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Food Recipe

Written by Sally Kingsford-Smith

April 2024


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Sally’s ‘Feel Good’ Family Favourite
Nut Loaf

I’m not one for complicated recipes, and I’m not much of a baker, but this nut loaf is just the best. It’s easy, never fails and is comfort on a plate – perfect with a good cuppa, and as we come into cooler weather.


I don’t remember exactly where I found this recipe, maybe some hippy house I stayed in, but I’ve carried it around with me since the 70’s, back when it was safe for a 20-something female to backpack and hitchhike around New Zealand by herself. 


This recipe is full of memories, from the utensils I use to make it, to the little worn book it’s written in; to the days when my girls were little and would stand at our wooden kitchen table helping me make it. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do, and that it becomes part of your memories too.


*All measurements are American sizes. I use a TALA Cook’s Measure which is a metal measuring cup with a variety of standard measures on it – so handy. However, if you don’t have one, this recipe is so forgiving, and the measurements are so close that it’s not worth fussing about the difference. My daughter has always made this using metric measurements and hers always taste great.

Preparation Time:  approx. 2 hours


  • 3 cups wholemeal flour

  • 1 cup raw sugar (these days we use less)

  • 4 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 beaten egg

  • 1 1/2 cups milk of choice 

  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

  • ¾ cup nuts, chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

  2. Mix dry ingredients together.

  3. Mix wet ingredients together.

  4. Combine the wet and dry mixes together.

  5. Put into a greased and floured loaf tin (I use a bread tin – 28cm x 12cm x 10cm deep, it has thick sides which gives the nut loaf a nice crust, yum).

  6. Bake 1 -1 ¼ hours at 180 degrees Celsius. 

  7. Move tin onto a cooling rack, allow to cool a little before removing from tin to further cool.

  8. Slice, spread with whatever pleases your palate, enjoy.


Variation ideas

  1. Really yum – add 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ½ cup desiccated coconut, grated rind of 1 unwaxed orange, ¼ cup chopped dates and only ½ cup chopped nuts (everything else the same).

  2. Swap ½ cup of the flour for ½ cup rolled oats.

  3. Swap ½ cup milk for ½ cup plain yoghurt. 

  4. Add mashed banana, grated apple, berries or chopped dates, leftover marmalade.

  5. Add grated ginger or ground nutmeg.

  6. Play around with the nuts you use, or try mixing it up with some seeds instead.

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