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Monday, March 9, 2009

Whole Wheat Banana Loaf with Prunes and Brazil Nuts

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I made this banana loaf out of nostalgia, really. It's what I call "hippie food "and it reminds me of the times my parents were on a macrobiotic diet. All natural, whole wheat, "no-white", strange types of sweeteners, home made yogurts, the whole nine yards. This loaf is exactly the type of food we would bring home from the natural food store my mom used to shop at. It's great for breakfast with a cup of coffee or as a mid afternoon snack with a dollop of yogurt on the side.

I love Brazil nuts and I try to use them whenever I can. They are full of mood-boosting selenium and lend a great crunch to this recipe (just look at them poking out of the loaf in the photos...) Any other nut would work well too. The prunes, on the other hand make the loaf moist and with chewy bits of natural sweetness. If prunes are not available, raisins would be a good substitute.

I used a food processor to combine the dry ingredients and later the butter, but it can be made without one, just whisk dry ingredients and then cut the butter in with a pastry cutter or two knives. The muscovado sugar can be lumpy at times and that is when the processor comes in handy.

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Whole Wheat Banana Loaf Recipe:

makes 1 loaf (9 x 5 )

1 3/4 cups of whole wheat flour

2/3 cup of muscovado sugar

1 teaspoon of baking powder

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1/2 teaspoon of baking soda

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg

1/2 cup (1 stick) of unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1 cup of ripe, mashed bananas (about 2 large bananas)

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup of prunes, chopped

1/2 cup of Brazil nuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour (or spray) a standard 9 by 5 inches loaf pan. Set aside.

In a bowl of a food processor, pulse the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg just until combined. Add the butter and pulse again until you have small pea-size crumbs. Transfer mixture to a large bowl. Mix in the bananas and eggs and stir to combine. Add the prunes and nuts and mix until well combined, do not over mix it.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake it for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Wait 10 minutes to unmold and cool it completely on a wire rack before slicing.

Enjoy it!

Note: For those who can read Portuguese and have a Google account (necessary to view the page), here is the recipe that inspired me to bake this loaf:

http://www.orkut.com/Main#CommMsgs.aspx?cmm=72472&tid=2557974664148461437&kw=bolo+de+banana+e+ameixas

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On another note...

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Last week I received a blog award from Sally of Pink Bytes. Yes, we have almost the same blog name! Sally blogs from Australia though, a place I can only dream of visiting some day...

This is the first Blog Award I receive so I want to thank Sally (Thank You!!) and pass it on to a few other adorable blogs:

Wandering Chopsticks

Life's Ambrosia

Not Another Omnivore

Pig Pig's Corner

Closet Cooking

Keep making yummy foods, our eyes and our tummys say thank you too... :)

13 comments:

Kevin said...

Congrats on the award! It is well deserved! Thanks for the award!

That bread looks good! I like the use of the prunes and how healthy it sounds!

Sally said...

You are more than welcome Rita. You have such a smashin' blog, I am surprised it's you first!
Maybe more will follow now. Sally. xxx

Deseree said...

Looks like great minds think alike! I posted a banana bread today too :) Thanks for the award that was very nice of you!!

Not Another Omnivore said...

1. The bread sounds fantastic! I love bread with nuts/fruit/etc.

2. Congratulations on the award! I love your blog and am so glad you received it!

3. Thank you so much for the award! That was very sweet of you and I will try to post and pass it on later tonight or tomorrow.

Hope all is well :)

NAOmni

Wandering Chopsticks said...

Thanks sweetie!

I would love this bread. Sounds healthy and yummy. For some reason, I think banana bread lends itself really well with healthy ingredients like nuts and whole wheat.

Happy cook said...

Wow the loaf look so so delicious.

Choirgirl said...

Made this tonight, used a small loaf tin (about 3in by 10in) and a small cup. Used a little less sugar (it was more than sweet enough in the end), walnuts instead of brazils and some vanilla in with the beaten eggs. Simply melted the butter. The texture and flavour were lovely - enjoyed it for pudding. thanks very much!

choirgirl said...

Made this tonight, using a smaller loaf tin (3in by 10in) and small cup, walnuts instead of brazils, a tad less sugar, vanilla in with the beaten eggs and melted butter. Worked a treat - thanks!

Elra said...

Congratulation on your award.
I think Brazil nut will make this bread even more delicious.
Cheers,
elra

squirrelbread said...

this is a great recipe! i just stumbled on your blog, and as a dietitian, bravo for the nutritious ideas with a jimmie-covered background :) sweet treats here and there are ALWAYS warranted! i look forward to visiting more...

cheers,

*heather*

Karen said...

This looks so healthy and hearty I could make a breakfast out of it!

Rita said...

Thanks Kevin, you are right, this is a healthy treat.

Sally - thanks! :)

Des - viva banana breads!

NAOmni - Thanks...by the way, I JUST got the whole name thing....oooops, I can be a little slow at times....

WC - I think you are right, banana goes nicely in the hippie food category...

Happy cook - Thanks:)

Choigirl - I am happy you made it!

Elra - thanks, I absolutely love the texture and flavour of Brazil nuts

Heather - welcome aboard! Coming from a dietitian it's a double compliment!

Karen - I enjoy having it for breakfast too.

pigpigscorner said...

Thanks Rita for the award, very much appreciated =)

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