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Breads, Breakfast/Brunch, Sweet Snacks

Cranberry Pecan Banana Bread

So here we are on the day before I leave on vacation and I have half a dozen bananas that need eating. Or using. Or something. I suppose that I could just stick ’em in a ziplock bag and make banana bread later, but even though it is a wildly busy day, making banana bread was a bit of a creative outlet, so I stopped everything that I was doing and made this. Threw in some frozen cranberries too. Somewhat ironic that I am making something very autumn-ish on the last official day of summer, but whatever.

Ingredients
For the bread
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup fresh cranberries
1 1/3 cup of toasted chopped pecans, divided
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups very ripe bananas (from about 3 bananas), mashed with a fork into a smooth puree
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt (2% or full fat is best)
1 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest
2 tablespoon orange juice
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 tablespoons raw sugar

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350F. Prepare a parchment or foil sling for your 9 x 5 inch loaf pan; spray generously with baking spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, baking soda, salt, and ground ginger.

In a separate bowl, mix together the olive oil, eggs, mashed banana, yogurt, orange zest, orange juice, and vanilla. Pour the banana mixture into the flour mixture and fold with a spatula until just combined. Fold in the cranberries and 1 cup of the pecans, again just until combined. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with the remaining pecans (press down lightly) and the raw sugar.

Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean, about 50 to 60 minutes. Sometimes loaves have taken up to 75 minutes; use the toothpick test, not time, as your main guide. Remove from oven to a wire rack. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn the loaf out of the pan to cool completely. Wait until completely cool before slicing.

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