I have never been a very big fan of cantaloupe, or melons for that matter. Watermelons are cool with me but anything much past that is just too “musky” for my liking. Try and try again, eating melon balls or cantaloupe halves just makes me cringe a bit.
So why the heck did I make cantaloupe bread?
Two reasons really:
1) I am still trying to force myself to like it…
2) This is the actual catalyst to the situation: my neighbor recently went out of town for about a week and I was charged with watching her two crazy kitties. Before she left she said, “Jess there is some spinach and a cantaloupe in the fridge, please eat them while I’m gone because I’m sure they won’t be good when I get back”. Cantaloupe. Dun, dun dun… I told her I wasn’t a big fan. She said to try it with some salt sprinkled on top. Still didn’t like it. Siiiigh. I really didn’t want to waste it. So why not put it in a quick bread? You can do it with zucchini, bananas and so many other things.
So there you have it. My recent venture into the world of dairy-free baking with my Pumpkin-Ginger Muffins had me really liking coconut oil so I figured I’d use that instead of canola in this. And since we’ve now headed down the coconut road why not add some shredded coconut for good measuring? And some toasted pecans. Mmmmm….
The cantaloupe flavor is mild in this and I have to say, I really like it! The addition of Greek yogurt to the batter made it nice and moist. (If you are going to use regular yogurt I would cut the volume back a bit since it is more liquidy). The coconut and pecans give it a sort-of tropical flair. The addition of ground ginger and cinnamon add a nice subtle kick of spice and a bit of whole wheat flour adds a wholesome texture. I would call this recipe a success! I hope you will give it a try and let me know what you think!
My boyfriend suggested adding a handful of raisins next time so that’s an option if you are interested.
Cantaloupe & Coconut Bread
- 1 ½ cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
- ½ cup whole wheat flour
- ¾ cup granulated white sugar (plus an extra pinch for sprinkling over the loaf, optional)
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. fine kosher or sea salt (use ¾ tsp. if using table salt)
- ½ tsp. ground ginger
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 3 ounces coconut oil, melted and slightly cooled (may substitute unsalted butter- this would be 6 tbsp.)
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- ¼ cup Greek yogurt
- 1 ½ cup cantaloupe puree (peel, seed and give fresh, very ripe cantaloupe chunks a buzz in the food processor until smooth, this will be approximately 1 medium sized fruit). **Note: If you want some chunks, use 1 cup puree and ½ cup finely diced cantaloupe
- ½ cup shredded, sweetened coconut
- ½ cup toasted and roughly chopped pecans, optional
- Spray the inside of a 9 X 5 X 3 loaf pan with baking spray (alternately, grease and flour the inside).
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F with rack in the center position.
- In a large bowl whisk together the first 8 ingredients until well combined.
- In a medium bowl whisk together the eggs, coconut oil, vanilla extract, yogurt and cantaloupe puree with a wooden spoon until smooth.
- Fold the wet mixture into the dry ingredients along with the coconut and pecans using a rubber spatula until just combined.
- Pour into the prepared loaf pan and sprinkle with a pinch of sugar if desired.
- Bake until golden brown, about 50-60 minutes. An instant read thermometer inserted into the center should read approximately 200 degrees F.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool in pan for 5 minutes. Gently remove loaf from pan to a wire rack to cool thoroughly.