"We are lonesome animals. We spend our life trying to be less lonesome. One of the our ancient methods is to tell a story begging the listener to say - and to feel - 'Yes, that's the way it is or at least that's the way I feel it. You're not as alone as you thought.'" (John Steinbeck)
"And, of course, people are interested only in themselves. If a story is not about the hearer he will not listen." (John Steinbeck, East of Eden)
This bread is nutty and moist, not-too-sweet with a pronounced edge and depth of earthy, spicy cardamom. Oats add a bit of toothsomeness, a slight deviation from standard melt-in-your-mouth banana breads.
For added depth and spice, remove one cup of the batter and add a full teaspoon of cinnamon. Drop in spoonfuls over the cardamom batter and swirl before baking.
Although satisfying on it's own, I find the bread best served warm with a smear of nut butter or a drizzle of honey.
Cardamom Pecan Banana Bread
- 3 overripe bananas
- 1/2 cup plain or lightly sweetened vanilla yogurt
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 cup all-purpose or white whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cardamom
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, divided
- 1 cup oats
- 1/2 cup pecans
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter or grease and flour a 4x8 loaf pan.
- In a small mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cardamom and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, thoroughly mash bananas. Whisk in yogurt, eggs, honey, and vanilla.
- Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Remove 1 cup of the batter and place in the small mixing bowl. Gently whisk in 1 teaspoon cinnamon.
- To the remaining cardamom batter, add 1 cup oats, folding gently. Scoop half of the mixture into the prepared loaf pan. In small spoonfuls, drop half of of the cinnamon batter over the cardamom oat batter. Use a knife to swirl. Drop half of the pecans over the loaf. Pour the remaining cardamom batter over the pecans and repeat the swirling process with the remaining cinnamon batter. Top with the remaining pecans.
- Bake for 45-55 minutes, until golden brown. You will know the bread is done when it springs back after touching it lightly with your finger. Remove from oven, allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes before removing and allowing to cool on a rack.
*The cinnamon swirl is not terribly visibly distinct, but is apparent in the bread's flavor.