In my part of the world, we are lucky have access to Bananas all year round. They are one of the best value fruits on offer so are always present in our kitchen. Not only do they get used on breakfast cereal, in lunchboxes and as a snack, but they are also a common inclusion in baking – this Coconut Banana Loaf is a fine example.
A few years ago our main banana producing area of the state was struck by a cyclone which destroyed the banana crops for a good 12-18 months. The price of bananas quadrupled overnight and they became a luxury item. It was devastating, not only for the farmers, but for us ordinary folk who are used to them being available as a staple item. Thankfully normality has now returned and bananas are readily available again.
Coconut Banana Loaf is one of my easy baking favourites. It is quick to make and never disappoints. The kids can help with mashing the banana and mixing together the ingredients (Stewie helped me with the latest loaf – see the pictures below). The mixture is a bit like a muffin mix – lumpy and not overly combined – so it is very forgiving for any cook. Also, you can use bananas that are beginning to over ripen so they don’t get wasted.
Coconut Banana Loaf
Adapted from Super Food Ideas, September 2005
1 cup desiccated coconut
1 cup caster sugar
1 ½ cups self raising flour, sifted
1 cup mashed banana
1 cup coconut flavoured evaporated milk (see notes)
1 egg lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 170C (340F). Grease and line a loaf pan.
Combine dry ingredients – coconut, sugar and flour – in one bowl. Beat together remaining ingredients in a bowl using a fork. Pour over dry mixture and stir together gently.
Spoon mixture into prepared pan and bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes. Check loaf is done by inserting a skewer into the centre. If it comes out clean, the loaf is done. Otherwise return it to the over for further baking.
Allow the loaf to cool in the pan for 10 minutes then turn onto a wire rack to cool completely.
The Klutzy Cook Notes
- Coconut flavoured evaporated milk can be replaced with coconut milk or milk and coconut essence.
- You will need 2-3 bananas, depending on size.
- Can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week.