Last Sunday at church our pastor challenged us to go home and make a list of things we wish we would do and the reasons why we don’t. I didn’t need to write anything down as I had been asking myself already why two of my favorite hobbies had been placed on the back burner for far too long.
Blogging and yoga. Two things that, for good while, were top priorities in my world. Life happens, time gets taken up elsewhere, but I wasn’t working to make that time for myself anymore. Part of the reason was winter. This past winter was really hard on me, like it seemed to be for a lot of people. I felt entirely drained of energy and the thought of doing one more thing felt like too much at times. Hibernation, I suppose.
Alas, spring is happening and we’re quickly on our way to summer and I feel renewed in all sorts of ways. I even went to yoga this week with a couple of friends (and loved every hot, sweaty, semi-tortuous minute).
Also, I made banana bread! With toasted coconut and almonds! I used Joy the Baker’s recipe, tweaking a few things here and there (per usual).
Banana bread is a gloriously simple and wonderful thing. So wonderful in fact, that there were three last Sunday for our monthly breakfast potluck. They were all a bit different, which is another great thing about this bread. Make it your own and add what you want, which is really my approach to the kitchen most of the time.
Toasted Coconut + Almond Banana Bread (adapted from Joy the Baker)
1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
2 cups all-purpose flour (I used up the last little bit of my gluten-free all-purpose flour, but wheat flour works well here, too)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup sour cream
1 1/4 cup mashed banana (from about 3 medium bananas)
1/2 cup toasted coconut, plus 1/4 cup untoasted coconut for topping
1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds, plus 1/8 cup untoasted for topping
Preheat to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9×5-inch loaf pan and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, vanilla extract, and sour cream. Add in mashed bananas and melted butter.
Add the wet ingredients, all at once to the dry ingredients. Fold together, making sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl to reveal any hidden pockets of flour. Fold in the toasted coconut. Fold together ingredients, but try not to over stir.
Pour batter into prepared pan and top with untoasted coconut and almonds. The original recipe suggests baking for approximately 1 hour. Mine took closer to 1 hour and 20 minutes for a skewer to come out clean, but that might just be my oven. Start with 1 hour and go from there. The bread came out deliciously dense and very, very moist (almost like a breakfast bread pudding!).