Tag Archives: extra virgin coconut oil

Whole Wheat Oatmeal Banana Bread

I’m taking my go-to banana bread recipe and making a few changes—tasty changes, I hope:

  • Instead of 2 cups of all purpose flour, I’m using 1 cup of that with 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour and 1/2 cup of oatmeal—more fiber
  • For the shortening, that I always interpreted as butter, I’m using extra virgin coconut oil—good flavor, but the jury is still out on heart health
  • The 1 cup of sugar is always a problem. I’ve never been happy with the blends that use less sugar in baking, but I’m still on that search. In this batch, I’m substituting brown sugar, which I hope will keep this batch, with all it’s whole grains, moist. To avoid eating too much sugar, I’ll do what I always do, freeze the bread in servings to assure I only eat one a day. I do this successfully with muffins, one of which makes a nice lunch.
  • I’m adding a full cup of chopped walnuts, roughly chopped for large pieces.

Well, that was yesterday. I wrapped the cool loaf to sit overnight and develop its flavors—this really happens. I cut the large loaf into 8 thick slices and wrapped them individually for the freezer, leaving one out for breakfast. This might be my new go-to banana bread. The banana taste was prominent, the bread moist and chunky with walnuts. The oats added a chewiness, and while I couldn’t pick out the whole wheat flour, it must have added its own characteristics to the bread. Finally, I think the brown sugar played a large part in the overall flavor.

And I still assert that the best banana bread recipes do not use baking powder, which adds a bitterness with banana.

Whole Wheat Oatmeal Banana Bread

  • Servings: 1 large or 2 small loaves
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Preheat oven to 350°; butter and flour 1 9″ x 5″ or 2 8″ x 4″ loaf pans.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin coconut oil
  • 1 cup brown sugar

Beat in

  • 2 eggs

Add

  • 2 large or 3 small ripe bananas, mashed or broken into chunks

Stir in the dry ingredients and nuts

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup roughly chopped walnuts

Pour batter into the prepared pans. Bake the large loaf for about 55 minutes, the smaller loaves for 45-50 minutes. Test the center with a toothpick for doneness.

 

Peanut Butter Pecan Cookies

With the addition of coconut oil as the shortening, the cookies have a slight coconut flavor, but they retain the classic texture of a peanut butter cookie—a little sandy, a little crisp, a little chewy. The chopped pecans are a bonus.

I started with the old Betty Crocker’s New Picture Cook Book (1961) recipe for “Peanut Butter Cookies” (p. 206) and made just a few changes, adding the pecans and the semi-solid extra-virgin coconut oil for the shortening. The recipe says it makes 3 dozen cookies, but I only got 2 dozen, so I guess I rolled the balls a little too large, but the cookies seem the right size to me. I thought I was following the “size of large walnuts” direction, but when was the last time I saw  a walnut in a shell?

Peanut Butter Pecan Cookies

  • Servings: 2-3 dozen small cookies
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Preheat oven to 375°; line cookie sheets with parchment.

1/2 cup each:

  • extra virgin coconut oil
  • peanut butter
  • granulated sugar
  • brown sugar, packed

1 egg

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

  1. Beat the coconut oil, peanut butter, sugars, and egg until creamy.
  2. Stir in the pecans and dry ingredients until well combined.
  3. Form the dough into balls of 1-1 1/2″ in diameter. I found this crumbly but moist dough forms better by squeezing and shaping with the fingers than by rolling. Place the balls on a cookie sheet, then press to flatten with the tines of a fork or the bottom of a glass or think of something creative.
  4. Bake for about 10 minutes. I generally err on the side of underbaking cookies, but they seemed to be browned enough after 10 minutes. Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes, then remove to a rack to cool completely.