It is honestly difficult to gauge what is appropriate to share right now. I had a roundup style post of pantry-friendly recipes ready to go, but it all had such strong doomsday-ish undertones to me. I know that these recipes are practical and needed for folks working through this collective unknown. I also know that as this time period of social distancing goes on, I’ll probably be sharing that content eventually, but right now I’m looking to cook for comfort as much as possible. Enjoying simple things in the moment.
There are so many messages that we’re being bombarded with on the news and social media right now, especially in the whole food and wellness community. Take vitamin C, get daily exercise, make sure you’re eating vegetables, go outside, sleep for at least 6 hours a day, don’t eat sugar, don’t drink alcohol, take adaptogens (uuuugh), engage in daily self-care practices, the list goes on.
All of these things are fine if you can do them, but if you’re experiencing acute levels of anxiety with no access to medication/support and you also have children to look after, sufficient sleep and self-care goes out the window fast. I saw a heartbreaking photograph of a frail elderly man staring forlornly at a wall of empty shelves at a grocery shore. Is someone going to scream at him to eat vegetables? If you’re living pay check to pay check and your employer just closed up shop, adaptogens are seriously the dumbest thing to be spending your money on. People with a platform: please think about your privilege and consider perspectives outside of your immediate awareness as you share new content right now.
I always ask myself if what I’m posting is helpful or useful. This feels especially vital in times of uncertainty. I am aiming to use my platform to spread moments of calm, positive energy (that’s also locked in on the seriousness of it all), and obviously some home cooking inspiration. This is a defining moment for all of us. I am trying to be mindful, useful, and compassionate.
There will be pantry-friendly recipes to come and of course I will be much more diligent on substitution questions as they come in. We all have to take this social distancing responsibility seriously to help those most at risk and to lessen the burden on health and medical professionals. If this means cooking and attempting to remix rice and beans for weeks at a time, I think we can do that. If you need help, I’m here.
I had a bunch of deep brown bananas on the counter and while freezing them for smoothies or another future use may have been smarter, comfort and a break from this new routine just seemed necessary. Spelt banana bread for us. Other cozy loaves: pumpkin with chocolate and a zucchini one too. My partner and I are learning how to work together at home and a treat felt like the right thing. All we have is each other and the present moment. Be safe out there and keep looking out for your community. See you on here soon. Sending all my love <3
SPELT BANANA BREAD WITH PECANS & CHOCOLATE CHUNKS
- Blender (optional)
- 2 cups light spelt flour
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ¾ cup dairy-free chocolate chunks
- ¾ cup pecan halves, chopped
- 4-5 very ripe bananas, peeled (1 ½ cups mashed banana total)
- ½ cup maple syrup
- ½ cup melted coconut oil (or avocado oil, sunflower oil, melted vegan butter etc, plus extra)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9×5 loaf pan and then line it with parchment paper. Lightly grease the parchment as well and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the spelt flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, sea salt, chocolate chunks, and chopped pecans. Stir with a spatula to evenly mix.
- In an upright blender, combine the bananas, maple syrup, coconut oil, and vanilla. Blend on high until totally smooth and creamy.
- Pour the pureed banana mixture into the large bowl with the spelt flour mixture. Use your spatula to get all of the banana mixture you can out of the blender. Gently stir and fold everything together until JUST combined.
- Scrape the spelt banana bread batter into the prepared loaf pan, smoothing the top with your spatula. You can garnish the top with extra pecans and chocolate chunks if you like. Bang the filled loaf pan on the counter a couple times to evenly distribute the batter and to fill all spaces of the loaf pan.
- Bake the spelt banana bread for 50-55 minutes, or until a cake tester/paring knife inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Allow the banana bread to cool thoroughly before slicing and enjoying.
- You could easily substitute the following flours 1-to-1 for the spelt: whole wheat pastry flour, whole kamut flour, einkorn flour, whole wheat flour or whole grain spelt flour (being mindful of the fact that whole grain flours will make the loaf more dense), all purpose flour, and gluten-free all purpose flour.
- Any add-ins you like are great! Use up to 1 ½ cups of chopped nuts, seeds, chocolate chunks/chips, or chopped dried fruit. You could also add other warm spices like nutmeg, cardamom etc.
- You can mash the bananas by hand if you wish! I just like to get them thoroughly pureed in the blender.
- This recipe is inspired by both Lily Diamond’s and Sarah Britton’s banana breads.
- If you like this loaf, I bet you’ll love my zucchini bread recipe too.