Subtly Spiced Banana Bread
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1/8 teaspoon cardamom
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
4 tablespoons ground flax seed
6 tablespoons banana liqueur
3 very ripe bananas, mashed well (approximately 1 1/2 cups)
6 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup plain vegan yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped, divided
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9x5" loaf pan. You could also make 12 muffins and line the muffin tin cups with baking cups.
2. Whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices together in a large bowl and set aside. Whisk the ground flax seeds with the banana liqueur, and then add the mashed banana, melted coconut oil, vegan yogurt and vanilla extract.
3. Add the wet to the dry ingredients and fold in 1/2 the walnuts. Scoop batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top and sprinkle the remaining walnuts on top.
4. Bake until the bread is golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the middle comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Let the bread cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack.
This bread is not very sweet and this is one of the reasons I love it. It tastes very much of banana and the spices are just an accent. If made into muffins, they rise very well. Saving half of the walnuts for the top gets them very crisp and toasty, a nice contrast to the moist interior of the bread. For years I have been sneaking banana liqueur into my bread and I think it makes it that much better. You could even poke holes in the warm bread with a bamboo skewer and and sprinkle more of the banana liqueur on the top for a little adult touch. My boyfriend loves this bread toasted and spread with earth balance. I like it just the way it is at room temperature. I hope you enjoy it!
Source of recipe: This recipe was inspired by the Banana Bread recipe from the Complete America's Test Kitchen Cookbook.