Banana Bread with Black Walnuts, Vietnamese Cinnamon & Nutmeg

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Preheat oven to 350° F.

Whisk together in a large bowl :

1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

Whisk together in a small bowl :

1/2 cup neutral oil (sunflower or vegetable is best, 1/4 cup can be replaced with walnut oil)

1/2 cup soy or rice yogurt (or regular yogurt)

Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, along with :

1/2 cup black walnuts, chopped (or 1/4 cup almonds and 1/4 cup English walnuts)

1 1/4 cup banana, mashed or chopped with :

1/4 cup sugar or palm sugar (optional)

1 tsp vanilla

Fold all ingredients together, without overmixing.

Place in a lightly oiled loaf pan.

Dust top of bread with nutmeg and vietnamese cinnamon, freshly grated and ground if possible.

Bake until a toothpick inserted into the loaf comes out clean, usually an hour.

Allow to rest in pan for ten minutes before removing from pan to cool on a rack.

This makes a soft, delicious dairy-free, vegan banana bread. If desired, you can use a dairy-based yogurt. There doesn’t seem to be much of a difference in flavor between the two, the yogurt is mostly added for consistency. The bread is soft and cakey, make sure that the pan is oiled before baking and that you allow the bread to cool a bit before removing from the pan or cutting into it.

I think this is easily the equal of any banana bread made with milk and butter, in fact I would argue that omitting those ingredients makes for a less “bready” treat, tasting mostly of bananas, nuts and spices.

Serve warm or cool for breakfast with an herbal or forage tea or coffee. For a decadent dessert, toast lightly in an oven and top with a spoonful of vanilla or caramel ice cream.

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