Coconut Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Because I just can’t get enough!

Freshly cut slices of Coconut Chocolate Chip Banana Bread.

For realzzzzz tho, I’m a diehard banana bread lover, especially when it’s loaded with all of the same flavors you find in your favorite Girl Scout cookie (Samoas, I’m looking at you!) This Coconut Chocolate Chip Banana Bread just MAY be the best recipe adaptation I’ve ever made.

My passion for banana bread started when I was just a wee tyke (okay, maybe a preteen) getting interested in the world of cooking and baking. My mom had a Mrs. Fields I Love Chocolate Cookbook (thanks to my Dad’s obsession with ‘Vitamin C,” as we dubbed it in our household) and, upon leafing through it for inspiration, I settled on making the cookie goddess’ Chocolate Chip Banana Bread, if only because (a) it looked really easy and (b) it made two loaves!

Let’s just say this Chocolate Chip Banana Bread was a smashing success in our household, and became my go-to baked good whenever we wanted a little breakfast treat or dessert around to munch on.

Two freshly baked loaves of Coconut Chocolate Chip Banana Bread cooling on their racks.

It’s been a while since I busted out the ol’ recipe that I copied out of my mom’s cookbook by hand to bring with me to my “adult” home, if for no other reason than I’ve been busy baking everything else under the sun for this blog (like this Hummingbird Bread, this Harvey Wallbanger Cake and these Addicting S’mores Granola Clusters.)

But pregnancy tends to bring you back to your homegrown roots, and I found myself craving a sweetly satisfying breakfast bread that I could easily enjoy a piece of when I wake up at the crack of dawn and still have a couple of hours to wait before the hubs is awake and it’s time for our Power Protein Smoothie.

So, I decided to take what I already knew was a favorite of mine and really make it my own. This oh-so-delicious Coconut Chocolate Chip Banana Bread is the proud result! I used much of the original Mrs. Field’s Chocolate Chip Banana Bread recipe, except I decided to add a tropical twist with some finely shredded unsweetened coconut. I also not only reduced the overall sugar content in the recipe, but decided to use brown sugar as a partial substitute to really give the bread some caramelly flavor which, if you saw my above note about Samoas, is obviously a great compliment to the chocolate and coconut flavors.

Three stacked slices of Coconut Chocolate Chip Banana Bread ready to be eaten!

Don’t be scared off by the large quantities of some of the ingredients. Keep in mind that this recipe makes two loaves! And I would like to point out that they freeze REALLY well. I’m starting to think about what I’m going to want to load our freezer with before Baby D. comes, and if the second loaf of this last batch of Coconut Chocolate Chip Banana Bread happens to get consumed in the next four and a half months (which is very likely,) you can bet I’ll be making more. We need to be sure we’re well-equipped with delicious breakfast foods when we’re incredibly sleep-deprived and walking around the kitchen like zombies.

And the whole reason I came to enjoy making banana bread still stands true today – it is so easy! The hardest part might just be planning enough in advance so you can pull some butter out of the refrigerator to come to room temperature before making the batter.

Aside from that, you can have the batter mixed, poured out into the loaf pans and into the oven in less than 15 minutes. Then the only tricky part is waiting the hour it takes for the loaves to cook. It won’t be long before the smell of Coconut Chocolate Chip Banana Bread is wafting through your house!

An overhead shot of a loaf of freshly baked Coconut Chocolate Chip Banana Bread.

This post contains affiliate links. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for continuing to support the brands that make CaliGirl Cooking possible!

Coconut Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
1 hr 5 mins
Total Time
1 hr 20 mins
 

This fun twist on banana bread adds two classic flavors - chocolate and coconut! It's an incredibly easy recipe and makes enough to enjoy now AND later!

Course: Breakfast, Dessert
Servings: 2 8.5-inch loaves
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3 cups mashed bananas (about 8 bananas)
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean extract or vanilla bean paste
  • 3/4 cup flaked, unsweetened coconut
  • 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray two 8.5-inch loaf pans with cooking spray and line the bottoms with parchment paper to prevent sticking. Set aside.

