Almond Joy Banana Bread

Highlights magazine  . . . who would have thought that a kids magazine could lead to a batch of banana bread. My son was reading his magazine with dad and they came across a story of some kids baking up a batch of banana bread. He, of course, immediately wanted to bake up a batch but instead of it being a traditional banana bread he wanted it to have almonds. We ended up making one loaf with just almonds and the other loaf with coconut, almonds, and chocolate chips. Yummy! Enjoy!

Almond Joy Banana Bread
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup margarine or butter, softened
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas (3 to 4 medium)
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup almonds, chopped
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Place oven rack in lowest position. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottoms only of loaf pans.

Mix sugar and margarine in large bowl. Stir in eggs until well blended. Add bananas, buttermilk, and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Stir in flour, baking soda, and salt just until moistened. Stir in coconut, almonds, and chocolate chips.

Pour into pans. Bake about 60 to 75 minutes (about 25 minutes for mini loaves) or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool 5 minutes. Loosen sides of loaves from pans; remove from pans. Cool completely before slicing.

Makes 2 loaves

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