Typically when I find myself with “bananas going bad”, I’ll peel them, break them into pieces, and freeze them to use later in smoothies. Once in a great while, however, I’ll feel inspired to make banana bread. I felt that way today, probably because school is starting on Monday and I’m anxious for all things fall. Don’t know about you, but the arrival of any new season can be all it takes to make me want to spend a day in the kitchen cooking my little heart out! Which is exactly what happened today!

I wanted to change things up a little, you know – make something a little more exciting than what my usual go-to recipe called for. So I decided to pull from a few of the recipes I was looking at – what you see here is the delicious end result. Erik and Sam loved it – enough so that their “mmmm-ing” and lip-smacking made poor Ella cry because due to her nut allergy, she couldn’t have any and she really wanted a bite! Two Hershey kisses cheered her right up, so you don’t have to feel too sorry for her. I really enjoyed the addition of the lemon zest as well as the brown sugar/nut mixture that is added to the top. The zest gave the bread an unexpected fresh little kick, and the topping added some yummy crunch!

Banana Pecan Bread

1 1/2 c. sugar
2 eggs
2/3 c. oil
4 T. buttermilk (if you don’t have buttermilk just add a splash of white vinegar to 4 T. of regular milk)
3 large bananas, mashed
1 t. vanilla
zest of 1 medium lemon
2 1/2 c. flour
1 t. salt
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. ginger
1/4 t. freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 c. pecans, chopped

Topping: 1/2 c. pecans, chopped + 1/4 c. packed brown sugar

Mix first 7 ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Add flour, salt, baking soda, ginger and nutmeg; stir until mixed. Divide batter into 2 greased loaf pans. Mix 1/2 cup of chopped pecans with 1/4 c. packed brown sugar to make the topping. Sprinkle the topping on top of the loaves. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 50 minutes.