Cinnamon Walnut Banana Bread

Banana bread is the dish I bake most often, since I hate seeing overripe bananas go to waste and the rest of the ingredients are usually on hand. Lately, I’ve been experimenting with adding cinnamon and walnuts to give it an extra kick of flavor and texture. I have finally found just the right amount of both ingredients and would like to share my altered recipe. Enjoy!
3 or 4 ripe or overripe bananas, smashed
1/3 cup vegetable shortening or melted butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts*
1 1/2 cups white or whole wheat all-purpose flour
Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). With a wooden spoon, mix shortening or butter into the mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl. Mix in the sugar, egg, cinnamon, and vanilla extract. Sprinkle the baking soda, salt, and walnuts over the mixture and mix in. Mix in the flour last. Pour mixture into a 4 x 8 inch loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour. Remove from pan to cool on a rack. Slice to serve. Yields one loaf. Store at room temperature for up to one week.
* The amount of walnuts can easily be altered to your preference or can be left out entirely.
Please also note that using vegetable shortening instead of butter and whole wheat flour instead of white flour does not affect the taste. I prefer using the former ingredients to make the bread a bit healthier.

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