“The two basic things to sustain life are sunshine and coconut”
– Dustin Hoffman
What is the first thing than comes to mind when you think of summer? Sea, palm trees and coconut. No other flavor says “summer” like coconut and no other ingredient gives instant tropical taste to your sweet delights like coconut.
The color, the smell, the taste…coconut is the perfect summery ingredient. And the best thing about it is that you don’t have to wait for summer to prepare it. I just love adding coconut into easy, simple treats like banana bread. I am never bored with coconut because my cooking app MyGreatRecipes offers plenty of coconut banana bread recipe variations.
Health Benefits of Coconut Banana Bread
Replace regular flour with coconut flour. Coconut flour is made completely of pure coconut and is high in fiber, protein, and healthy fats. It is also low in sugar, calories and digestible carbohydrates.
This makes coconut flour a favorite amongst vegetarians, paleo and gluten free eaters, including those with Celiac Disease or a gluten sensitivity, those with nut allergies and diabetes.
Here is what coconut flour does for you:
- Aids metabolism and promotes digestive health;
- Cleans toxins from your body;
- Lowers blood sugar levels.
You can mix coconut flour with another type of flour like whole wheat or oatmeal. If you are not using coconut flour I recommend whole wheat instead of regular flour.
Besides coconut flour you can add extra coconutty flavor by using coconut milk for extra moisture and softness, as well as coconut oil instead of butter. Coconut oil is qualified as “superfood” because it is rich in nutrients essential for our well-being. Coconut oil benefits:
- improves brain function
- boosts immune system
- protects and fights against cancer
- cures kidney infection and protects liver
- improves digestion
- lowers cholesterol levels
- facilitates weight loss
- improves skin health
Just make sure to use organic, virgin coconut oil, not the refined one.
Fruity Coconut Banana Bread
For a true tropical experience, pair coconut with another fruit in the banana bread recipe.
My first recommendation is the Pina colada banana bread, made with pineapple, coconut flakes (one cup of each), rum extract (one tablespoon), pineapple juice (two tablespoons) plus some more toasted coconut on top.
Coconut also makes great pair with peaches. This recipe is very convenient if you have tired peaches you need to save besides bananas. One cup diced peaches will suffice. This recipe can handle some booze as well. Try bourbon (max ¼ cup into the batter).
The blueberry variation calls for one cup fresh or frozen blueberries, as well as cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg in the batter. This recipe also includes a crunchy streusel topping made with shredded sweetened coconut, blueberries, brown sugar, flour and butter.
You can also use a cup of diced strawberries or mix ¾ cup strawberries with ¼ cup raspberries. Add 2 tablespoons chia seeds for extra healthiness.
Chocolate Coconut Banana Bread
Another great combination is coconut and chocolate (have you ever eaten Bounty chocolate bar? Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about). One cup of chocolate chips will suffice. You can make an easy quick chocolate drizzle by melting some chocolate chips and mixing them with coconut oil.
Nut + Coconut Banana Bread
One more suggestion: mix one cup coconut flakes with one cup nuts (pecans) in the banana loaf batter. Cover this bread with a citrus glaze made with lime or lemon juice mixed with powdered sugar and some more coconut flakes. Yum!
Images courtesy of MyGreatRecipes.com