Bananas and Boats

There is a wide-spread superstition that bananas should never be allowed on boats. The history behind this is somewhat vague especially when trying to determine whether it applies to all boats or just fishing boats. One theory is that because the bananas spoil so quickly there was no time to catch fish whenever the cargo included a load of bananas. There are many other theories regarding this including toxic fumes, deadly spiders, etc. – won’t go there.

On Gaviidae, we frequently have bananas aboard as they are an easy snack when underway and we often like peanut butter and banana slices on toast for breakfast!

Invariably we can never quite finish all the bananas before a few start to get too ripe (especially when Dan has bought the Costco bunch). So we needed to find a purpose for these neglected bananas – banana bread. I’m sure at this point you’re thinking that Dan is writing this because you all know that I don’t cook. I don’t, but Dan doesn’t bake. So he found the recipe and handed it to me with a broad hint that I should make it.

But no recipe can be followed exactly if Dan is around and we didn’t have cooking oil so a substitute had to be found. Instead I used coconut oil, easily accomplished by placing a jar of coconut oil in its solid state in a glass in hot water. The hot water melted the oil in its jar to a usable consistency for this recipe. No banana bread is done right without chocolate chips per Dan, so they also got added.

Of course I’m not doing this on the boat but at my sister’s place in Toronto so baking times once back on the boat will be a bit of an experiment (phooey on superstitions). In a regular oven, the result was delicious and the apartment smelled heavenly while it was baking.

Toasted Coconut-Banana Bread


  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 1 cup mashed ripe banana (2 to 3 medium bananas)
  • 1/3 cup cooking oil (I melted coconut oil and used that)
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 ½ cups flaked coconut – toasted
  • ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


Grease a 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan; set aside. I used a silicone bread pan and did not grease.

In a large mixing bowl stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Make a well in the center. In a medium mixing bowl combine beaten eggs, mashed bananas, oil, milk, and vanilla; mix well. Add egg mixture to flour mixture; stir just till combined. (The batter should be lumpy.) Fold in toasted coconut.

Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Bake in a preheated 350 degrees F oven for 50 to 60 minutes, or till a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean (50 minutes was enough in my sister’s oven).

Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan; cool thoroughly on a wire rack. Wrap and store overnight before slicing.

Toasted Coconut Banana Bread with Chocolate Chips

Toasted Coconut Banana Bread with Chocolate Chips

Source: with modifications (coconut oil and chocolate chips)




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