This bread was so good that the only good photos I have of it are of this little half-slice.
Recently I participated in my friend Kristina's 100 Women Project. Kristina is always baking treats for everybody else, so I decided I would bring some to share with her and the other ladies at the event. Mama T had just bought a couple cases of Ataulfo mangoes that surprisingly were not disappearing nearly quickly enough, so I decided to try my own version of this fresh mango bread from Montcarte, which she adapted from Dorie Greenspan's book, Baking: From My Home to Yours
I know when it comes to quickbreads, many people like them light and sweet, like a cake, but I prefer to play up the word "bread" and make them dense and substantial. I've had success with cutting half the sugar out of one of Dorie's recipes before, so I did the same here, and obviously swapped in whole wheat flour for white. Generally I sub in a mix of ground flaxseed and oat bran for part of the flour (here it was that last ½ cup) just for some extra fibre and nutrition – you can do the same with whatever ground nut, seed or bran you have on hand; those are just what I usually have in my home.
The original recipe calls for raisins, but I thought coconut would be a better addition to the mango and lime zest. Next time I would definitely try the fresh ginger as well, and maybe tinkering with the spices a bit more.
This bread is so great. Overall, it has just a hint of sweetness. The coconut adds to the bread's dense, chewy texture, while the diced mango adds pockets of fresh, bright, sweet and tart flavour. I know the saturated fat content might be a little scary, but most of that comes from the coconut - while I don't buy into the marketing that it is some miracle, fat-burning fruit, the main saturated fat in coconut is lauric acid, which is made up of shorter chains than palmitic acid (the most common type in foods like beef and butter), and is processed differently in our bodies. (For example, patients who have malabsorption in hospitals are sometimes given these medium-chain fats so that they are easier to absorb.) Like palmitic acid, lauric acid does increase our LDL "bad/lousy" cholesterol, but it also increases our HDL "good/healthy" cholesterol. Of course, all fats (healthy or not), contribute 9 calories per gram, so enjoy in moderation!
Mango Coconut Bread
Adapted from Montcarte/Baking: From My Home to Yours
Makes 1 loaf
- 3 large eggs
- ¾ cup (185 mL) canola oil
- 2½ cups (625 mL) whole wheat flour
- ½ cup (125 mL) sugar
- 1 tsp (5 mL) baking powder
- 1 tsp (5 mL) baking soda
- 1½ tsp (7 mL) ground or fresh grated ginger
- 1 tsp (5 mL) cinnamon
- ¼ cup (60 mL) light brown sugar
- 2 cups (500 mL) diced mango (about 2-3 mangoes)
- ¾ cup (185 mL) sweetened shredded coconut
- Zest from ½ lime
Nutrition Info (per ¾" slice): 349 calories, 19 g fat (4 g saturated), 50 mg cholesterol, 42 g carbohydrate (4 g fibre, 21 g sugar), 6 g protein, 196 mg sodium. An excellent source of vitamin E, manganese and selenium. A good source of vitamin K and magnesium.
- Centre a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350˚F (175˚C). Grease and flour a 8½" × 4½" loaf pan. Put the pan on an insulated baking sheet or on two regular baking sheets stacked one on top of the other.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and oil. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, flaxseed, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt. Rub the brown sugar between your palms into the bowl, breaking up any lumps, then stir it in.
- Pour the wet ingredients over the dry, and use a sturdy rubber spatula or wooden spoon to mix until blended. The batter will be very thick and doughy, but persevere, it will soon come together.
- Stir in the mango, coconut and lime zest. Scrape the batter into the pan and smooth the top with a rubber spatula.