  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.

  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and both types of sugar until light and fluffy. Add the bananas and beaten eggs and mix until well incorporated. Add the vanilla.

  4. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix to combine. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and, using a spatula, fold in the coconut and chocolate chips. 

  5. Pour the batter evenly into your two prepared loaf pans, then place in the preheated oven for 65-70 minutes, or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (a little bit of melted chocolate is okay.)

  6. Let loaves cool, in pans, on a wire rack for 15 minutes, then turn out of pans to cool completely. 

Coconut Chocolate Chip Banana Bread | CaliGirlCooking.com

Banana, Peanut Butter, Dark Chocolate Chip “Faux”-Yo

Sometimes rules are meant to be broken.

Banana, Peanut Butter & Dark Chocolate Chip "Faux"-Yo | CaliGirl Cooking

Who says you can’t have dessert when you’re focusing on eating whole, extra-healthy foods? Thanks to our lovely, versatile friend the banana, we have options, like this Banana, Peanut Butter & Dark Chocolate Chip “Faux”-Yo (cue happy dance.)

But first, how was everyone’s Fourth of July? What did you do? Where did you go? Most importantly, what did you eat and drink? I had quite the action-packed holiday, starting with some great games of beach volleyball and ending with a stunning fireworks show over the Santa Barbara Harbor. I tell ya, though, I feel like I need another weekend just to recover from this last one!  I’m very much looking forward to a quiet evening of wedding planning at home with my man. We’re making a healthy dinner of grilled chicken, tomatoes and zoodles (the best!) and I’ll most likely be digging into some of this Banana, Peanut Butter & Dark Chocolate Chip “Faux”-Yo for dessert.

Banana, Peanut Butter & Dark Chocolate Chip "Faux"-Yo | CaliGirl Cooking

So, do you want to hear all about it? Well, I’m sure you’ve already heard ALL about the banana ice cream phenomenon, as it seems to be the new wonder child in the healthy dessert world. The thing is, it’s soooooo easy and I often find myself wondering how there are soooo many recipes for this one-ingredient dessert taking over the Interwebs. I mean, c’mon, do you really need a recipe for putting a bunch of frozen bananas in a blender and whirring them together?

Hence why I took it upon myself to jazz this super-simple treat up a bit. Looking back through my recipe archives, I guess it’s no secret that I absolutely LOVE peanut butter. Take, for example, this Peanut Butter & Jelly Pull-Apart Bread, these Summer Rolls with Red Curry Peanut-Pumpkin Dipping Sauce and these Thai Chicken Burritos.

Although I’ve branched out a bit and now dabble in other types of nut butters, peanut butter has been my OG for as long as I can remember. And, well, we all know that peanut butter and bananas are a match made in heaven, so of course I had to get these two together in my “faux”-yo. And you can’t ignore the fact that every dessert needs chocolate, so we’ll just make this as healthy as possible by using the darkest chocolate chips we can find.

Banana, Peanut Butter & Dark Chocolate Chip "Faux"-Yo | CaliGirl Cooking

This recipe takes just a little bit of planning, but maybe not if you’re a hoarder of bananas like we are in our household. We go through tons of bananas each week for our morning smoothies, but sometimes we have just a few leftover once we hit the weekend (at which time breakfasts must consist of bacon, eggs and avocado), or we find ourselves leaving on a trip and know they’ll be stinking up the house when we get back if we don’t do anything with them. It’s times like these when we simply chop up said bananas, toss them in a Ziploc or Tupperware, and pop them in the freezer. The frozen bananas are key here.

You’ll want at least 6-8 bananas in your freezer stash before you try and make this uber-delicious, not so guilt-inducing Banana, Peanut Butter & Dark Chocolate Chip “Faux”-Yo.  Once frozen, you simply toss the bananas into a food processor, add the peanut butter, and let said food processor do its thang. Pretty soon, you’ll see the creamy deliciousness of the “faux”-yo forming and you’ll want to dig in right then and there with a spoon….BUT WAIT!!

