Choose Your Own Baking Adventure: Banana Walnut, Carrot, or Blackberry Cardamom Bread

I’m no master baker by any means; without a sweet tooth to call my own I generally stay on the savory end of the kitchen. Baking also requires a certain kind of attention to detail and scientific organization that after the daily patience my day job requires, I just can’t hang with. But I’ll tell you – you could be missing an arm and think a whisk is is some kind of sex toy and still be able to make this bread awesome! You can even get creative with it and use your savory skills to combine flavors without opening your oven door to yet another baking catasrophe.

Apart from being a quick simple recipe, the delicious secret to it is FRESH spices. If you’re using cinnamon and nutmeg, don’t use the janky stale powdered stuff that’s been sitting in your cabinet since three Thanksgiving’s ago when you made pumpkin pie. Get a zester or fine grater, some cinnamon sticks, and a hard nutmeg nut and make yourself sneeze with the freshness.
If you’re using cardamom, toast the fresh seeds quickly on the stovetop (not pods, but for extra freshness, you can get pods and crush them to extract the seeds) and grind them in a spice grinder (which you have already, right? It’s just a little coffee grinder that you use for spices instead of coffee….)

Get this together:

1 cup smashed banana, ¾ cup toasted chopped walnuts (or)
1 cup grated carrots (or)
1 cup semi-smashed blackberries , 3/4 cup oats


1 cup any fruit, veggie, etc (wet ingredient that you choose and up to 3/4 cup any nuts, oats, small chopped dried fruit, coconut, choco/butterscotch/peanut butter chip or combination thereof that your heart desires

And here’s how to do it:

1. Preheat oven to 350 and lightly grease 9×5 pan or (2) 6×3 pans

2. Mix 1 ¾ flour ¾ c sugar 1t each baking powder and salt and ½ t baking soda cinnamon nutmeg in large bowl (except blackberry bread, replace with a couple pinches cardamom), add dry ingredients (nuts, oats, dried fruit, coconut etc)

3. In separate bowl whisk 2 eggs, 1/2 c cooled melted butter or vegetable oil, ½ c. yogurt or sour cream, 1t vanilla, stir in wet stuff and fold into dry mixture until nicely combined.

4. Spread batter in pans and bake until tooth pick comes out clean. Cool in pans on rack bout 30 min, then pop out to cool the rest of the way, on a rack.

5. Eat it!

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