Our doula (the amazing Morag of Apple Blossom Families) mentioned a few weeks back that it’d be good to have a few comforting, easy to eat items to keep us energized through our labour and birth. One of the things she suggested was banana loaf, which is easy to freeze and keep on hand, so I modified a recipe from the lovely Rebar cookbook for the occasion!
Fragrant Banana Loaf with Coconut
- 2 1/2 cups unbleached flour
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1/2 cup coconut oil, softened (can be replaced with unsalted butter)
- 3/4 cup coconut palm sugar*
- 1/2 cup cane sugar*
- 5-6 very ripe bananas
- 1/4 cup coconut cream
- 1 tbsp molasses (optional)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter and flour a 9″ x 5″ loaf pan. Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a small bowl and set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together coconut oil and sugars. Blend in the coconut cream until well incorporated. Mash together the bananas, molasses and vanilla, if using. Add a third of the flour mix into the creamed oil/sugar mix. Next, stir in the banana mash and mix thoroughly. Add the remainder of the flour and mix gently until well combined. Try not to overmix.
Sprinkle shredded coconut evenly on the bottom of the loaf pan. Pour the batter in, taking care not to disturb the layer of coconut, and smoothing out the top of the batter. Bake in preheated over for one hour, or until inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10-20 minutes, then run a knife around the edges to loosen loaf before turning it out gently. Finish cooling on a wire rack.
*If you’re looking to make this less sweet, you can reduce the amount sugars to 1/3 cup cane sugar and 1/2 cup coconut palm sugar as long as the bananas you’re using are super duper ripe and sweet!