Banana bread has been one of my favorite snacks for as long as I can remember. My mom was a great baker, and growing up we always had baked goods in our house. Classic chocolate chip cookies were my first love, but banana bread was a close second. My banana bread recipe is a little different from my moms. Mine is a bit healthier, using white whole wheat flour, with a hint of sweetness from dates. It would make the perfect breakfast toast– slathered with peanut butter of course- but feel free to snag bites of this tender, flavorful, perfectly sweetened loaf anytime you want. I won’t tell.
Coconut Cacao Banana Bread
1 1/2 Cups White Whole Wheat flour
2 tsp Baking Powder (make sure you’re using aluminum-free!)
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Sea Salt
2 tsp Cinnamon
4 Pitted Medjool dates, soaked in hot water for 20 minutes then drained
4 Tbsp Water, divided
2 Tbsp Ground Flax Seed
1 tsp Vanilla
1/4 Cup Melted Coconut Oil
1/4 C Plant Milk of Choice- I used unsweetened boxed coconut milk
1 1/2 Cups Mashed Super Ripe Banana – This was 3 bananas for me
1/4 Cup Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
1/4 Cup Cacao Nibs
Combine the flax, 2 tablespoons of water and the vanilla and a small bowl. Set aside.
Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl. Combine with a whisk.
Mash your banana with a fork. I like to leave some chunks, but thats really up to you. Combine the soaked dates and 2 tablespoons of water in the bowl of a food processor or blender. Blend for about one minute, add the plant milk and melted coconut oil and blend until well combined, About one minute longer. Pour date mixture, flax mixture and mashed banana into the bowl with your dry ingredients. Stir until just combined, add your mix-ins. This time I chose coconut and cacao, but pretty much any dried fruit, seed or nut would work. The possibilities are endless! Just gently fold them in.
Spray a loaf pan with non stick spray, or rub some earth balance on it. I used a 10 inch loaf pan, but a 9 inch will work too. You’ll just have to bake it a little longer.
Bake in a 350* oven for 55-65 minutes, gently turning after 30 minutes. To test for doneness, just insert a knife into the center of the loaf, If it comes out clean, its done.
Let cool in its pan for about 20 minutes, then turn out onto a site rack to cool completely. Make sure its completely cool before slicing. This loaf freezes beautifully! I like to defrost slice by slice in the toaster. I’m a sucker for a crispy edge.