The Inspired Cook

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Going Bananas

Just the other day, I spotted two very ripe bananas lounging, or should I say collapsed, over several oranges in my fruit bowl. I swear I just bought those a couple of days ago. Unfortunately, the life expectancy of any banana entering my home is automatically shortened to a New York minute.

Those over-ripened bananas inspired to create a new recipe. But what should I make? Instantly, banana bread popped into my head.

                Ah, the proverbial banana bread—the last hurrah for bananas clinging to life!

                Although a county fair-winning recipe, a cookbook find, resides in my recipe box, I opted to create a new one to spice things up a bit. So, I surveyed my pantry items for possible ingredients.

                All of a sudden, I knew what I wanted to make when my eyes landed on a can of fruit cocktail: banana bread that tasted like fruit salad.

                Sometimes, a new recipe requires making a few adjustments to get it just right, but this one didn’t. My finished results greatly surpassed my expectations.

Fruit-Salad Banana Bread


  •  2 c. flour
  • 1 1/2 c. sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 bananas, mashed
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1 t. soda
  • 1/2 c. organic coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 c. fruit cocktail, drained
  • 1/2 c. coconut, sweetened and flaked
  • 1/2 c. walnuts, chopped
  • 1/4 c. orange juice, freshly-squeezed
  • 1 t. orange zest


 Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a loaf pan with cooking spray.

Open can of fruit cocktail and pour contents through a fine mesh strainer, catching juice in a small bowl. Reserve juice. Select equal amounts of pears, peaches, grapes, pineapple, and cherries and put into in a measuring cup. When you get half of a cup, place fruit on paper towels and lightly press out excess juice; set aside. Add remaining fruit cocktail to reserved juice and save for another use.

In a small saucepan, melt coconut oil over medium heat, being careful not to boil; set aside. Into a medium-sized mixing bowl, add sugar and coconut oil, beating with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs and bananas; mix. Add remaining ingredients, stirring only until blended. Do not over-stir.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 55-65 minutes or until done in the center when tested with a toothpick.

Yield: one loaf