Dana Slatkin

Spiced Whole Wheat Banana Applesauce Bread

Banana BreadHow was your Thanksgiving? Have you had time to reflect on the bountiful feast? Revel in the relaxation of the long weekend? Drink in those special family moments?

Of course you haven’t. Because the minute the leftover turkey is polished off, the retailers are all over us to start our holiday shopping. Black Friday, Cyber Monday…the pressure to purchase kicks into high gear this month.

I know I’m not helping out our economy but, by December, I am all shopped out. The idea of braving a mall or navigating the morass of online retail gives me an uneasy wave of dread. So instead, I’ll get baking. It’s what warms my home during the winter months and, during the holidays it’s my antidote to acquisitiveness.

Banana Bread 2This super-moist quick bread makes a delicious holiday gift, especially when wrapped in paper and ribbon. I’ve stirred in pumpkin purée (add 2/3 cup along with 1/4 cup of honey), chocolate chips, coconut, and pecans; I’ve even napped it with a powdered sugar glaze. But I always come back to the basic recipe below. Slice and freeze the loaves so they will last well into next year. The bread reheats to virtual fresh…a wholesome start to the morning or — topped with cream cheese, Pumpkin Butter, Nutella, even Dulce de Leche — a decadent midday treat.

If Thanksgiving seems so last month and the holidays loom like an endless to-do list, try baking. It’s time well-spent, yielding a delicious batch of handmade offerings, a home enveloped in soothing spices, and a way to reconnect with the soul of the season.

Looking for more delicious edible gifts? Try my Pumpkin Butter, Cranberry Raspberry Relish, and Farmgirl Tofu Bolognese Sauce.

Also, check out my Top Holiday Gifts for a Foodie.

December’s cooking contest will be the most fruitful yet! Send in your favorite recipe for a homemade holiday gift and you might win a big box of Farmgirl goodies!

Photo credit: tastespotting.com

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