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Banana, Date, and Rum Loaf

If you have anyone in your life who is gluten-free, bake them this amazing little loaf and you will instantly be their most favorite person! Plus, it really is healthy. There is neither sugar nor butter or oil included. Studded with pecans and raisins, then sweetened with dates, this is so delicious. Try it warm from the oven for tea, or toasted and buttered the next morning for breakfast.

Banana, Date, and Rum Loaf

8¾ oz. stoned, chopped dates (1½ cups)
2 small or 1 large banana
3 oz. chopped pecans (scant ¾ cup)
4 oz. raisins (1 cup)
3½ oz. spelt flour (1 cup)
2 tsp. mixed spice
2 tsp. baking powder
3 tbs. dark rum or cognac
1 egg

Heat the oven to 350°F. Grease and line a standard loaf tin with parchment paper.

Put the dates in a small saucepan with 7 fl. oz. boiling water. Simmer 4-5 minutes, then drain the liquid into a measuring cup and put the dates in a food processor. Add the banana(s) and 3 fl. oz. of the date liquid (add water if there is not enough) and whiz until smooth.

Mix the remaining ingredients in a bowl, then fold in the date purée. Tip into the prepared tin and bake for 45 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. Cool in pan for 15 minutes, then turn out and cool completely.

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