Since I ALWAYS have extra ripe bananas lying around, I make a banana bread (or banana muffins) at least twice a month — for me, it is really either that or smoothies and I know I’m not the only one who does this. Having become such a habitual banana bread maker, I have come to experiment with a few different variations in ingredients for taste and better health. This recipe in particular calls for banana bread with coconut oil, and I promise you won't be disappointed. I actually made this banana bread for the crew at about.com, and it was very well received — this one is very moist and also freezes well.
Making Banana Bread with Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is a very handy ingredient to consider if you have someone who is lactose intolerant in your house. A natural, plant source of saturated fat, coconut oil is said to offer a host of health benefits as it has antibacterial, antiviral, and antioxidant properties and is purported to speed up metabolism and promote weight loss.
When substituting coconut oil for butter in any recipe, remember that coconut oil is a little fattier than butter — but a 1:1 ratio of coconut oil for butter is best. I like to use raw, unrefined, virgin coconut oil as it will have a very mild coconut flavor and scent.
- 4 very ripe bananas
- ⅓ cup coconut oil
- ¾ cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup dark chocolate chips (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Grease a 9 x 5 –inch loaf pan, or spray with cooking spray
Place the bananas in a large mixing bowl and mash them with a fork. Add the coconut oil and sugar to the bananas, and beat with a fork or an electric mixer until smooth. Beat in the eggs and vanilla.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
Gradually add the flour mixture to the banana mixture, on low speed with the mixer (or using a rubber spatula or fork) just until well-incorporated, but do not overmix, which will yield a tough banana bread. Stir in the chocolate chips, if using. Scrape the coconut banana bread batter into the prepared loaf pan.
Bake for about 55 minutes until a wooden skewer or a sharp knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then turn out of the pan and finish cooling upright on the wire rack.
What the Kids Can Do: Mash the bananas, measure the ingredients, mix up the batter, and don’t forget – preheat the oven! It’s never to early for them to know how to do that! You might let them decide on whether or not to ad chocolate chips — though in my experience, the answer to that will always be yes.
You can also make these as muffins, and they will make about 14 to 18 regular muffins. Reduce the cooking time to about 25 minutes. Cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then turn them out onto a wire rack to finish cooling.