Whole Wheat Banana Bread with Coconut Cinnamon Streusel.

When the most exciting part of your day includes a thrice ran dishwasher, good banana bread is a huge thing.

I know. I make a good amount of recipes containing the words “banana” and “bread.”  And “good amount” probably doesn’t even do my obsession justice. It’s simply that it’s one of my favorite snacks, and I love when a dessert can be classified as a snack because it’s a quick bread. Right? It’s not a treat. It’s a SNACK. Eat as much as you want. Of your snack.

Also, this is total comfort food for me. I used to love the days when my mom made banana bread, even if we consumed it like we hadn’t eaten in four days. Seriously… it lasted about five minutes? Maybe less. We were vultures.

Now, this is embarrassing.

In the last year, I’ve made banana bread tres leches cake and banana bourbon cupcakes. I made two different kinds of banana muffins, another cake that is upside down and caramelized and bread containing peanut butter and bacon (whaaaaat). I’ve put bananas in cookies and in oatmeal. I put it inside more cupcakes, this time with pretzels and peanut butter and stuffed inside other cookies deemed appropriate for breakfast. My favorite might have been this banana bread snack cake that tastes just like banana bread but takes less than half the time to make. And it has whole wheat flour so it’s incredible healthy. Uh huh.

Oh yeah… and I even fried banana bread into french toast. That was amazing. And not healthy at all.

Too much?

I’d say I have an issue.

But really, why is it that banana bread combos never get old? They just don’t. Well, not for me at least. I could make banana bread ten ways to Sunday and it still wouldn’t be enough.

So this bread: it’s made without butter but with coconut oil. It is incredibly moist (apologies – would you rather me say clammy or damp?) and soft. Thick slices are the way to go, FYI. And the struesel… oh mylanta the streusel. It’s so… struesely. I don’t know if I can ever eat banana bread without streusel again. I’m so screwed.

Coconut haters, don’t cry. The bread has no actual coconut inside of it and you can easily leave the coconut extract out. The coconut oil does NOT taste coconutty. You can also take the coconut out of the topping if you so desire. If you’re in the market for loving coconut though? Like, say you enjoy the flavor but hate the texture, and would reeeeeeeally love to love coconut? I suggest trying the unsweetened flaked coconut that I use in most of my recipes. It doesn’t have quite the squeak-between-your-teeth feeling (are you cringing?) that the more common, sweetened shredded coconut does and over time, it may convert you. It might just change your life. Maybe. I don’t know.

I just know that this bread is essential to my well being now. Trouble.


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Whole Wheat Coconut Banana Bread with Coconut Streusel

Yield: makes one 9x5 loaf

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 75-85 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours (includes cooling time)

Ingredients:

1 2/3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 large eggs
1 cup loosely packed brown sugar
1/3 cup canned coconut milk
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted and slightly cooled
4 bananas, mashed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon coconut extract

streusel
2/3 cups brown sugar
1/3 cup flour
1/4 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
2 teaspoons unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
4 tablespoons unsalted butter

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spray a 9x5 loaf pan thoroughly with nonstick spray. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt, whisking thoroughly. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together eggs and brown sugar until smooth. Add in coconut milk and coconut oil, whisking until combined. Stir in mashed bananas, vanilla and coconut extracts until mixed. Slowly stir in dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Pour batter in the greased loaf pan.

Combine all the streusel ingredients in a bowl and mix with your hands until butter is easily dispersed. You want the entire mixture to be moistened. Evenly sprinkle on top of the banana bread batter. Place loaf pan on a baking sheet and set in the oven. Bake for 75-85 minutes, or until center is set. If the streusel begins to brown, tent the bread with aluminum foil.

Remove and let cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting.

[adapted from my triple fudge banana bread]

I’m also streuseling everything from now on. It’s a verb.