Coconut Rum Banana Bread

I’m not a fan of ripe bananas. If it a banana has even a HINT of a brown spot it’s inedible to me. Dead to me. I won’t eat it. I know, I know. It’s a quirk, but hey, I’m OK with it. The bananas I use for a quick bread are ripe but don’t have lots of spots. I prefer the less sweet taste and firmer texture of a yellow banana. If you like brown bananas go for it! It will be sweeter and probably taste more familiar. Not many people use yellow bananas for banana bread. That’s my special banana weirdness.

I recommend only lightly mashing the bananas. You will get some more tasty chunks of banana in the bread. If you prefer brown bananas you may end up with more of a liquid after mashing. It will still come out great, it’s more a matter of texture and what you prefer.

Note: With quick breads the standard is creaming butter and sugar, adding eggs one at a time and then alternating the dry and liquid ingredients, being mindful of not over-mixing. This recipe follows the same pattern. Measure out all ingredients before starting. I learned this lesson many years ago: mise en place, everything in its place. Read the recipe first, collect and measure ingredients, and THEN start your process.

Coconut Rum Banana Bread

Makes 1 large loaf or 3 mini loaves


  • 2C pastry flour
  • 1C sugar
  • 1 1/2C gently mashed bananas, about 3 medium-sized
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2C shredded, sweetened coconut + 2T for topping
  • 1/4C unsalted butter, room temp (4T)
  • 1/4C plain full-fat yogurt
  • 3T spiced rum
  • 3/4t baking soda
  • 1/2t salt
  • 1t vanilla extract

Optional Glaze Ingredients:

  • 1/2C confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 1/2T freshly squeezed lime juice


If you are making one 9 x 5″ loaf, preheat oven to 350°.

If you are making the smaller loaves, preheat to 325°.

Prepare your loaf pans with Baker’s Joy spray or butter and flour them. Set aside.

In a medium sized mixing bowl, add the flour, 1/2C coconut, baking soda, and salt. Give a quick stir to combine.

In a small bowl, combine bananas, yogurt, rum, and vanilla. Stir to combine.

In the large bowl of a mixer (or deep bowl good for hand mixer) cream the butter and sugar until light and airy. Use a rubber scraper to scrape down the sides if the sides are not mixing well. Add the eggs one at a time and continue creaming them together until combined and light in texture.

Alternate adding the dry and liquid ingredients to the creamed butter, sugar, and egg mixture. Do not over beat.

Spoon the batter into your loaf pan or mini loaf pans (filling 3/4 full). Sprinkle the top with the 2T of shredded coconut that was set aside earlier.

Bake one large loaf for 60 minutes or until golden and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Bake the mini loaves for 30 minutes or until golden and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Let sit in the loaf pan for 5-10 minutes until inverting onto a cooling rack. Once completely cool, make a glaze with the sugar and lime juice and drizzle over the bread.







Catching Up, Bone Broth, and Tea Recipe

I haven’t been making much time to write up recipes and posts, but I have been cooking up a storm. We’ve had over 100″ (yes, that’s right) of snow here and on snowy days all I want to do is hole up in my house and cook! I’ll be posting some new recipes soon.

Here’s what I’ve been up to …

I’ve been driving. My commute from the burbs to the city is now 2 hours in and 1.5 hours out. After working a full work-week I’m too tired to write long posts.  Essentially, I’m “working” 60 hours a week. sigh.


I’ve been shoveling and maintaining paths to our chicken coop and front door. The plow guy can only do so much. The walkways and front porch is our job and for a month it was quite a job. On a positive note, the chickens have been consistently laying eggs all winter! I wasn’t expecting that at all. The eggs are such a gift. My girls turn a year old on April 9th and I plan to give them some special treats from us on that day. They love strawberries, tomatoes, oatmeal, and cabbage. Maybe a special salad?

Shoveling out the beehives hasn’t been fun either. Walking to the hives in four foot deep snow isn’t easy, but the hives are dug out and on a warm day the girls can take some cleansing flights easily enough.


I’ve been making bone broth every weekend to sip during the week. Bone broth is easy, rich in protein, minerals, soothing to the gut, and great for the skin. We sip it in place of tea. If you have GERD, Leaky Gut, or an upset tummy drink bone broth every day. You can make it from slow cooking or using a pressure cooker. I roast a chicken or brown some beef bones and then put them in the pot with water, an onion, a few carrots, celery, and a garlic clove or two. If you use a slow cooker or stove-top you can plan to let it simmer for 12-24 hours. In a pressure cooker it will be ready in 1-2 hours. The longer you cook the bones the more minerals you will pull from the bones. Adding a tablespoon of raw apple cider vinegar will help leach the minerals quicker, too.

I’ve been creating new tinctures for my GingerSage Botanicals herbal business. I have a new Rose Elixir, Damiana-Rose Tincture, and a Hawaiian Awa (kava kava) Tincture. I have more items for sale so pop over and check it out. I sell a lot out of my home, but I do ship. Click on the link to shop:


I’ve been planning out a French potager garden. I want to expand our perennial beds to include more vegetables, interspersing them with the perennial flowering plants is a great way to create an edible garden. It will be beautiful and practical.

Picture from Avant Landscaping
Picture from Avant Landscaping

I’ve been reading and studying nature religions, specifically the Cabot Tradition of Witchcraft. I am honored to have studied under Laurie Cabot, the Official Witch of Salem and I look forward to deepening my studies in the future. You can learn more about it here: www.

