Spices and Seasons – Citrus and Spice Banana Bread


Citrus and Spice Banana BreadBanana bread worthy bananas are not always easy to find, particularly in the throes of winter. A good banana bread banana is one that is dark, soft and has reach the full promise of over ripeness, to add richness and nutrition to shakes and banana bread. While we all love banana bread, my daughter is absolutely convinced it is her most favorite treat, ever! A few days ago, she got lucky when I suddenly realized that we had a couple of travel bananas left over in my travel bag that I had forgotten about. These were black, soft and just perfect for banana bread.

I took my basic recipe and add some spices and citrus to give this a spice and citrus accent, making this the perfect dense and moist loaf to start your morning with. If you are looking for something interesting for your Valentine’s day breakfast by all means add this to your possible list of sweet treats, possibly with some blood oranges and pomegranates to offer a touch of red.


Latin Twist: Ecuadorian Ceviche

Yield: About 8 to 10 servings (depending on main or side dish), 4 1/2 cups salsa

Serving Size:

Ecuadorian Shrimp Ceviche is as perfect for a luncheon--with a leafy green salad--as it is for a soirée starter! This two-in-one recipe is also ideal for fiestas because you can cook the shrimp and salsa ahead of time, and spend more time with your guests!


  • 2 pounds peeled (tail on) cooked 21-25 (medium) shrimp (cook it in coconut milk or beer for a great infusion of flavor--but don't overcook!)
  • 2 medium red onions, sliced very thinly
  • Juice of 10 limes
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • Aji rojo
  • 1 medium red onion, finely diced
  • 6 seeded plum tomatoes, finely diced
  • 2 cups tomato juice
  • 1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons chipotle purée, or to taste
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 ripe Hass avocados, peeled, pitted and cut into 1/4-inch dice


  1. Soak the onion slices in salt water for about 10 minutes, rinse well and drain.
  2. Combine the cooked shrimp, onions, citrus juices together in a large bowl and let it sit in the fridge for at least an hour (2 hours is ideal).
  3. To serve, spoon a bit of Aji Rojo (recipe below) in a cup (a champagne glass makes a gorgeous presentation)add several shrimp, and then top with the tomato salsa so that the shrimp is surrounded by and resting on a salsa bath.
  4. Serve with popcorn or patacones (fried green plantains).
  5. Aji rojo: In a large bowl, combine red onion, plum tomatoes, and tomato juice.
  6. Gently stir, with a wooden spoon or your hand, just until blended.
  7. Add in the chiptle purée, lime juice, salt, and pepper.
  8. Let sit for about 20 minutes, then stir in the cilantro and avocado and serve.



About Author

Rinku Bhattacharya, the Spices & Seasons blogger, loves meshing seasonal produce with fresh spices. Most of her recipes are inspired by her Indian heritage, and her cooking is practical, easy and well suited for a busy lifestyle on the go. As a mother with two young children, her recipes are also usually balanced and kid-friendly. Rinku is the author of the blog, Spice Chronicles (formerly,Cooking in Westchester), where she shares her life experiences and original recipes. Rinku is blessed with a gardener husband, who always surprises her with a prolific and fresh supply of produce to keep her creative instincts flowing. Rinku has been teaching recreational cooking classes for the past nine years. Rinku is the author of two cookbooks: The Bengali Five Spice Chronicles an award winning (Gourmand 2013) cookbook that highlights culture, memories and recipes from her childhood transformed where needed for her Lohud kitchen and Spices and Seasons that marries Indian flavors with local and seasonal produce. Rinku can be found on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest and is also a contributor for Zester Daily.

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