Banana Bread for the Tropics

We are bananas for bananas, especially when they are perfectly yellow and have a good bite and chew to them.  We will eat them when they start to speckle, but in our house by the beach fruit deterioration is swift.  So the end of every month usually finds me elbow deep in banana bread, otherwise nothing else is ever going to fit in our freezer.  David’s mom has an incredible, simple and delicious recipe that is the standard.  Today I riffed on it because I couldn’t resist the idea of soaking raisins in rum or upping the banana bread’s tropical clout with coconut.  This recipe also uses applesauce, which makes it very moist, delicious and fat-free.  You’re welcome.

What you need:

3 1/2 c. sifted flour

1 Tbs. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda
2 c. mashed, ripe to overly ripe bananas (about 8 )
2 Tbs. lemon juice
3/4 c. applesauce
1 1/2 c. sugar
3 eggs
3/4 c. coconut milk
1 c. chopped toasted walnuts (optional)
1 c. raisins, gold and brown
1/2 c. rum
1 Tbs  dark molasses
What you need to do:
In a small pan bring rum to a light boil, add rasins and boil for 30 seconds.  Remove from heat and let rest in rum for at least 30 minutes.  In a large bowl sift together flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda.  Puree (food processor or just mash with a fork) bananas w/lemon juice. Combine applesauce and sugar in bowl.  Add eggs and beat thoroughly.  Add dry ingredients alternately w/coconut milk; fold in bananas and nuts.  Fold in molasses and raisins drained from rum. Mix after each addition.  Pour into 2 buttered and floured, 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2-inch loaf pans.  Sprinkle with shredded coconut.
Bake in 350 oven for 1 hour or until cake tester or wooden pick inserted in center of loaf comes out clean   Cool loaves in their pans for 10 mins.  Remove from pans and cool on racks.  When cool, wrap in foil or plastic wrap and keep in frig overnight before slicing, or freeze.  Makes 2 loaves. Feed to your hungry flock…or this guy who never fails to make me smile.
Note:  if your loaf pans are narrower/deeper you may need to add a few mins to the cooking, till a toothpick comes out clean of the center.
I highly recommend toasting a slice of this with your morning tea or coffee.  If you are feeling decadent how about smearing it with peanut butter and thanking me later.;-)
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