Coming home for a visit from school means many things.
There’s the coziness of your own bed, the familiarity of each worn step in the staircase and the dog who is, somehow, exponentially more excited to see you than your family members. You get to catch up on the happenings in your hometown, allowing a fraction of yourself to melt back into the well known patterns of your childhood. Sleep is caught up on, homework is avoided and, oh yea, home cooked meals are enjoyed.
Even living in New York City, where every kind of amazing food is available at literally every second of the day, there’s nothing quite like a home-cooked meal. The ease and comfort of it is impossible to match at any type of restaurant or cafe. And, I think I speak for most college students, when I say that there’s always that one food that you dream of the whole journey back home.
For me? The choice is easy. Chocolate chip banana bread. Makes my 4 hour journey feel more like 40. As I’ve already posted my all time favorite banana bread here, I’m bringing you a little twist today, one that could perhaps even rival the first (it’s that good).
Instead of just straight up bananas, I’ve thrown in some pumpkin puree (because we all know my feelings about this issue), chopped apple and rich coconut flakes. This bread has all the qualities you want and need from a welcome-home-snack: the crumb is soft and delicate, studded with chewy coconut, tart apples and deep chocolate with just the hint of welcome bitterness. The blend of pumpkin and banana adds a level of decadence to the healthy loaf.
I may or may not have already written my shopping list for making this when I’m home in May… Until then though, I hope you try this and enjoy it as much as I do. You can also get ~creative~, don’t limit yourself to the three add-ins I used. Dried cherries? O man. Give it a try.
Pumpkin Banana Bread (adapted from here)
Makes one loaf
0.25 cup melted coconut oil
0.33 cup real maple syrup
1 banana, mashed
0.66 cup pumpkin puree
0.25 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
0.5 teaspoon salt
0.5 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup whole wheat flour
0.75 cup all purpose flour
0.5 cup chopped Granny Smith apple
0.5 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
0.33 cup chopped semisweet chocolate
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease one loaf pan, set aside.
2. In a large bowl, beat oil, maple syrup and eggs. Add banana, pumpkin, almond milk, soda and vanilla. Mix until smooth.
3. To the wet ingredients, add salt, cinnamon and flours. Stir to combine. Add apple, chocolate and coconut and mix until just combined. Pour batter into loaf pan and bake for 55 to 60 minutes. An inserted toothpick should come out clean with a few small crumbs remaining.
4. Let cool for 5 minutes in the pan before transferring to a cooling rack. Best served warm, but also freezes well.
I'd love to see yours if you try it! Tag me on Instagram, or follow me on Facebook and Pinterest to stay updated on my baking adventures.