Dear readers – I have some exciting and long overdue news: I have successfully finished my program at the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition! Pause for applause…
This means that unless I managed to bomb my final exam and case studies (which I’m so confident is not the case I’d be willing to bet my entire secret pregnancy chocolate stash on it), I am officially a Registered Holistic Nutritionist! Wahoo! Now I’m not one to toot my own horn but… toot toot, folks. Going to school part-time on top of a full-time job ON TOP of being pregnant for a third of the program is something I think entitles me to feel a little proud. It was an intense curriculum with a lot of science based courses (which is good because it’s important to be truly qualified to give advice on people’s health and nutritional requirements) and tons of reading and additional practicum hours on top of the time spent in the classroom – all of which prepared me to feel truly confident (and excited!) to start putting all this amazing knowledge to work for people who want to feel better and live their best health possible! I know – barf. Don’t worry – I’m not about to go all Tony Robbins on your asses as that’s just not my style. But bet your boots that although I am not sure what the next step in this new career path looks like, The Natural Blonde’s goal is and always will be to inspire you guys to embrace food as your friend and path to being and feeling awesome – one piece of gluten-free banana bread at a time (ah, the perfect segue into this week’s recipe).
But first, baby – then nutritional world domination.
Yes – I am officially 40 weeks pregnant tomorrow and this amazing (and stubborn) kid of mine doesn’t seem to want to leave the cozy nest I have made in my now insanely huge belly. I tried to serve an eviction notice but like all expert squatters he’s skillfully ignored the memo. So alas, here I sit – walrus-sized, uncomfortable and counting the contractions until the real deal starts. What’s a girl to do? Well – in my case – bake. Which lucky for you means I have another ridiculously good banana bread recipe to share! More specifically, a Chocolate Chunk Banana Bread recipe. I have made this a few times over the last month since not only has it become an absolute favourite of the hubby, it also fills my kitchen with a smell so delicious and comforting it’s like a warm blanket – perfect for the impending cooler weather and overdue moms to be. Unlike my other banana bread recipe, this one is made with an oat flour base – which means that although it’s not paleo it’s still gluten-free. It’s also dairy-free, refined-sugar free and high in fiber. Plus, since oats are a nervine food and are high in B vitamins it’s not just the smell that will soothe you – eating this bread will actually help you de-stress on a neurological level.
Which works for me because I imagine that once this kid comes, it may be a little while before I stop looking like this….
Britney – I feel ya, girl. Banana bread?
The Natural Blonde
P.s. As much as I am itching to get things going with my nutrition career and expanding this blog to even bigger and better things, I may be on hiatus for a little while until I get a grip on the whole motherhood thing. But I promise to be back as soon as possible with something delicious. Or at least some advice on where to get good take out and some kick ass Netflix recos….
Chocolate Chunk Banana Bread
- 1 cup oat flour (you can make your own by processing whole oats in a blender)
- ¼ cup coconut flour
- 2 tsp. gluten-free baking powder
- ¼ tsp. sea salt
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 cup mashed over-ripe mashed banana (from about 2 bananas)
- ¼ cup coconut oil, melted and cooled
- ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
- ¼ cup maple syrup or coconut nectar (or sub Xylitol for sugar-free version)
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup 70% cocoa chocolate chunks (I use Prana brand) or regular chips (you can also sub in blueberries or walnuts instead – both are delicious!)
Pre heat oven to 350 degrees and grease a loaf pan (I also like to add a strip of parchment to the bottom to easily lift the bread out when ready).
Combine all dry ingredients except the chocolate in a large bowl and stir to combine.
In another bowl, combine the mashed banana, applesauce, maple syrup or coconut nectar, vanilla, and the eggs and stir to combine. Add in the coconut oil and stir again.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir until fully combined, ensuring there are no clumps of flour left (you can use an electric mixer for a smoother loaf but I prefer to have some chunks of banana). Lastly, fold in the chocolate and pour into the loaf pan.
Bake for 50-55 mins or until golden brown around the edges and a knife inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool slightly before removing the bread from the pan.
PLEASE eat some while it’s warm because banana bread is best enjoyed fresh out of the oven. The rest can be stored in the fridge for up to a week.