Renegade Banana Bread

Yesterday, in between whining about the state of politics in this country and taking care of a very, very sick little boy, I took an informal inventory of schtuff in the kitchen. Still no cinnamon, but hey, here are some pecans in the freezer that should probably be used. About a cup of oats. What good is that? Really ripe bananas. Dislike. Agave nectar but no sugar.

Now, quick breads and I have reached an understanding: I acknowledge the necessary ratios of wet and dry ingredients for a successful texture, but then I get to experiment with the spices and mix-ins. It’s like the baking equivalent of Oh Yeah! Ice Cream in Shadyside, although significantly more random and less dessert-y delicious.*

So given what I had on hand, I decided to push the envelope a little more. I considered a two-fruit bread, but that’s always dicey because of the moisture. I opted instead for an unconventional mix of spices. Unconventional even for me.

Renegade Banana Bread

2 cups flour (I used all-purpose because that’s all I had.)
1 cup oats
1 tsp baking soda
Pinch of kosher salt
About a tsp each of cloves, ginger and allspice
About 2 tsps of red chili powder

4 mashed bananas
2 eggs
1 cup agave nectar (I used light amber.)

1 cup crushed pecans

Mix the dry ingredients in one bowl and the wet in another. Combine but don’t overmix. Stir in pecans. Pour into a lightly oiled bread pan.

Bake for an hour at 350 degrees. I was astounded how long it took.

Cool in the pan for ten minutes or so before transferring to a wire rack.

The resulting bread has a hearty texture due to the pecans and oats, but stays pleasantly moist because of all the bananas.  It is particularly delicious for breakfast. The chili gives it a unique kick, working admirably well with the other spices and the banana. I will likely tweak this further, experimenting with egg whites instead of full eggs and switching to whole wheat flour.

And tomorrow morning, I will try it toasted.

Nutritional information for one slice of bread (1/20th recipe), approximate: 181 calories, 4.8 grams fat, 21.5 grams cholesterol, 93.9mg sodium, 32.4 grams carbohydrates. 1.9 grams fiber, 16 grams sugar, 3.7 grams protein.

*We were supposed to go there last night after soccer practice and meet friends, but because Avi was very sick we postponed the trip. Then a huge storm came and canceled soccer anyway, but I am clearly still pining for an Oh Yeah! visit.


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