Summers in India are synonymous with bowls full of Aamras (fresh mango pulp) and gobbling up sweet mangoes all day long! And though I miss those childhood days, I am at least thankful of being in a state that offers Mangoes almost every season. They may not be as sweet and flavorful as the Indian ones, but beggars are not choosers, and so I am happy to grab whatever I can get.
Trying to find some good use for the dried tropical fruits lying in my fridge, I came across this lovely Mango Bread recipe, courtesy of Whole Foods, which is a perfect way to bake some bread that goes well as a snack, without being overly sweet or decadent. [Image by Whole Foods] As pineapples go well with mangoes, I used both fruits in the recipe. This bread is not as soft as Banana Bread, so it holds its shape well while slicing, and is mildly sweet rather than loaded with sugar. As the bread bakes, the fruit juices start trickling in to give it a nice dense texture, so you will feel it to be moist, just how a fruit bread should be.
Tropical Mango Pineapple & Coconut Bread
1 cup chopped fresh mango
1 cup mango puree
1 banana, mashed
1 cup drained canned crushed pineapple
1/2 cup dried tropical fruit blend
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
Place dried tropical fruits in a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Let soak 30 minutes. Drain well in a colander, pressing to squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Chop into chunks and set aside. Chop the fresh mango and keep ready.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375°F. Grease and flour a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan. Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda in a medium bowl.
In a large bowl, whisk together the mango puree, banana, pineapple, oil and eggs. Add dry ingredients and stir just until combined. Gently stir in soaked dried fruits, the chopped fresh mango and coconut and mix just until they are evenly distributed.
Pour batter (it will be thick) into pan and bake until a knife comes clean from the center, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Loosen sides from pan, remove and let loaf cool completely, before slicing the bread.
This delicious fruit bread with tropical flavors is an excellent accompaniment to an afternoon tea, or even a lovely treat for kids when they come back from school. Warm a couple slices in the microwave and add some butter on the top and your kids will love it!
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