take action.

I think it's safe to say that most people have a love/hate relationship with coconut, they either adore it in everything from coconut cream pie to pina coladas, or they turn their nose up at anything that has a shred of that tropical goodness in it, ignoring coconut cake and Mounds bars like they're toxic sweets. It's kind of sad really, I don't know where in the history of food coconut got blacklisted, maybe it had a falling out with a cookie somewhere and they just decided to go their separate ways. If we're being completely honest here, then I must tell you that I tend to be on the fence in my adoration for coconut. I used to sneak the second half of my Mom's Almond Joy bars and those were lovely for any eight year old's sweet tooth, but now they strike me as cloyingly sweet, clumped together with sugary paste-stuff and swathed in bitter chocolate. I think I'm good on that.

But I never pass on banana bread - or banana anything, for that matter - and sometimes when I'm feeling really wild, I throw a little handful of something extra into the batter like chocolate chips or in this case, coconut. I was a bit leary because I live in a household of protein shakes, steamed chicken, canned tuna and hard boiled eggs (please, rescue me) and I wasn't convinced it would get eaten, but you can't live that way, now can you? In fear that you won't fall in love? Won't land your dream job? Won't make a difference in this world? Your coconut banana bread was a flop? No, no. You can't go on like this, you must take action and be ready for anything. So grab a bag of shredded coconut and let's get down to business.


My second order of business, runner-up to making this bread, is to clean this filthy dirty mirror. But let's not get overwhelmed. This particular loaf of bread is on the other end of the banana bread spectrum from my die hard go-to recipe for Banana Bread, but it certainly carries it's own weight. It's not quite as sweet, a bit more textured like classic banana bread, shot through with sweet coconut and crunchy walnuts and it's perfect for breakfast with a smear of soft butter right across the side. Despite all those protein-loaded foods the men in my household swear by, the bread was a smashing success, and I'm especially thankful for my mother's willingness to help me make that loaf disappear in less than two days.


Banana Coconut Loaf
Adapted from All Recipes

2 eggs
1 cup white sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
2 large overripe bananas, smashed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and lightly flour a 9 x 5 loaf pan and set it on a cookie sheet. *

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, mix together butter, sugar and eggs until light and fluffy. Stir in mashed banana and vanilla. In two additions, add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix until just combined.

Spoon the batter into the pan and bake for 1 hour, if it browns too quickly, place a foil tent over the top the last 20 minutes or so of baking.

* The extra layer will keep the bottom of the bread from getting too dark.

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