I participate in a food co-op called Bountiful Baskets. It's awesome. It's available in several states, so if you've never heard of it, check out their website. For $15, I get about $40-50 worth of produce each week. Just a heads up, it requires a bit of planning, as you order on Monday for pickup on Saturday, but for the money I save, who cares? I don't know what I'm getting until I pick it up, so it's always a fun surprise. I'm sure a lot of my posts will involve Bountiful Basket ingredients, as does this one. Today's ingredient is bananas!
Speaking of bananas and making banana bread, I have a tip. I don't know about you, but I never want to make banana bread when I have overripe bananas hanging on my banana hammock. On the other hand, when I do want to make banana bread, I never have any overripe bananas. The solution? Put your overripe bananas in the freezer, peel and all! On the day you want to make banana bread, just set them out to thaw. Once they're thawed you can cut the tops off and squeeze the banana out. It will be mushy and kind of watery, but for baking, it will work fabulously. As for measurements, I've found that 1 banana equals roughly 1/2 c. mashed banana.
If you've never toasted coconut, I like to do it in a dry nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Just be sure to stir it constantly and watch it closely because once it starts to brown and get "toasted" it can burn quickly! It only takes a few minutes.
Tropical Banana Bread
Adapted from allrecipes.com
1 c. wheat flour
2 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 c. applesauce
3/4 c. vegetable oil
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
2 c. mashed ripe bananas (about 4 bananas)
1/2 c. sweetened coconut flakes, toasted, divided
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon. In another bowl, beat the eggs, oil, and vanilla; add pineapple and bananas (I do all this with a whisk, no electric mixer required). Stir into the dry ingredients just until moistened. Pour into two well-greased 9x5" loaf pans. Sprinkle each loaf with 1/4 c. toasted coconut. Bake in preheated oven for 60-65 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. (Note: it's important to check your bread with a toothpick. I've had it take almost 90 minutes to be done, and I've also had it been almost too done after just 60 minutes. Every oven is different.) Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.