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Healthy-ish Peanut Butter & Coconut Banana Bread

After going five days without peanut butter last week while I was away on the yoga retreat, it’s been all peanut butter, all the time since getting back. The first thing I ate when I arrived home was an apple with peanut butter and since then it’s been a steady stream of peanut butter smoothies, peanut butter spread on bananas, peanut butter granola and this peanut butter and coconut banana bread. What can I say? I just really love peanut butter.

Peanut Butter Banana Bread

I can’t remember the last time I baked banana bread but I am always reminded what an amazing old favorite it is every time I do. It seems to be one of those things that everyone loves to bake and there are endless variations of it. I have posted several banana-based bread recipes over the years, including a recipe for peanut butter and banana muffins. The most popular recipe (by far) on my blog is my paleo banana bread. The inspiration for this peanut butter and coconut variation was a jar coconut peanut butter in the pantry. I didn’t use that peanut butter in the bread but the flavor combo sounded delicious for a banana bread.

Peanut Butter Coconut Banana Bread 2

One of my favorite things about baking banana bread is that it’s very forgiving and very easy. As long as you stick with basic ratios, pretty much anything is going to yield you with fluffy banana bread with that perfect crack right down the center. I also appreciate that I can mix everything by hand and not deal with getting out and cleaning the stand mixer. It took me less than 10 minutes to get this bread in the oven.

Peanut Butter Coconut Banana Bread

My favorite time to eat banana bread is right out of the oven when it’s still warm and the edges have a little bit of a crunch to them but it’s also great leftover and rewarmed. I have been eating this banana bread for breakfast and snacks for the last few days. The peanut butter and banana flavor is balanced well and you get most of the coconut from unsweetened coconut flakes. The coconut flakes along with wheat germ give this bread a nice hearty texture. I didn’t overly “healthify” this bread but I did use coconut oil in place of butter, subbed plain greek yogurt for a lot of the oil, added the wheat germ and cut back on the sugar. The bananas have so much natural sweetness on their own that you can get away with it.

Happy baking!

Peanut Butter & Coconut Banana Bread
(Recipe adapted from Cooking Light)

Ingredients: 

1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana (about 2 large or 3 small)
1/3 cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt
1/3 cup natural-style peanut butter (creamy or crunchy)
3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 large eggs
1/2 cup packed brown sugar (you can add a little more if you like a sweeter banana bread…up to 3/4 cup)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup wheat germ (you could also use ground flax seed)
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Cooking spray

Directions: 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9 x 5 loaf pan with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, mix together the banana, greek yogurt, peanut butter, coconut oil, vanilla and eggs. I like to use a fork for this. In a separate large bowl, whisk together the flour, wheat germ, coconut, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir until just combined. Again, I like to use a fork for this. It just seems to do a good job with mixing everything together versus using a big flat spoon or spatula.

Transfer batter to the prepared baking pan and place in oven. Bake 50 minutes and start to test for doneness. It might take up to an hour and five minutes or so depending on your oven. Bread is done when golden brown, set and a toothpick comes out clean.

Let cool in pan for 10 minutes and then remove from pan and let finish cooling on wire rack.

Yield: one loaf

{ 20 comments… add one }
  • 1
    Tara | Treble in the Kitchen March 4, 2015, 12:58 pm

    Sounds delish!

  • 2
    Taca @ A Side Of Dessert March 4, 2015, 2:23 pm

    I made some banana bread over the weekend as well since I had a bunch of very ripe bananas. I’ll have to add peanut butter and coconut next time though, yum!!

  • 3
    kristin | W [H] A T C H March 4, 2015, 2:26 pm

    i have also been on such a peanut butter kick. an apple and pb is truly my favorite snack — i enjoy it almost every afternoon!

  • 4
    Parita @ myinnershakti March 4, 2015, 3:29 pm

    Looks delicious! I would probably add a “few” chocolate chips to this and call it a day!

  • 5
    meredith @ The Cookie ChRUNicles March 4, 2015, 3:36 pm

    I never made my banana breads using coconut! Great idea. I have done it with coconut oil but not actual coconut — will have to try it soon! And yes to peanut butter. I refuse to travel without a jar or some packets!

  • 6
    Jennifer H March 4, 2015, 7:24 pm

    Just made this! Yum! Substituted flax seeds for the eggs, oatmeal for the wheat germ and coconut sugar for the brown sugar – only bc that’s what I had a home. Came out great!

  • 7
    She Rocks Fitness March 4, 2015, 9:05 pm

    I love going on peanut butter binges, because life is just better with PB…it is the little things. I had a BIG spoonful tonight with my dinner, because I hadn’t had a serving of it all day…geez! Recipe looks delicious! XOXO

  • 8
    Chicago Jogger March 5, 2015, 8:12 am

    This looks so delicious – such a good idea to incorporate PB + coconut! I have a bag of unsweetened coconut flakes waiting in the cupboard 🙂

  • 9
    Julie @ Running in a Skirt March 5, 2015, 8:36 am

    This looks like the perfect combination of healthy and just classically good food. I can’t wait to try it!

  • 10
    Mary Beth March 5, 2015, 12:44 pm

    I love any kind of banana bread- this looks delicious! I am ADDICTED to the ‘Peanut Better Balls’ from the blog Oh She Glows- they are unbelievable! http://ohsheglows.com/2013/12/16/peanut-better-balls/

  • 11
    Taca @ A Side Of Dessert March 6, 2015, 5:29 am

    Oh geez, everything looks so amazing! It always amazes me how good your food looks! And that cupcake….drooooooling!

  • 12
    Emma March 14, 2015, 2:39 pm

    I just made these muffin style and they are amazing!! Slightly crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. Perfect texture. Thanks so much for a great recipe! Perfect for rainy day baking 🙂

    • 13
      Jen March 14, 2015, 9:10 pm

      awesome! thanks for the feedback and happy to hear that the muffin modification works well!

  • 14
    Allie @ Running Economy April 1, 2015, 6:41 pm

    I made these vegan by subbing flax eggs for the eggs and almond milk for the yogurt. It turned out great! Banana and PB is a given, but throwing the coconut flavor in there really amps it up. Thanks so much for sharing!

  • 15
    Erin November 3, 2015, 1:59 pm

    In the oven now 🙂 I love your recipes and know that I can trust them to turn out well. Just a note – you didn’t specify in the recipe directions when to add the brown sugar.

    • 16
      Jen DeCurtins November 3, 2015, 2:38 pm

      Yay, thanks for making this and for the kind words about my recipes! I will edit the post to include the brown sugar. Thanks for pointing that out!

  • 17
    Jennifer September 4, 2016, 5:27 pm

    Made this yesterday – surprisingly tasty given how little oil and sugar is used! A couple notes – I assumed to add the brown sugar to the wet ingredients but it doesn’t specify where to put it in the recipe. Also, for the life of me I couldn’t get the dang jar of peanut butter open 🙁 so I just used almond butter. Still turned out tasty! 🙂

    • 18
      Jen DeCurtins September 12, 2016, 4:15 pm

      Thank you for the feedback and I will update the recipe!

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