It’s midwinter and although sunny outside today, very cold here in the NSW Southern Highlands of Australia. The wood-fired oven is preheated almost every afternoon, and the temptation to bake inspires me to create this comforting banana bread. The addition of spices fills the kitchen with a wonderful aroma as I open the oven. Quick! Eat it whole warm, served with a hot chocolate, or your favourite tea or coffee.

Makes 10 slices

Ingredients 

3 ripe bananas, mashed 

1 cup soft brown sugar, firmly packed 2 large free range eggs 

1 tbsp honey 

1/2 tsp vanilla extract 

1/2 cup fat free Greek-style yoghurt 1/4 cup olive oil 

1/2 tsp salt 

1/2 tsp cinnamon 1/4 tsp nutmeg 

1/4 tsp ground ginger 1 cup plain flour 

1/2 cup self-raising flour 1/2 tsp baking powder 

1/2 cup chopped pecans, extra whole pecans to decorate

banana-bread-4 Spiced Banana Bread with Pecans

Method 

Pre-heat oven to 180C (160C fan-forced) with rack in centre position. 

In a deep bowl mix together well the mashed bananas, brown sugar, eggs, honey, vanilla extract, yoghurt and olive oil to create a smooth blend. 

In a wide bowl sift together salt, spices, flours, baking powder and pecans. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients gently, until just combined: do not overwork. 

Transfer batter into a greased and lined loaf pan and smooth top to even out. Sprinkled whole pecans on the top without disturbing the batter. 

Bake for 50 minutes, or until inserted skewer comes out clean. 

Cool for five minutes before removing from pan by grasping baking paper each side, and allow to cool until just warm on a wire rack. 

Slice thickly, can be lightly toasted to reheat. Serve plain, or with a drizzle of honey, or spread with unsalted butter. Store covered, in a cool dry place for a few days.