Date Sweetened Banana Bread w/ Walnuts

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1 cup dried dates (about 7 ounces), pitted
1/2 1/4 cup hot water
4 Tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter or unrefined coconut oil, at room temperature
shortening replacement: 4 tbsp coconut oil
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups white whole wheat flour, spelt flour or sprouted spelt flour
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
3 4 large, ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup raw walnuts or pecans, coarsely chopped (or fresh blueberries or cranberries)

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9 x 5 x 3 loaf pan. (Can be lined with parchment if it is aluminum.) Place the dates in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Add the hot water and allow the dates to soften for at least 10 minutes. Turn the mixer on low speed and blend until the water has incorporated with the dates.  Turn the mixer to medium low speed and beat the dates until a smooth puree forms.

2) Add the butter or coconut oil (solid) and beat until well blended.

3) Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

4) Add the vanilla extract and mix.

5) Add the bananas in.

6) In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Add to the butter-date mixture and mix until just combined.

7) Fold in the walnuts.

8) Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 50-60 minutes (I made it in many different ovens with this range of time), or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out barely clean.  Cool in the pan for 10 minutes.  Remove from the pan and cool on a rack.

9) eat and enjoy!
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Recipe modified from here