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Saturday, May 30, 2020

Banana Mango Coconut Bread

Living in the tropics, we enjoy diverse tropical fruits all year long. This is the time of year when ripe fruit is falling off our two Mango trees. Every day we get to enjoy fresh mango in spicy salsas, smoothies, in bread, as dessert toppings, cobblers, or just plain. Yesterday friends gave us some of the delicious "Platano Manzano", "Banana Manzano", or Apple Bananas in English. These bananas have a distinct apple flavor that pushes the banana-eating experience over the top. When these bananas are overly ripe, they are the perfect key ingredient for banana bread. Today was the day to combine these bananas with our own mango harvest to create this deliciously moist Banana Mango Coconut Bread!

Plátano Manzano: La agridulce fruta en peligro de extinciónThis is an easy recipe you can pull together with, or without, an electric mixer. Instead of butter, margarine, or vegetable oil, the recipe calls for coconut oil and sour cream. Sugar has also been reduced to offset the sweetness of the fruit.

  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup of coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt
  • ¾ cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups mashed ripe bananas (approximately 4 medium/large bananas)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ cups of mango (not overly ripe and mushy) diced into 1/4" cubes 
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, for tossing the diced mango
  • ½ cup diced walnuts or pecans (optional)
  • Preheat oven to 350°F/175°C. 
  • Measure and prep the mashed bananas and diced mango into two small bowls, and set aside.
  • Grease or spray two small 8½"x4½" loaf pans with oil or butter, dust the pans with flour, and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, add the eggs, coconut oil, sour cream, brown sugar, vanilla, and whisk to combine. You can mix by hand or use an electric mixer.
  • Add the bananas and stir to incorporate.
  • Add 2 cups flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt, and fold with spatula or stir gently with a spoon until just combined. If you overmix, the bread will be tough.
  • Dust the small bowl of diced mango with the 2 tablespoons of flour and gently toss. This helps keep the fruit from sinking to the bottom of the bread.
  • Gently fold the diced mango and optional nuts into the batter; don’t overmix.
  • Divide the batter between the two bread pans and spread the batter evenly across the top with a spatula.
  • Bake for 50-60 minutes until done (Internal temperature between 195°F-205°F/91°C-96°C). Test for doneness with an inserted toothpick. If it comes out clean, with no batter, it's done. Check at about 40 minutes into the bake to make sure the top is not browning too fast. If it is, tent some foil over the bread pans. 
    • Note: Baking times will vary based on the moisture content of the fruit, the accuracy of your oven, and the size of your bread pans. The recommended times are what works for me and my oven. So, don't watch the clock; watch the bread. I'd start checking for doneness at 45 minutes and in 5-minute intervals until done.
  • Allow the bread to cool in the bread pans for about 15 minutes, then remove the loaves to a wire rack to cool completely before serving.
  • Store the cooled bread in plastic wrap for up to a week, but if you live in the tropics, store the bread in the refrigerator. This can also be frozen for up to 6 months.

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