What could be more traditional than banana bread? Every thrifty cook has her special recipe that makes very good use of the ripe fruit. My old favorite was the Laurel’s Kitchen recipe, because it used the most bananas, and it includes both toasted walnuts and dried apricots – yum!
Nowadays I rarely bake this kind of cake, for several reasons, but I still acquire bananas that I am loath to toss. Last month I cut a few into chunks and froze them, with hopes that someone someday will want to throw them into a smoothie.
But then my Coconut Flour Project loomed. It all started with a humongous bag of coconut flour I bought at Costco, because I love everything coconut and am always trying to cut back on grains. Beyond the flour itself I hadn’t anything to show for my time spent thinking about what to do with what I thought was a great resource.
That’s not exactly true: I saw a recipe for coconut flour bread in Pippin’s files, and she warned me that for her it turned out “kind of dry,” but I eventually tried it. It might as well have been made with sawdust. Lesson learned: don’t use the stuff alone.
I had given up surfing and searching for coconut flour recipes and instead bought an old fridge to use in my garage, in which to keep my bag of coconut flour and other currently neglected semi-perishables, against some misty future when I would suddenly bake a lot again.
THEN Nikkipolani made some banana bread and mentioned it briefly on her blog, and because she said it was grain-free I followed the link to SlimPalate and found a recipe for which I had all the ingredients right here in one refrigerator or another. I even had the cacao nibs, but I didn’t add them, and it doesn’t seem that nikkipolani did either.
The crumb of this bread is so moist and tender – nothing dry about it. The banana flavor melts into the subtle almond and coconut, with honey and vanilla. I’d like to try it with the cacao nibs next time. I’m not sure this loaf will have enough opportunity to become the New Traditional, but it is now my favorite banana bread.
Update: I bought some bananas for the purpose of making this bread again, which I have now done. I had extra mashed banana so I made a 50% bigger loaf by increasing all the ingredients that much. I used large instead of extra-large eggs this time, so the batter was thicker, but the end result is not much different from the first time, and just as delicious.