Bad bananas (and good banana bread).

When life hands you rotten bananas, MAKE BANANA BREAD.

My day yesterday was sort of like a big bunch of old bananas. They’re still bananas, but they’re not really good, you know?  A few things had me feeling blue. So I hit my happy place and to try to make something of those “old bananas.” With actual old bananas.

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Confession: I don’t like bananas. Like, AT ALL. Sometimes I pick some up for John or a houseguest will bring some, but they end up just sitting there, getting brown and sad. Every once in awhile, I’ll see a plump, golden banana and something in my body says, “YOU NEED THAT.” So I optimistically give it a shot, but one mushy, grainy bite in, I’m looking around for someone to finish it. I think it’s a texture thing.

I have no problem whatsoever, however, with delicious banana baked goods!

Coconut Banana Bread Muffins, to be exact.

I pinned this recipe a couple of weeks ago, but hadn’t read the recipe beyond the title. The ingredients intrigued me: in addition to the expected banana and shredded coconut, it also called for almond extract (yum) and coconut milk (double yum).

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The recipe was simple, which was right up my alley yesterday. Instead of a loaf, I decided to use my big muffin tin for mini cakes! Cholula made sure I knew she was RIGHT THERE. You know, in case anything needed tasting. So selfless. She deserves a raise.

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Vegetable oil and sugar made friends with each other in a bowl. Next came two eggs, one at a time, beaten after each one.

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It was about this time that two things became clear:

  1. I should have a glass of wine, and
  2. Cholula had settled in for the long haul.

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Moving on!

I just love the smell of almond extract. This recipe called for vanilla AND almond flavorings- exciting! Once the wet stuff was combined, I sifted together flour, baking soda AND powder, and some salt. I also smooshed up the ‘naners and stirred them into a cup of light coconut milk.

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All that was left was to mix it all together! Alternating the wet and dry ingredients, everything ended up in the same bowl. I stirred in shredded coconut, anticipating the nutty sweetness and chewy texture it would bring to the muffins. I added more than called for, just because I like it.

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Let’s pause for a moment to view what a messy cook I really am.

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WHATEVER.

Time to bake! I scooped the chunky batter into the big muffin tin using a ladle. It worked perfectly! I had enough batter for 8 giant muffins (and a little extra for tasting). I sprinkled some of the shredded coconut on top before popping them into the oven for a half hour or so.

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Can we just agree on something here? Banana and coconut baking away in the oven is a heavenly smell. The aroma alone was enough to lift my spirits! Also fun? Instagram. Guys, I feel like it was meant for a photo-snapping fool like me! It kept me occupied while I was solo in the kitchen. Cholula had gotten bored and gone upstairs. This is alarming considering the number of toys she had to play with.

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Hmmm. Spoiled much?

Somehow, John and I had enough willpower to wait until AFTER dinner to taste the muffins. SO GOOD. They are moist, slightly dense, and not too sweet. They feel like a treat without feeling as naughty as a cupcake. The toasted coconut on the top was our favorite- I’ll have to add more next time.

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The best part? I woke up this morning, a new, beautiful day ahead of me, and remembered that my breakfast was already ready for me.

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Sometimes, when a batch of bananas is going bad, it takes a little work to make them good. A blue day doesn’t have to be a total loss.

Sometimes, if you put in the effort, you just might end up with a little something sweet.

Coconut Banana Bread

*via Fat Girl Trapped in a Skinny Body

You’ll need:

  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 overripe bananas, mashed (1 cup)
  • 1 cup light coconut milk
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan. In a large bowl, mix the oil and sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Stir in the vanilla and almond extracts. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl, stir the banana and coconut milk together. Alternating wet and dry ingredients, combine everything in the large bowl. Stir in the shredded coconut. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and bake for 1 hour- 1 hour 15 minutes. Loaf is done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. *I used large muffin tins and reduced the cooking time to 30 minutes. YUM!

12 replies »

  1. I’m so sorry to hear you were feeling blue yesterday. Those days are tough, and they can sometimes be challenging to get out of. Baking always calms me down and cheers me up, too! I love this recipe, and will likely be re-creating it as a gluten/sugar-free version. Oh, la-la! Big hug to you!

    • Making something, whether it be crafty or delicious, always takes my mind off of stressful things. At least for a bit. I’m attempting to reduce gluten this month so this was my last little hurrah! 🙂

  2. Bananas- YUCK! Coconut is a gift from Heaven. Can’t wait to try this recipe b/c we end up with plenty of brown bananas around here. I usually freeze them for the kid’s smoothies but they start to pile up in the freezer after awhile. Masked with coconut, I might like this banana muffin recipe. Why are you going off gluten? I have a number of friends who struggle with it. The problem I have is that certain baked goods like muffins tend to give me headaches. I’ve wondered if it is a gluten thing or a sugar thing?? Yesterday, while looking for granola recipes, I accidentally stumbled across a few articles about the importance of soaking grains before using them. Unsoaked grains like oats, wheat, etc are tough to digest because they contain phytic acid which absorbs vital nutrients in our digestive tract. Soaking grains for 12-24 hours in water with a little vinegar or lemon juice neutralizes this phytic acid. I guess, in the past, it was common practice to soak all grains in addition to beans and nuts. When I read this, I was wondering if maybe this is why so many people struggle with eating various grains? Don’t know if there is any merit to this or not, but it’s worth reading up on. Made some “soaked oat granola” yesterday and it turned out great. Sorry for the really long reply and hope you’re feeling better.

    • The gluten thing is a suggestion from my acupuncturist to aid in fertility. Gluten doesn’t bother me- in fact, I love it! 🙂 But apparently, it causes an inflammation in our bodies that can inhibit implantation. WHO KNEW?!

      • I’ve learned soooooo much about inflammation over the years due to some health issues in our family. I know gluten can be tough for a number of reasons. I think the biggest culprit is sugar in any form. I have a good friend who had difficulty getting pregnant, but through a very strict diet and lots of patience, she had a beautiful baby girl. I could go on for days about the whole inflammation thing, but I’m sure you are getting so much input from all directions. Sending lots of prayers your way and I know we haven’t talked much since we were kids, but I’m here if you ever need to chat or vent or whatever.

      • You’re so sweet! So far, the gluten part has been pretty easy. I’ll be diving into GF pizza dough tonight… hmmmm!
        I haven’t seen you since the reunion which was already 10 years ago! And here we have the NEXT reunion coming up…

  3. Oooo, one more thing. These muffins would be great with coconut oil in place of the vegetable oil. I love using coconut oil in baked goods.

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