Mini Banana Date Walnut Oat Bread Loaves, Wheat-Free

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When I was young, on special occasions we would go to Cookie’s Steak Pub at the Walt Whitman Mall in Huntington Station, NY for dinner. They were known for the large quartered chunks of iceberg lettuce served with a choice of 4 creamy dressings, a shrimp cocktail bar, and endless mini slices of banana bread that I loved. With all the great greens available, I rarely have iceberg lettuce now. Steaks and shrimp have been off my menu for a long time. But banana bread endures, better than ever, with no refined flours or cholesterol, slightly sweet and good for you. Baked in mini loaf pans, I slice the bread to resemble the restaurant version in my sweet memories.

Ingredients:
2 cups rolled oats
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 ground flax seeds
1 teaspoon cinnamon
4 ripe bananas, mashed
6 medjool dates, pitted and cut into small pieces
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup water

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350oF.
Line two mini loaf pans with parchment paper or grease with oil.
In a blender, add the oat meal and pulse into a coarse flour. Process on low to grind a little finer. Add in the baking powder, ground flax seeds and cinnamon. Pulse to mix together.
In a large bowl, mash the bananas with a fork. Add in vanilla extract, walnuts and dates. Mix in the water.
Fold in the flour to make a very moist batter.
Scoop the batter into the two loaf pans. Press the batter into the pans evenly with the back of a tablespoon spoon.
Moisten the spoon by dipping in water. Brush the tops of the loaves with the back of the spoon to smooth out the tops.
Bake for 40 minutes. Let cool.
Remove from pan, slice and serve. Bread may be stored in a sealed container and refrigerated.

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