Banana, Peanut Butter & Dark Chocolate Chip "Faux"-Yo | CaliGirl Cooking

Now’s the time to stir in the dark chocolate chips. Can’t forget those! We gently mix in our “Vitamin C” (as my Dad so fondly calls them) and then, just then, can we dig in with our spoon in front of our favorite reality TV show. Sound like a plan?

Aside from the freezing of the bananas, this Banana, Peanut Butter & Dark Chocolate Chip “Faux”-Yo takes just minutes to make and has just three ingredients. Win-win! It’s the perfect, easy, vegan(!), healthy dessert to whip up when you need just a little something sweet but don’t want to derail your whole healthy eating plan. So start freezing your bananas and get your food processor ready – once you start “faux”-yo-ing you won’t want to go back!

Banana, Peanut Butter & Dark Chocolate Chip "Faux"-Yo | CaliGirl Cooking

Banana, Peanut Butter, Dark Chocolate Chip “Faux”-Yo
Prep Time
30 mins
Total Time
30 mins
 
A three-ingredient creamy, healthy take on frozen yogurt featuring bananas, a swirl of creamy peanut butter and a sprinkle of dark chocolate chips. A delicious vegan treat that's perfect for warmer weather.
Ingredients
  • 8 bananas chopped up and frozen
  • 3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • ¾ cup dark chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Place frozen bananas and peanut butter in a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Pulse food processor until the banana breaks down and a creamy mixture forms.
  2. Transfer to a mixing bowl and stir in chocolate chips. Enjoy immediately (or see Notes.)
Recipe Notes

If not serving immediately, you can store the “faux”-yo in the freezer, just know that the banana might turn slightly brown and will start to refreeze. Whenever you’re ready to dig in again, just take the “faux”-yo out of the freezer a few minutes in advance so it can start to soften up again.

 

Banana, Peanut Butter, Dark Chocolate Chip -Faux Yo | CaliGirlCooking.com

I’m “faux”-yo-ing and might never be coming back!

This post contains affiliate links. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Fish with Bananas

I know what you’re thinking.

Fish with Bananas | CaliGirl Cooking

WTH kind of combination is fish and bananas? Guys, trust me here. Do you really think I’d steer you wrong with a recipe? Let me tell you a little something about Fish with Bananas. This was THE recipe (okay, maybe one of many) that I absolutely REFUSED to taste when I was a little kiddo. This very special dish only came out on certain occasions (I mostly remember it being my mom’s request on my parents’ anniversary) and I would politely notify my parents that I would make myself macaroni and cheese that evening. My parents didn’t care too much, because that meant more for them. Once I “grew up” (as did my palate) and I finally caved in and tried the dish, I was kicking myself for having missed out on it for all those years.

Fish with Bananas | CaliGirl Cooking

So, enough of the back story, let me tell you a little bit about Fish with Bananas. Because I feel a good description is what’s really going to win you over. Once you hear what goes into this you are going to be running to the store to get all of the ingredients and make it as fast as you can (or for your next special occasion…It is a bit rich so we don’t need this to be on a weekly rotation in our household, especially if we’re on a pre-wedding diet! [Points to self.])

Alright, we’re going to get our layering on! This super special, mouthwatering, utterly delicious dish starts with a bed of nicely sautéed mushrooms (sautéed in fresh tarragon of course, because there’s no other herb in the world that pairs better with mushrooms than tarragon) in a handy-dandy au gratin dish (I know, I didn’t have any either, but I’ve done the work and found them for you!)

Fish with Bananas | CaliGirl Cooking

After we have our nice, comfy bed of mushrooms, we drizzle on some of our shallot-and-tarragon based cream sauce (you can thank me later for introducing you to this foodgasm-inducing flavor combo.)

