There are recipes in which some ingredients should always go together.
For example, the combination of peanut butter and jelly is simply genius. Bacon and eggs and cake with frosting are two other brilliant pairs.
Then there are times that changing the ingredients around seems crazy.
That was the case with this banana bread. I think that banana bread is meant to have nuts. Banana bread and nuts do belong together, but when one cannot put nuts in a recipe, it’s good to know that there’s room for improvisation. That is exactly what happened with this beautiful and scrumptious banana bread.
I call it Banana Coconut Bread with Dried Cherries. Yes, dried cherries. I found them and fell in love with their plumpness. It may be hard to believe, but these dried cherries were not the wrinkly dried and humiliated fruit we expect when buying dried berries or cherries. These were just perfect! And then, the crunchy bite and taste of the coconut makes you think you are almost eating a banana nut bread but only in your head.
So if you want to try something different or just need to avoid nuts due to allergies, this is definitely a great option. Enjoy!
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 medium bananas, mashed
- 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup dried cherries
- 1 cup un-sweetened coconut flakes
Preheat oven to 325º F. In a large bowl cream butter and brown sugar, add eggs, mashed bananas and vanilla extract.
In a separate bowl combine AP flour, baking soda, baking powder. Add ground cinnamon and salt. Combine well and add cherries and coconut flakes. Add to dry mixture. Don’t over mix.
Pour the mixture into a lightly greased 9-inch loaf tin lined with parchment paper. Bake 1 hour or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool for 20 minutes in the tin before turning out onto a wire rack. Wrap and store at room temperature up to 3 days.
Adapted from Donna Hay Magazine, June/July 2012