Peanut Butter & Pecan Banana Bread
Whether you're a fan of bananas or not, you're going to love this banana bread! It's not overly bananary (yes, I've made that word up), and it has a good dose of peanut butter running through it, which, teamed with the crunch from the pecans, makes for one very moorish loaf!
And if you're not a fan of peanut butter....why on earth not!? Just kidding. Just leave it out of your version - simple.
This particular banana bread is so moist and fluffy, and it's all in the ripeness of your bananas. I'm going to be honest - I used pretty black-skinned bananas for this, which, when peeled, were slightly squishy, but not gloopy.
And also, another piece of honesty - I was too lazy to mash the bananas, so I popped them in the Magimix and pulsed them until they became a smooth white pulp. I think this actually helped the overall texture of the banana bread to stay nice and fluffy and light, rather than getting bogged down and heavy, like some banana breads can be.
If you don't have a Magimix, just pop them in an electric blender, or failing that, you'll have to actually get your fork out and mash mash mash, until you can't mash any more.
Another point to mention before we get down to the nitty gritty, is the butter. Now, my banana bread recipe uses dairy free butter - specifically, 'Pure sunflower spread' if you really wanted to know. But, this doesn't mean that you have to use dairy free too. Use a margarine that's good for you. I would just recommend against using actual butter, because, once again, it comes back to the lightness of the sponge, Butter will weigh it down and potentially lead to it drying out quicker after baking.
One final note - the peanut butter I used was a runny, smooth type. Meridian is always a good option, or Pip & Nut. Plus, with ones like Pip & Nut, you can always try variations of the recipe using almond butter, or their various other butter combos. They are the right consistency for drizzling...and eating spoonfuls of.....mmm.
Ok, I think I've waffled on for far too long, so here's the recipe...
125g dairy-free spread
125g caster sugar
3 large, very ripe bananas - mashed/blended
225g FreeFrom plain flour (I used Dove's Farm)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp cinnamon
1tsp mixed spice
1tsp vanilla extract
100g chopped pecans (leave some large pieces for the top)
50g peanut butter (omit, or add more if you like)
Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC (160ºC fan) and grease & line a standard loaf tin.
Blend the bananas, preferably in an electric blender, or just use a fork - that's fine too.
Beat the df butter & sugar together in a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment - if you don't have one, use a glass bowl with a hand-held electric mixer.
Once creamed, add in the banana purée, and mix thoroughly.
Add in the eggs, one by one, mixing well between each addition.
Fold in the flour, baking powder, xanthan gum, cinnamon, salt and mixed spice.
Add in the vanilla extract and mix until everything is combined.
Fold in the chopped peanuts, leaving some larger ones back to sprinkle over the top.
Pour half of the mixture in to the loaf tin.
Drizzle half of the peanut butter over the mixture in the tin, before pouring the remaining banana bread mixture on top.
Sprinkle over the remaining pecans, and drizzle over the second half of the peanut butter.
Bake in the centre of a pre-heated oven for 60 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.
Once baked, remove from the oven and leave to cool for 10 minutes before turning out on to a wire rack to cool completely.
Serve warm, or cold. It's delicious either way.
Wrap in clingfilm and store in an air-tight container for up to 4 days (if it lasts that long).
Please let us know if you try out this, or any of our recipes - we love to get feedback!
Holly @ The Den