Banana and coconut bread with raspberries

UK-born mother of two Vanessa Clarkson is an internationally recognised registered dietitian, wholefood nutrition expert, cook and writer who believes that cultivating a love of real food in children needs to begin as early as possible. Her new book Real Food for Babies and Toddlers features 80 wholefood recipes which the whole family will enjoy. In the mood to bake? Here's one of our favourites from her fabulous new book...



Banana and coconut bread with raspberries

Makes: 1 loaf
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 50–60 minutes
Dietary Info: Nut-free vegetarian

100 g (3½ oz/²⁄³ cup) unbleached white spelt flour
70 g (2½ oz/½ cup) wholemeal
(whole-grain) spelt flour
90 g (3¼ oz/1 cup) unsweetened desiccated (finely shredded) coconut
1 teaspoon unsweetened vanilla bean powder (ground vanilla; see page 237)
1 teaspoon aluminium-free baking powder (see page 236)
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
200 g (7 oz/3/4 cup) plain yoghurt
60 ml (2 fl oz/¼ cup) mild olive oil
60 ml (2 fl oz/¼ cup) milk
3 eggs
2 tablespoons maple syrup
250 g (9 oz) peeled ripe bananas (about 2 or 3), roughly chopped
90 g (3¼ oz/3/4 cup) fresh or frozen raspberries
20 g (3/4 oz/¼ cup) unsweetened shredded coconut

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Line a deep 19 x 9 cm (7½ x 3½ inch) loaf (bar) tin with baking paper. Put the flours, desiccated coconut, vanilla bean powder, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda in a large bowl. Use a whisk to stir them together well. In a separate bowl, beat together the yoghurt, olive oil, milk, eggs and maple syrup until smooth, then pour into the dry ingredients. Mix until all the ingredients are incorporated and no flour is visible, then fold in the bananas and raspberries. Spoon the batter into the prepared baking tin, sprinkle over the shredded coconut and gently pat this down and level the mixture with the back of a spoon. Cover with a layer of baking paper to prevent the coconut from burning, and bake for 50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean (you will need about an hour’s cooking time if using frozen raspberries). Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack until cool enough to serve. For little ones: Cut the bread into fingers for easier gripping.

Recipes and images from Real Food for Babies and Toddlers By Vanessa Clarkson, Murdoch Books, $35. To shop the book, click here.