A perfectly acceptable alternate title for this blog post could have been 'the loaf that saved my sanity'. Let me explain..
My husband for all his gloriousness is relatively inept when it comes to self nourishing, and our days without fail used to start with us getting out of bed a little later than we hoped at which point he'd announce to the room that hunger had set in and I would have half an hour before the Jekyll and Hyde process took ahold. Brett is the walking definition of hangry but he's relatively perfect in all other instances so I chose to overlook this when we said our vows.
This year with many impending changes on the horizon we made one of our new years resolutions to overhaul our morning routine. With us both often working from home and the knowledge that our time for dawdling was about to take a serious hit we realized the way our day starts has a huge effect on how productive we manage to be. Or not as the case seemed to be. So bit by bit we implemented better habits, no phones in the bedroom, earlier to bed and less time spent hitting snooze button come the morning. And the real kicker, we'd make our own breakfasts.
And so here we are in March having (mostly) achieved our goal and it's in no small part thanks to this humble banana bread. Now most days we're up with the lark and out of bed not long after daybreak, which is nothing short of a miracle (and lets be clear largely helped by my pregnancy insomnia). And instead of whipping up eggs, I spend the first hour of my day taking a 3 mile walk around the neighborhood listening to The Daily before showering whilst Brett fixes himself something to eat. It sounds trivial but i think we both get a lot out of the change and feel so much more productive in our days.
So once a week I throw together one of these loaves and it stays nestles under it's glassy dome on the countertop as a constant reminder of what's for breakfast, or even a 'I'm hungry but dinner is still 1hr45mins away what can I eat' kind of snack. We eat it fresh or toasted, with a little butter, coconut oil or almond butter spread atop. And the best part is it takes a mere 15 minutes of hands on time and lasts easily a whole week as a guilt free, nutritious snack (I make this one when we're on the path to hedonism). The bananas help provide a natural sweetness that requires little else and the bread packs a serious fiber, protein and omega 3 punch thanks to some heavy lifting superstars like rich wholewheat flour, delicate chia seeds and the nutty taste of flax. So what are you waiting for..
- 1/2 cup hazelnuts
- 3 ripe bananas mashed
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup maple syrup (substitute: honey)
- 1/4 cup milk (substitute: nut, soy)
- 1tsp vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup coconut oil (substitute: olive oil)
- 1 3/4 cup wholewheat flour
- 1tsp baking soda
- 1/2tsp cinnamon
- 1tbsp chia seeds
- 1tbsp flax seeds
- 1/2tsp salt
- 1 ripe banana sliced
1. Preheat oven to 325°F/160°C and grease a 9 x 5 bread tin.
2. Lay hazelnuts on a baking sheet and toast for 10-15 minutes, allow to cool and then chop roughly in a food processor.
3. Mash 3 ripe bananas in a medium sized bowl (banana bread is perfect for using bananas that are riper than you might otherwise chose to eat), next beat in the eggs, maple syrup, milk and vanilla extract.
4. If your coconut oil is in it's hardened state gently warm it on the stove before adding to your other liquid ingredients. Whisk to incorporate.
5. Sieve flour, baking soda and cinnamon into wet ingredients. Next add the salt, chia seeds, flax seeds and ground hazelnuts and gently incorporate to form a batter. Add sliced bananas and gently stir to distribute.
6. Allow the batter to rest for ten minutes before pouring into your greased tin. Bake for 55-60 minutes or until a knife inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean. Let the loaf rest for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool.