One of my male coworkers is crazy about banana bread. He loves it and whenever we have bananas that are really ripe he brings it to our attention. Hint, hint, hint! So of course we have a joke that to men banana bread is an aphrodisiac. One of my other co-workers said that she did hear once that the smell of banana bread baking actually is considered enticing by most men. I never heard this so of course off I went to get to the bottom of it. Crazy as it may seem, I did find an article from a doctor who has studied such a topic. Apparently, there is a Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Center in Chicago. It was there in the late 90’s that a study was completed on aromas that are considered aphrodisiacs. According to the research done there, the aroma of banana nut bread is the second most arousing sent. What might be the first arousing aroma you ask? Believe it or not; but it is a combination of cucumber and licorice. Strange I know, but I think I will stick with banana bread. I think the bigger question is do I believe in this study?
I went to the market last week and purchased some bananas, and I let them ripen on my counter. By doing this the banana becomes much sweeter and their sent intensifies. Being that the study did not specify a nut type, I thought long and hard about what nut or nuts to add. I personally have an admiration for macadamia nuts when combined with coconut; and I think they pair with bananas as though it is a tropical dream. Whipping up my banana bread with coconut and macadamia nuts I kept asking my husband if he liked the smell. He was grinning, explaining that although the aroma from the kitchen smelled wonderful he in no way felt any “desire”!
I will have to say that I am really glad I researched the banana nut bread aphrodisiac mystery. It ended with really delicious and moist banana bread with coconut and macadamia nuts. That and my apartment smelled terrific. With Valentine’s Day not too far off you will have to try it out for yourself. You never know. If it does work, you will have breakfast to impress the special someone you get lucky with!
Banana Bread with Coconut and Macadamia Nuts (makes 1 9”x5” loaf)
2 ½ cups AP flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
7 oz butter (room temperature), plus extra for greasing pan
1 ½ cups brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
Zest of 1 lemon
¼ tsp of nutmeg (freshly grated)
1 ½ cups mashed banana (about 4)
¼ cup milk
1 cup of sweetened shredded coconut
1 cup of macadamia nuts, chopped
First; in a bowl whisk together your flour, baking powder, baking soda, & salt and set it aside. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees; and measure a piece of parchment paper so that it fits the length of the pan, plus up and over the sides of the pan a bit.
Next, in the bowl of an electric mixer beat your butter and brown sugar together. When it is light and fluffy add in your eggs and vanilla and mix well. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl in between. Sprinkle in your lemon zest and nutmeg and mix well. Pour in your flour mixture and stir until well combined. Stir in your milk (it might be pasty, but that is normal). Using a rubber spatula stir in your mashed banana until evenly combined. Fold in the coconut and macadamia nuts until they are coated in the batter.
Then, gently pour your batter into your prepared loaf pan. Place it all on a baking sheet and in the center of your oven. Bake about 45 minutes to an hour; until it is firm to the touch, golden, and the top of your banana bread is crackly.
Finally, remove from the oven and let it cool completely before removing from the pan. When cool, loosen the edge of your banana bread with a knife. Using the edges of the parchment paper that are overhanging to lift you banana bread out of the pan and place on a cutting board. The parchment paper will peel off easily. Slice as desired and serve. (Will