When we travel, we generally bring breakfast with us to eat on the road. (We're those people who get up and hit the road at the crack of dawn.) This banana bread is inspired by the Banana Nut bread in the Tassajara Bread book, circa 1970. The Tassajara Zen Mountain Center in California is the oldest Japanese Buddhist Zen monastery in the United States. The book's author, Edward Espe Brown, writes of baking with heart, and not wasting food-- concepts that are also relevant today.
This is a moist, not super sweet, bread (that can also be made into muffins). Whole wheat flour and honey were staples of 1970’s healthy food movement, and here we are in 2013 (now 2015!) talking about needing a diet consisting of whole foods, fruit and limited sweets. (Fortunately, we’re not also listening to disco, wearing leisure suits or streaking!)
Heat oven to 350. While oven is heating, toast nuts and melt butter.
In a large bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients until thoroughly blended.
Brush a little melted butter into two loaf pans, then pour the rest into a very large bowl. Add honey and lemon zest, and beat in eggs until smooth. Alternate adding flour mixture with banana pulp, folding until smooth after each addition. Fold in chopped nuts.
Divide batter between the two prepared loaf pans. Bake for 50-55 minutes until tester comes out dry. Cool on wire rack for 10 minutes and then remove from pans.