See Laurie on YouTube.

Well, that’s all for now! The bone broth needs straining and containing. The banana bread must come out of the oven, and the fire stoked. I know spring is coming, but for now it’s still winter.


Until next time …

Make your own tea. I mix equal parts organic chamomile flowers, organic rose petals, and organic lemon balm. This blend is fragrant and helps ease stress and anxiety. Sip during the day and before bed to help you sleep well. Combine the herbs in equal parts in a sealed jar and store out of sunlight. To make a cup, use one rounded teaspoon for 8 ounces of water. Steep for 3-5 minutes. Strain and add sweetener of choice, preferably raw, local honey.


Honeyed Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

ChocolateChip Banana Bread

I’m fascinated by the life of honey bees and the hardworking, selfless social community they create. Honey bees sometimes get a bad reputation because they get lumped together with all bees, including the nasty and aggressive wasps, yellow jackets, and hornets. However, honey bees are NOT aggressive and will only sting out of an instinct to protect the hive or themselves (like when you step on one). Sadly, if a honey bee does use its stinger, the honey bee dies. However, wasps, yellow jackets, and hornets can sting repeatedly because they don’t have barbs on their stingers! OUCH! We need honeybees. One-third of our food is pollinated by honeybees. Imagine a world without honeybees. It’s not so unbelievable given the trajectory of Monsanto and it’s control of the food supply.

Whole Foods Market photo
Whole Foods Market photo

Bees are an excellent indicator of environmental health. The build up of toxins in the environment affect our entire ecosystem and more importantly, us. There’s plenty of research on what pesticides do to people. Do a google search on pesticide build-up in humans and you’ll find liver failure, infertility, brain disorders, and endocrine disruption to name a few. What affects one organism affects another. Spray pesticides and you kill off another being’s food supply. Bats eat mosquitoes. Dragonflies eat mosquitoes. Spray for mosquitoes in your town and you have other dead or sick beneficial animals: honey bees, bats, fish, crickets, fireflies, dragonflies, and other various small insects. By now you should have heard of Colony Collapse Disorder. CCD occurs in areas where there is heavy pesticide use (think factory farms). Nearly all research points to the bee die off being as a catastrophic consequence of pesticide use.  Bill Moyers article is HERE. No honeybees?  No pollination.  No pollination?  No almonds. Few fruits. Few veggies.

My family is obsessed with honey. We take scoops and eat it right from the spoon. We put it in our tea. I use it as a sweetener in salad dressings, drizzle it on grilled fish, and mix in my barbecue sauce.  My husband uses our honey in his granola recipe, and we both love a large helping of honey swirled on a bowl of Greek yogurt. If you need another reason to love honey: a spoonful of honey DOES help the medicine go down…and may keep the doctor away, too!  Read more about honey’s health properties HERE. If you’ve ever done taste-testing with honey, you know that each honey tastes a little different depending on the honey’s terroir. Terroir is what makes the honey take on the characteristics, and flavor, of the environment the honey bees traveled. Terroir is often used to describe wine, but it works for honey, too.  Our Queen Bee Works honey is truly the best honey we’ve ever had – and we’ve had a lot. Our honey is classified as “wildflower” honey because the bees took nectar and pollen from all around the area, not just one variety of flower.

This honey banana bread recipe has been in my recipe notebook for more years than I care to admit. I probably inherited it from my mum. She used to make banana bread (a lot) when I was growing up. She probably made so much banana bread because I wouldn’t eat a banana that had even the hint of a brown spot on it and she didn’t want to waste them. Even now, I will only eat a barely ripe banana! This recipe has evolved a bit over the years, and my most recent addition has been dark chocolate chunks. Bananas and chocolate go together like peas and carrots. Have you ever had a banana dipped in melted chocolate and then rolled in toasted, chopped walnuts? Divine. This banana bread is better.

Walnuts and Chocolate

Honey Walnut Chocolate-Chip Banana Bread

Makes 1 loaf


  • 2¼C unbleached cake flour or Cup 4 Cup Gluten Free Flour
  • ¾C walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 1C dark chocolate chunks (Valhrona)
  • 3 large, ripe bananas
  • 6oz. container of plain, full fat Greek yogurt
  • ¾C honey
  • 6T unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2t honey liqueur (Barenjager) or 2t vanilla extract
  • ¾t baking soda
  • ½t salt

Directions: Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Combine all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. In a medium bowl, mash the bananas with a fork or a potato masher, but be careful not to make them too soupy – keep some lumps in there. Add the yogurt, honey, melted butter, vanilla, and eggs to the bananas and stir gently to combine. Add the banana mixture to the dry ingredients and gently stir until just combined. If you over-mix you risk creating gluten in the flour, and that makes for a tough (not light and airy) bread.

Pour the batter into a buttered and floured loaf pan. Bake until golden brown, about 45 minutes.  Test for doneness around 35-40 minutes with a toothpick or cake tester. To test a cake or bread for doneness, insert the toothpick into the center of the bread. If it comes out clean, without batter stuck to it, it’s done. If not, check in another 5 minutes.

A little note on using honey: I’ve been experimenting in the kitchen with honey.  What I’m reading (and learning first-hand) about cooking with honey is that the moisture in some baked good recipes needs to be inversely adjusted, simply because you are adding moisture with the honey.  When you substitute honey for sugar, you are essentially adding a little liquid as well as sweetener.  If you want to substitute honey for sugar, start off substituting half of the sugar for honey.