Pineapple Coconut Oil Banana Bread

Summer is not my favorite season; yes, you heard me correct, I don’t like Summer, in fact I actually hate it.  I don’t like the intense sun, I don’t like the humidity, I don’t like how the heat and humidity drain my energy; I don’t like it because I have to temporarily halt major cooking and baking (unless I blast my air conditioner) and I don’t like walking around like a zombie waiting for the Fall to come.  Maybe I will feel differently if my house had central air and a pool in the backyard (but with this 100 plus year old house I strike out on both counts).   However, there is one thing I like about Summer…  (yes, just one thing) I like all the variety of fresh fruits and vegetables I find at the Farmer’s Market and at my local organic markets.  They look so vibrant and alive!  Many of these produce can be purchased throughout the year, but nothing compares with the taste of seasonal produce.

Ironically today’s recipe will remind you of a tropical island with pineapple, coconut and banana.  Pineapples you get at the market now are definitely sweeter than the ones you can get in Winter (I don’t even try to buy tropical fruits in the Winter, seriously, I don’t like how they taste).  I found today’s recipe here and so glad I tried it!

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Makes: two 8-by-4-inch loaves

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted (canola or vegetable oil, or browned or melted butter may be substituted)
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk (1/4 cup Greek yogurt or sour cream may be substituted)
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, optional but recommended
  • pinch salt, optional and to taste
  • 1 to 1 1/4 cups mashed ripe bananas (2 large or 3 small ripe bananas)
  • 1 cup pineapple, diced (I used frozen; mango, peaches, nectarines, strawberries or blueberries may be substituted)
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spray two 8-by-4-inch loaf pans with floured cooking spray; set aside. (I have not tried it but I suspect you could bake as muffins, mini loaves, or in a Bundt pan, adjusting baking times accordingly).
  2. In a large bowl combine the eggs, coconut oil, buttermilk, sugars, vanilla, and whisk to combine. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, optional salt, and stir to just incorporate; don’t overmix because the gluten will overdevelop and bread will be tougher. Stir in bananas. Stir in pineapple (if using frozen, just add it frozen, no need to thaw it first. If using fresh or canned, make sure it’s well-drained or it could water-down the batter).
  3. Pour batter into prepared pans and bake for about 45 minutes, or until top is golden and set, a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean (banana bread is gooey and it may not come out perfectly clean). If bread is browning too fast on the top, you may wish to lower your oven temperature to 325F in last 15 minutes of cooking, or tent the pan with foil; although I don’t suspect this will be an issue. Allow bread to cool in pan for about 15 minutes before removing and transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling. Bread will keep for up to 1 week in an airtight container or large Ziplock at room temperature (I wrap my fully cooled bread in Clingwrap, then I place it in a gallon-sized Ziplock). Second loaf may be frozen for up to 3 months.

My opinion: If at all possible, I highly encourage you to use coconut oil and fresh pineapples (even though substitution options are given) – coconut oil gives mild, rounded and deep note (doesn’t taste like coconut so don’t worry), and fresh pineapples give authentic sweetness and texture to this wonderful bread.  I don’t think any ingredients or flavor compete against each other, they kind of all blend really well together.  I didn’t have to worry about storing the second loaf  because we polished off pretty quickly!!

Quinoa Cookies–Almond/Cherry & Coconut/Chocolate

I felt like baking some cookies today; the weather has truly turned into cool & crisp Fall weather.  I even had to close my bedroom window last night and bring out a thin comforter!  Some people may think it’s weird, but I love this type of weather.  I also love to see people dressed up in their Fall fashion, personally, I think Fall fashion surpasses any other seasonal fashion! 

Today’s recipe came from Bon Appetit – the original recipe called from almond & cranberry, however, I like cherries so that’s what I used.  I also made a second batch using coconut & chocolate. 

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Coconut/Chocolate in the middle & Almond/Cherry surrounding coconut/chocolate.

