banana bread this morning. Found this recipe and was glad to have coconut milk on hand! And I want to say that this bread not only looks good but is really, really good!