Add 1 tsp of oil to your loaf pan and grease it. You can use a cookie spray also.
Sift the APF and add a pinch of salt to it and mix it.
Roughly chop the walnuts.
Mash the bananas using a fork and take 1 cup measure in a bowl.
Now add the sugar and mix it well.
Next, add the oil and the vanilla extract. Using a hand whisk, mix thoroughly. Make sure the oil is well incorporated.
Now add the baking powder and baking soda and give a quick mix.
Add the lemon zest, if using at this stage and mix it.
Now add the sifted APF with salt and the nuts. Gently mix. Just mix until you don't see any dry flour. Do not overmix.
Transfer this banana bread mix to the greased loaf pan. Spread it evenly and tap it gently. Now place the pecans and slivered almonds on top.
Bake it for about 45 minutes at 350 deg F. At around 40 minutes, you can check the bread by inserting a toothpick and see if it comes out clean. So far, 45 minutes of baking time has always worked for me, and I bake in the middle rack.
Allow it to cool for 10 to 15 minutes and run the knife through the edges of the loaf pan and gently remove the cake. Let it cool in the wire rack for 5 more minutes before slicing.
Mushy and ripe or overripe bananas work well for this recipe. Also, adjust the sugar amount according to the sweetness of the banana. My family likes super sweet bread, so I added ½ cup of cane sugar heaped. But you can use a lesser amount. You can add up to ⅔ cups of sugar or reduce it to ⅓ cup even.
Make sure your baking soda and baking powder are fresh. Instead of 1.5 tsp of baking powder and ½ tsp of baking soda, you can use ¾ tsp of baking powder and 1 tsp of baking soda.
You can make it nut-free. Skip nuts and add dried fruits or chocolate chips.
For this exact measure, you don't have to bake for more than 50 minutes.