Sprouted Cinnamon Swirl Walnut Banana Bread
Here's one thing I've learned makes me happy: baking. Why? Well, the process for me is like a mini-meditation. Sounds corny, but spending as many years as I have dealing with anxiety, and depression, I have learned that it's the simple little day to day things that support my overall mental health. Baking is just one of those small things.
I've been thinking about why baking something as silly as banana bread makes me so damn happy and it's a combo of a few things. First, it feels good to create something. I mix a bunch of stuff in a bowl, stick it in the oven and vualá! Second, it forces me to be social. I don't necessarily crave sweets (I am more of a salt girl), but a lot of my friends do. So I bake something and instead of letting it go bad in the fridge I get out there and share it. Gifting something to people that I've put time and effort into creating makes me happy because I see it brings them a bit more happiness. Third, it reminds me and others you can eat clean, delicious sweets that fuel your body. Banana bread, a muffin, a brownie don't have to be labeled "cheat day foods." I am so over labeling everything we eat good stuff and bad stuff... What if we just reframe everything we integrate into our lives as something good by using ingredients that are good?
Ok, enough ranting from me... This Sprouted Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread is made from clean ingredients and is so badass I had to share. Make it, eat it and enjoy!
1 cup maple syrup (1/2 for batter and 1/2 for cinnamon mixture)
2 ripe bananas
1/4 cup almond milk
1/4 cup coconut oil (unmelted)
1 tsp vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups sprouted wheat flour (regular all-purpose flour or wheat works as well)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 ½ cup chopped raw walnuts
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1. Place bananas, 1/2 cup maple syrup, milk, vanilla and coconut oil in a blender and blend until smooth.
2. In another bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt.
3. Stir blended bananas into dry ingredients just until just combined. Add 1 cup of the chopped walnuts to the batter and fold in (save the remaining ½ cup for the top of the bread).
4. In a separate small bowl, whisk cinnamon and remaining ½ cup maple syrup and set aside.
5. Grease a 9-in. x 5-in loaf pan.
6. Pour half of the batter into pan; pour half of the cinnamon-maple mixture on top.
7. Layer on the remaining batter and sprinkle the top with ½ cup walnuts and then drizzle remaining cinnamon-maple syrup on top.
8. Use a knife to swirl the batter in the pan.
9. Bake at 350° for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick or fork (use a fork, who has toothpicks handy these days?) near the center comes out clean.
10. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely.