Maple-Date Banana Bread

Happy Thanksgiving!  Do you have your stretchy pants ready?  Marshmallows for the sweet potatoes?  Tofurkey roast defrosting?  Oh, who am I kidding?  Of course you do.  After all, Thanksgiving dinner is the meal we’ve all been preparing for all month, isn’t it?  You don’t need me to tell you what to have for dinner tonight.  But… have you considered Thanksgiving breakfast?  I mean, that is, if you’re not fasting in preparation for the big meal.  If you’re looking for some last-minute easy but festive breakfast to fuel you up for the Turkey Trot or the parade-watching… well, look no further, friends.  I have one.  This is a simple, but moist and delicious, banana bread.  It’s literally ready in two shakes of a turkey’s tail.  And it’s basically fat-free and sweetened with nothing but maple syrup and fruit.  So there ya go, you can feel good about indulging in a slice of this bad boy.

See you at the Turkey Trot!

Maple-Date Banana Bread

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose or white whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup applesauce
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 large eggs
1/2 cup diced dates
2 medium-large bananas, mashed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • In large mixing bowl, whisk together dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt).  Set aside.
  • In small mixing bowl, beat together applesauce and maple syrup until combined.  Beat in eggs one at a time, then beat in chopped dates, mashed banana, and vanilla extract, one ingredient at a time.
  • When wet ingredients are thoroughly mixed, add to dry ingredients and fold together until just combined.  Transfer to loaf pan and bake for between 1 and 1 1/4 hours.  Remove from oven when a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out almost clean (there will probably be a little bit of banana stuck to it; don’t worry about that).  Allow to cool slightly before slicing and serving (if you can!).

Source: Loosely adapted from How To Be A Domestic Goddess, by Nigella Lawson (Amazon link for convenience only; I am not an affiliate).

4 thoughts on “Maple-Date Banana Bread

    • Sure! Thanksgiving is an American holiday (our Canadian neighbors have a Thanksgiving holiday they celebrate as well, but theirs is in October). The basic premise of the holiday is for families to gather, share a special meal, and take a day to reflect on the good things in their lives. Every family puts their own spin on the meal, but it’s generally accepted that most Thanksgiving meals include turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, maybe sweet potatoes, some green vegetable, and pie. (My dad made a chocolate tart this year.)

      The story that all American children learn about the first Thanksgiving is that in 1620 a group of English settlers came to Plymouth in Massachusetts on a ship called the Mayflower. (That much is true; they were likely bound for Virginia but blown off course.) They were Puritans fleeing religious persecution in England; we call them the Pilgrims. They settled in New England and struggled the first year. The story tells that they were befriended by native Americans in the area, who taught them to cultivate the land and that they held a “feast of Thanksgiving” after a good harvest. Of course the real history of the settlers and the native Americans is more complicated than that, but the schoolchildren’s story is that the Pilgrims and their new native American friends shared the feast together. It’s a fact that the Puritan settlers in New England used to have feasts of Thanksgiving after a particularly good harvest or some other success – sort of a mix of European harvest festivals and native traditions – but Thanksgiving wasn’t declared an official holiday until 1863. (Actually, there was probably an earlier Thanksgiving held in Virginia after earlier settlers arrived there safely.) The Canadians have a different story about the origin of their Thanksgiving and I confess I don’t know it – it has something to do with a festival at Newfoundland, which they celebrate, and we celebrate the harvest festival in Massachusetts. I love the holiday because it’s a good reminder to take time to celebrate with family and be grateful for all of the good things in life!

  1. Wow! Thank you so much for taking the time to type out such a detailed explanation. Really appreciate it. 🙂

    The story was fascinating. I guess it is somewhat similar to the Pongal festival we celebrate in India – sometime in January. It is a harvest festival, celebrating a bountiful harvest of crops. It is celebrated by different names and in different ways in different parts of India. In Gujarat, people fly kites to celebrate. In Tamilnadu, people make a pot of a sweet dish (also called pongal) on a bonfire in an earthen pot. They let it boil and spill over for good luck.

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