And so begins a gleaming New Year, inspiring and hopeful; when you think about it, the start of the New Year is a little like mornings, both bearing the optimism of a new beginning, except mornings come around daily.
My little end-of-year break sadly ended today, and this morning I got ready for work thinking about resolutions, and how I try not to make them on New Yearâ€™s.
I used to think I wasnâ€™t really a resolutions maker, but the fact is, Iâ€™ve been making resolutions all my life, just not necessarily at the start of each year.
One resolution Iâ€™ve had a hard time keeping is breakfast, for some reason eating in the morning has been a bit of a challenge. So my resolutions for mornings this year is to eat breakfast.
It seemed so easy during our relaxing Christmas holiday, breakfast just seemed to happen naturally; we had our granola on some mornings, mum made her special Hausa koko, then there were those endless pots of coffee and tea to go with panettone, pandoro and this delectable spiced banana cake I made for Christmas morning.
This cake is truly simple, more like banana bread but fluffier, finely spiced and topped with crushed nuts and dried cranberries.
It gets its yellowish hue from turmeric, a mildly fragrant warm spice with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
I love the colour it lends to the cake, also, it boosts the flavour of the cake with earthy hints and and a faint peppery flavour.
I try to add turmeric to my cooking as often as I can since itâ€™s such a powerful healing spice.
What I do is mix all the spices; cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cardamom and turmeric together to make a rich warm mixture and then add it to my flour before the wet ingredients.
And when itâ€™s baking, the smell of the bananas and the spices sweetly wafts through the kitchen and fills everywhere, thatâ€™s how you know something wonderful is baking.
Itâ€™s perfect with tea for wintry mornings, the spices arenâ€™t overpowering, hints of ginger, cardamom and cinnamon comes thorough, balancing with the delicate aromas of bananas and vanilla.
This cake makes me hopeful, that maybe breakfasts wouldnâ€™t be so hard after all.
Spiced Banana Cake
- 1/2 cup almond or coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 cups white whole wheat flour (all-purpose or whole wheat flour will work too)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ginger powder
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 very ripe bananas, mashed
- 1/2 cup turbinado or regular sugar
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon vanilla essence
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped pistachios
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped walnut pieces
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped dried cranberries
- 1 tablespoon pearl sugar (optional)
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F., lightly grease a medium-sized baking or springform pan and set aside
- Combine almond milk with apple cider vinegar and set aside for 5 minutes
- In a large bowl, sift flour, and mix cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cardamom, and turmeric together and add to flour
- Add baking soda, baking powder and salt and mix well to incorporate
- Blend milk and apple cider mix with bananas, sugar and oil until smooth
- Fold the flour into the banana mixture and gently mix together until well combined
- Pour the batter into the greased pan
- Mix chopped pistachio, walnuts, cranberries together and sprinkle over batter
- Finish off by sprinkling the pearl sugar on top
- Bake for up to 40 – 45 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean
- Cool in pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes, remove from pan and allow cake to cool completely before serving