Thursday, January 21, 2010

Banana Bread with Coconut, Blueberries, and Almonds

This is the quick bread which I so tragically under-baked and then dropped in the days leading up to Christmas. Naturally, I was a bit chary of attempting this recipe again, but it’s ridiculously tasty, easy, and a nice way to use up those last couple of bananas of the bunch that always go over-ripe before you’ve had a chance to eat them.

It’s also a nice way to use up flake coconut. I have a ton of coconut on hand because I inadvertently bought two bags on subsequent shopping trips. This used up all the coconut in the open bag, but I still need to whip up some macaroons lest my remaining coconut, horror of horrors, go rancid. That would be a waste of precious coconut.

This recipe was “inspired” by one I found on the internet some years ago, but it’s beyond my powers of recall to tell you from which site. The original made a nice-but-small, flattish loaf that was too insubstantial for my preferences. I’m an American, and we like everything big, right? And that includes quickbreads. I’ve basically superimposed my memory of its flavors onto my no-fail quickbread formula, and the results, as I hope you would agree, are quite tasty – and also quite abundant.

I don’t know if it’s the density of the ingredients or what, but this does take a ridiculously long time to bake. My oven usually turns out perfect quickbreads 45 minutes or less, but this one took nearly a full hour. Other ovens might be slower.

Banana Bread with Coconut, Blueberries, and Almonds
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened or melted
2 ripe or over-ripe bananas, mashed
¾ cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
zest of one lemon (optional but strongly recommended)
2 eggs, room temp
1 6-oz container vanilla yoghurt, lowfat is fine

2 cups flour
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt

1 cup sweetened flake coconut
1 cup wild blueberries, fresh or frozen
2/3 cup slivered or sliced almonds, toasted

Preheat oven to 350 and grease a standard loaf pan.

In a large bowl, mash bananas using a fork or, as I prefer, a potato masher. Add butter, sugar, vanilla, and lemon zest and stir well. Add eggs. Add yoghurt.

In a small bowl, sift or whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir in coconut and almonds. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, then gently fold in blueberries.

Scoop into prepared loaf pan and bake for 55-65 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

This is a really nice “twist” on banana bread. It’s banana bread’s doubleplusgood friend. The ingredients list might strike you as odd, but everything is complementary. Because there are only two of the fruit, the banana flavor is pretty mild and serves as a nice backdrop for the blueberry, coconut, and almond notes.

It’s like a tropical paradise in a bread. Except that blueberries are from Maine or something. Just remember: a hint of incongruity never hurt anyone.

Printable recipe here.


  1. woooooo that loaf looks so moist. That picture of the buttered slice is making me hungry...

  2. Another great recipe, thanks Becky... so many great things in it!

  3. I am such a fan of coconut in bread like this, it always takes things into a whole other dimension of deliciousness.
    Love it!!!

  4. Thanks! I appreciate it. It really is a nice bread. :)

  5. Becky... I made it!!! I only had one banana and no coconut but added a persimmon that I had and it is fabulous! Thanks so much!

  6. Ooh, I be the persimmon was great! I'm so glad it turned out well for you!

  7. Oh this sounds absolutely wonderful. Lovely photos as well!

  8. Thanks! I like to think my photography is a work in progress. :)

  9. Wow - made it this morning - turned out fabu - nice recipe!

  10. I'm so glad it came out for you! It's really one of my favorite things.

  11. I finally got a chance to try this recipe and it turned out great! Thank you!

  12. I'm so glad it was delicious for you!

  13. Just made this, it is cooking as I type.

    The batter itself is just to die for.

    And the hint of lemon makes it a taste sensation.

    Cant wait to taste the end result!

  14. I hope it tasted as great as the batter! Let me know. :)