Fish with Bananas | CaliGirl Cooking

Then we gently layer on our (very lightly) seared fish (sea bass, halibut, black cod…the possibilities are endless) before drizzling on more of the above-mentioned foodgasm-inducing sauce.

Fish with Bananas | CaliGirl Cooking

Fish with Bananas | CaliGirl Cooking

Our final layer before the oven is a lightly caramelized banana split in half lengthwise, gracing either side of our filet o’ fish. You still with me? The hard part is over.

Fish with Bananas | CaliGirl Cooking

We simply pop our au gratin dishes into the oven and let them cook and simmer and become even more delicious until our creamy sauce is bubbly and golden. We pull the dishes out and devour them as soon as they are just cool enough to eat without burning the roofs of our mouth off. Fish with Bananas is best enjoyed as quickly as possible, so don’t let these sit around and get cold.

Fish with Bananas | CaliGirl Cooking

So what do you say? Have I convinced you yet? Are you ready to be adventurous and stop missing out on this amazing combo?

If you make this, please be sure to let me know! I’d love to hear your thoughts. I hope you enjoy Fish with Bananas as much as I do!

Fish with Bananas | CaliGirl Cooking

Fish with Bananas
The delicious, unexpected combination of fish and bananas make this the perfect "special occasion" dish.
Ingredients
For the mushrooms:
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms sliced
  • 1/8 cup fresh tarragon minced
  • Salt & pepper to taste
For the sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons butter separated
  • 2 large or 3 small shallots, diced
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 8 ounces whipping cream
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
  • 1/8 cup fresh tarragon minced
For the fish:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 12 ounces halibut or other firm white fish such as sea bass or black cod, cut into 2 pieces
  • Salt & pepper
For the bananas:
  • 2 bananas each split in half lengthwise
  • 1 tablespoon butter
Instructions
To make the mushrooms:
  1. Heat butter in a medium sauté pan until melted. Add mushrooms at medium-high heat. Add tarragon. Stir to coat and sauté until the majority of the liquid has been cooked out of the mushrooms. Add salt & pepper as needed. Remove from heat and divide mushrooms amongst the two au gratin dishes.
To make the sauce:
  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon butter. Once butter is melted, add shallots. Saute slightly until they are fragrant and start to become translucent, about 3 minutes. Add white wine. Turn heat to low and simmer.
  2. In a separate, small saucepan, heat egg yolks, stirring constantly until they become thick. Once thickened, add 1 tablespoon butter and orange juice. Stir to combine, then add to white wine-shallot mixture. Add whipping cream and tarragon and stir to combine.
  3. Remove sauce from heat and put in a blender. Blend until combined and whipping cream becomes frothy. Pour back into saucepan and simmer on low heat.
  4. Once rewarmed, drizzle half of the sauce over the mushrooms in the two au gratin dishes.
  5. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
To make the fish:
  1. Season the two pieces of fish with salt & pepper.
  2. Warm olive oil in a medium sauté pan over high heat. Add seasoned fish and sear lightly (about 2 minutes each side.)
  3. Place one piece of fish over the mushrooms and sauce on each of the au gratin dishes.
  4. Drizzle each piece of fish with the remaining sauce.
To make the bananas:
  1. Heat butter in a small sauté pan over medium-high heat. Once butter is melted and pan is hot, add slices of banana. Caramelize until lightly golden (about 1-2 minutes each side.) Remove bananas from pan and place slices on top of the sauced fish in the au gratin dishes.
  2. Place au gratin dishes in preheated 425-degree oven. Bake for about 18 minutes or until sauce is bubbly and golden. Remove from oven and let cool slightly before eating.
Recipe Notes

Wine Pairing Suggestion: This dish is begging for an oaked Chardonnay, which will pair perfectly with the white fish and cream sauce. Bonus if you can find an oaked Chardonnay with a hit of acidity, as it will help cut through the richness. I highly recommend the Alpha Omega Chardonnay.

 

Fish with Bananas | CaliGirl Cooking

Come here you golden dish of deliciousness…