Coconut Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Chocolate Chip Banana BreadDo you like cooking with your kids?  This isn’t a trick question. I can see why some people love it. I can also see why some people hate it.  Kids have a tendency to make things either a lot more fun or a lot more disastrous/messy/high-pitched-scream-inducing.  Sometimes both at the same time.  I tend to be a little bit of a control freak in the kitchen, so the idea of adding a few tempestuous, grabby little humans into the square footage of my kitchen sounds pretty terrible at first.

But the more I let me kids help me in the kitchen, the more I enjoy it.  I’ve learned to let go of messes, because after all, I make messes anyway, so I can’t get overly upset when they do it. I’ve become more laid back about my finished product, with my new standard being somewhere between, “tasty” and “edible”. Perfection is overrated, especially when you put it up against a child’s delight in being allowed to stir or the pride on their face when you say, “Joey made the mashed potatoes tonight!”  And not to get all, “Parenting Tips!” on you, but I really can’t help but think that if they’re comfortable around a kitchen that’ll somehow translate into something good later in life- independence or healthy eating habits or whatnot. Who knows.

Anyway, a couple of days ago I was kind of not feeling the family bake session.  I just wanted to use up my brown bananas and get on with it.  But everyone wanted in on that fun and I begrudgingly let them help measure, stir, and occasionally stick their tiny toddler fists into the batter.  I was completely rewarded, however, for my saintly patience, when it came time for the add-ins.  ”With nuts or without?” I asked Joey.

“No nuts,” he said decisively. “Chocolate chips.”

Ok, well, touché, my fine fellow. Chocolate chips sound good, and not at all less healthy than walnuts.  But fine.  I went to get them from the pantry, only to hear his squeaky little voice behind me say, “Oooh, maybe that coconut, too?” Sure. Ok. Go for broke.

This is where the whole being more laid back with my finished product business comes in. I kind of let go of stuff like this. And usually, it’s a disaster, but not such disaster that we don’t eat it. But this time it kind of turned out wonderfully.  Turns out my kid is a banana bread genius.  This is one of the tastiest banana breads I’ve ever made, which is saying A LOT, because I’ve made a lot of banana bread.  The banana bread itself is tender, with a lot of banana flavor.  Little bits of coconut run through it, but the coconut doesn’t overwhelm the bread- it’s just a hint in the background and keeps the bread moist.  The coconut on top toasts up and gives you a crisp little crunch and some more layered coconut flavor. And then good dark chocolate chips- always a good choice, no?  Not too many, but just enough to get a chip or two in each bite. Perfection.

Did you hear that?  Perfection!  The one thing I didn’t think was possible when baking with kids. Wonders never cease.

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Coconut Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Coconut Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

  • 3 medium banans, mashed (about 1 cup)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil (coconut, safflower, etc)
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut, plus a few extra tablespoons for sprinkling on top

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, combine banana, egg, milk, and oil. Add the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar and stir until just combined. Add the chocolate chips and coconut and gently fold until incorporated.

Pour batter into a greased loaf pan, sprinkle a bit more coconut on top, and bake in preheated oven for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let cool before slicing and eating. (But I won't tell if you don't.)



Share this post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>