Scrumptious Banana Nut Bread (from scratch)

There’s very little that is more heart-warming and more capable of giving you a fuzzy feeling inside than the cozy aroma of freshly baked goodies wafting through the house. Things like banana bread, zucchini bread, chocolate chip cookies and oatmeal raisin cookies are what I like to think of as comfort food. But I grew up in a household where baking was pretty much non-existent. I have one vague recollection of baking cookies from frozen dough with my cousins. I think I might have been 5 or 6 years old. It’s only after I went to college that I started baking and I really wanted to bake banana bread, because I absolutely love it. If I ever wanted banana bread, I was usually disappointed because eggless banana bread is pretty much nonexistent, as is banana bread without walnuts (I’m allergic). So I searched and searched, and finally managed to put together this recipe, which appears to be working for me.

 I’ve tried different variations on it, and whatever I’ve tried has turned out pretty great. What I love about this particular recipe is that in spite of the eggless-ness, the bread turns out light and fluffy, and sweet but not too sweet. You should definitely try your own variations and let me know what you think.                                                                                                                                                                                                      
Ingredients 
1 1/2 cups white flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
4 tbsp butter or vegetable oil
3-4 ripe bananas, mashed
2 tbsp applesauce
a handful of raisins
a handful of pecan pieces                                                                                                                                    
Method
-Preheat oven to 350 degrees-
1. Make sure your bananas are mashed until there are very few lumps. Try not to puree though, because that makes the bread less fluffy.
2. Sift together your dry ingredients until they are well mixed.
3. Mix all of the ingredients together except the raisins and pecans.
4. Cover the raisins and pecan pieces with a light dusting of flour to ensure that they don’t sink to the bottom of the pan.
5. Pour the batter into a buttered 9×11 cake pan.
6. Bake at 350 degrees for about 55-60 minutes or until chocolate brown and cooked all the way through. 
7. Enjoy and try to leave some to share with your family and friends!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 You can try variations with chocolate chips, a little bit of cinnamon and nutmeg for a spiced version, or a version with different nuts like almonds or walnuts. Let me know if you have any other good ideas!
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