I used to make banana bread all the time. In my early years of grad school, I was pretty much living off the bargain produce bin at Berkeley Bowl, and I always had more bananas than I could eat before they went south. And so I made banana bread, in one hundred different variations. But then when my circumstances became slightly less dire, I started baking all kinds of other things (scones! cakes! cupcakes!), and humble banana bread was left in the dust. Until now!
The thing is, I really like to eat oats for breakfast. I ate this baked oatmeal, with minor variations, for months on end. I loved it. I tried traditional oatmeal too, and sometimes I ate it raw in yogurt, a trick I learned from my dad, who calls it “concrete.” A very good name for it! But I happened to have a few bananas, and I became fixated on the idea of putting oats into banana bread. With cardamom! And thus, this breakfast was born.
If I’ve learned anything in my adult years, it’s that we all have a tried and true banana bread recipe. I prefer butter to oil, for instance, and if it doesn’t have nuts of some kind, it’s not worth eating, at least for me. So I encourage you to try throwing a few teaspoons of cardamom into your next batch of your favorite recipe. It is so delicious! And, I have to say, it also pairs really nicely with chocolate. I had many a slice slathered with Nutella: heavenly! However you like it, I hope you enjoy!
Cardamom Banana Oat Bread
Adapted from The Daily Green
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
2 c all purpose flour
1 c quick-cooking oats
1/2 c brown sugar (or 3/4 c, if you like it more than lightly sweet)
2 1/2 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 c butter
1 c mashed bananas (about 2)
1 c milk
2 tsp vanilla
2 large eggs
1/2 to 1 c walnuts or pecans
-Preheat oven to 350 F and grease a 9 x 5 loaf pan.
-Mix dry ingredients in a medium bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer.
-Cut in the butter with two knives or a pastry cutter until the texture resembles moist sand.
-Add the wet ingredients and stir just until moistened through, adding the nuts last.
-Pour batter into prepared pan, topping with a few dry oats.
-Bake at 350 for 50-60 minutes, but start checking it with a cake tester at 40 minutes. Be careful not to over bake, as the oats will tend to make the bread dry out quickly.
-Let the bread cool on a rack for 20 minutes before removing from the pan. Slice and enjoy!