Pecan Coconut Banana Bread

Mornings are one of the most exciting parts of my day, mainly because I love coffee and I love breakfast! Most people barely take time to eat breakfast, or even skip it altogether, which flabbergasts (yes, I am bringing that word back) me. My stomach usually sounds like a freight train when I get up, begging me to feed it. Pancakes, waffles, and omelets, oh my! All the good food that breakfast offers makes waking up that much more tolerable.

My breakfast routinely consists of two eggs with a piece of turkey sausage (and sometimes cheese in the eggs if I’m feeling really crazy) but where I switch it up is what kind of bread I have to go with that. Being a baker, I pride myself on my homemade breads of all kinds. I love experimenting with new and delicious flavor combinations.

My most recent creation: pecan coconut banana bread.

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I think I have found my new favorite banana bread recipe, and that’s saying A LOT since I have tried at least a dozen or so and am super picky when it comes to banana bread. However, this version surpasses them all by far. It is super moist and packs a big flavor punch. Instead of walnuts, this recipe calls for pecans, which in my opinion adds an edge of an earthiness and a hint of sweetness to the bread. The coconut gives it extra moistness and brings a little tropical flair and flavor. It also adds a nice chew to the bread, giving it layers upon layers of texture in every bite.

To make matters even better, this recipe does not call for added butter or fat. The bananas keep it moist enough. And the ingredients are extremely easy to sub out with healthier alternatives, which is just what I did. You couldn’t even taste that it was a healthy bread!

No added frills or fancy tools are needed to make this. Just two bowls (you don’t even have to use a mixer if you don’t want), a loaf pan, and an oven.

In one bowl, combine all of your dry ingredients. I used 100% whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose flour. Since I buy whole wheat pastry flour, there is no need to sift. Pastry flour already has the lightness to it intended for airy and fluffy desserts and breads, so it was perfect to substitute 1 for 1.

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If you want to enhance the flavor of your bread, I highly recommend toasting both the pecans and the coconuts. Every seen contestants on Chopped toasting nuts before they add them to their dishes? Well, toasting brings out the flavor and aroma of your item. Definitely give this a try.

In a separate bowl, combine all your wet ingredients. I substituted Greek yogurt instead of regular yogurt. Half the fat and half the sugar.

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Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just moistened and combined. Do not overmix as you don’t want to incorporate too much air, which in the long run will actually leave your bread dense and hard.

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I also tried using a healthier oil instead of regular vegetable oil. Much healthier for you and works in the same way so your bread still turns out the same.

 

Pour into a greased loaf pan and bake for about 45-55 minutes. Cool completely when done.

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I recommend putting the bread in the freezer unless you are going to eat it right away. Since I live by myself, I can’t go through food that quickly, so in order to keep things fresh, I freeze them and take them out when I am ready to eat them. I did not find that this changed the flavor of the bread at all. I stuck it in my toaster oven to get a nice brown and crisp to it and chowed down. You could even add a smear of butter but I find that it is perfect just the way it is.

Try this recipe this weekend and make your breakfasts a little more fun and interesting. Make it worth waking up in the mornings.

 

PECAN COCONUT BANANA BREAD

 

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup vanilla yogurt or vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1 egg
  • 3 medium bananas, mashed (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted for extra flavor
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut, toasted for extra flavor

 

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9×5 loaf pan.
  2. Toast pecans and coconut for about 5 minutes, or just until browned.
  3. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, pecans, and coconut.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine yogurt, egg, oil, and mashed bananas.
  5. Add flour to the mixture and stir just until moistened.
  6. DO NOT OVERMIX!
  7. Pour into prepared pan and bake 55-65 minutes.
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