Makes 2 dozen

For Almond/Cherry:

  • 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup(1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup(packed) light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa, cooled (the measurement is 1 cup after the quinoa has been cooked)
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup dried cherries
  • 1/2 cup slivered unsalted almonds

  • Preheat oven to 375°. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in a medium bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat butter, both sugars, and honey in a large bowl until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs and extracts; beat until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in flour mixture, 1/2 cup at a time. Stir in quinoa, oats, cherries, and almonds. Spoon dough in 2-tablespoon portions onto prepared sheets, spacing 1” apart.

  • Bake cookies until golden, 12–15 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack and let cool. DO AHEAD: Store cooled cookies airtight at room temperature for 1 day, or freeze for up to 1 month.


For Coconut/Chocolate:  All the ingredients are the same except you do not add the almond extract, and instead of cherries & almonds, add 1 cup chocolate chips & 3/4 cup desiccated unsweetened coconut.  Follow the same instruction. 

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I love quinoa!!
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Almond/Cherry on the left & Coconut/Chocolate on the right.

My opinion: Yum yum yummy!!  I baked a minute or 2 longer and the cookies were cakey in the middle.  If you like crispier cookies either make the cookies smaller or bake them for a little longer.  Not overly sweet, but you taste wonderful ingredients of almond/cherry or coconut/chocolate in tasteful harmony (did I sound too corny here??)!!  I’m sure eating too many of these will not help my waistline, but makes me feel good knowing I’m eating oats & quinoa!!

Christmas Cookies Part 2–Coconut Cookies & Santa’s Whiskers

Continuing with our mad cookie baking day!  My house is perpetually smelling like a bakery now – in a way it’s really nice, but also I’m wondering how much pounds I will be gaining after this holiday season.  I haven’t been binging on any of the cookies I have baked, but I do have to taste test… sigh…

Anyway, today’s cookies are Coconut Cookies (from Saveur) and Santa’s Whiskers (from Epicurious).

Coconut Cookies:  Makes about 24 cookies

2 cups sweetened coconut flakes
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp. flour
4 tbsp. melted butter
2 egg yolks
1 whole egg

Moisten your hands with water to aid in forming the balls. Preheat oven to 350°. Mix coconut flakes, sugar, flour, melted butter, egg yolks, and whole egg in a medium mixing bowl until ingredients hold together. Roll dough into walnut-size balls and bake on parchment-lined baking sheets until golden on top, about 15 minutes.

My opinion: These taste like macaroons!!  A really easy recipe!!  If you love coconuts you have to make this!!

Santa’s Whiskers: Makes about 5 dozen cookies

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  • 3/4 cup (6 ounces) flaked sweetened coconut
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla or rum extract
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 ounces red candied cherries, coarsely chopped
  • 3 ounces green candied cherries, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) coarsely chopped pecans

**I omitted pecans

Arrange two approximately 12- by 12-inch square pieces of wax paper on a work surface and spread half the flaked coconut in the middle of each.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and sugar and beat on medium speed, scraping the bowl occasionally, until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
Add the milk and vanilla or rum extract and beat until fully incorporated. With the mixer on low, add the flour in 3 batches, followed by the red and green cherries and the pecans, and stir until just combined, about 2 minutes.

Divide the dough in half and form each half into a 10-inch-long log, about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Transfer each log to a sheet of wax paper and roll to coat them in the coconut. Once the logs are completely covered in coconut, roll the wax paper around each log, cover in plastic wrap, and chill for at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours.

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Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and a second rack in the lower third then preheat to 375°F.
Slice each log crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick cookies and arrange on baking sheets, leaving about 1 inch between cookies.
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Bake, switching the baking sheets between the upper and lower racks about halfway through baking, until light golden brown, about 12 minutes. Cool the cookies on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Continue baking cookies on cooled baking sheets.

DO AHEAD: The cookies can be baked ahead and stored, in an airtight container at room temperature, up to 3 days.

My opinionReally really yummy!!  It’s a tamer version of butter cookie with candied cherries (which aren’t sweet in this cookie) and nice texture and taste of coconut!