Last week I had a slow, spacious Wednesday afternoon at home. Slow and spacious days are pretty few and far between these days what with the kids being back in school, the 200 hour teacher training in full swing, the work required to open up the new studio next year, let alone the normal day to day business of being alive.
I noticed a few bananas on the counter that were turning to the dark side, which is always kind of sad. Determined to make something awesome out of them I put them in a bowl thinking I would bake my Wednesday evening yoga students some treats. The banana bread turned out great, and the class was really excited and grateful for the unexpected offering, which, in turn, sparked joy in my heart, and, on a deeper level taped into our actual experience of inter-relatedness. The greatest illusion is that we are disconnected and alone in this world. The work of yoga, and sometimes baking:) is to see the truth that we are indeed all connected. Not only that, when we offer ourselves in service to others, when we choose kindness, the body gets bathed in oxytocin and dopamine, stimulates an anti-inflammatory response in our physical beings, and is healthy for our hearts.
As promised, here is the recipe for Big Heart Banana Bread. This recipe is gluten free, egg free, and vegan if your chocolate chips are vegan. I have a million food allergies, so this is how I have learned to cook over the years, but I am sure you could use butter and eggs if you wanted to.
So, if you see a couple of sad over ripe bananas lying around, keep this recipe in mind and make something to give away, just because, as a revolutionary act of kindness. You will totally make your own day and someone else's.
Big Heart Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
Preheat oven to 365' (my oven runs a little cold, so adjust as needed)
Mash 3 overripe bananas in a bowl
Put 1/4 cup ground flax seed in a separate bowl. (I grind my own on the spot, but that is not necessary if you don't have a blender.)
Add 1/4 cup chia seeds to the flax.
Add 1 cup water and stir. Let sit for three minutes, until thick.
Add 1/2 cup coconut sugar to the mashed bananas.
Melt 1/2 cup coconut oil in a pan. (To be honest, I melt it right into the muffin pan, or bread pan I will be using so that it gets greased up and I don't have to wash another dish.) Add coconut oil to the sugar and bananas.
Add 2tbsp vanilla to the banana mixture.
Once the flax and chia have thickened add to the banana bowl and stir well.
On top of the banana mixture pour 2 cups of almond flour. I use the kind from Winco's bulk section. That's where I get the chia and flax as well. Seriously, Winco has an awesome bulk section. You should go there.
Mix in 1/2 of a cup to 3/4 of a cup of all purpose gluten free flour to the almond flour sitting on top of the wet banana mixture. (go light at first, you can always add more later if the mixture seems wet.)
Add 1 1/2 tsp of baking powder
Add 1 tsp baking soda
Add 1/2 tsp salt
Once you have mixed these together as they are sitting on top of the wet mixture, begin to stir the wet and dry mixtures together until just mixed. All the flour will be invisible.
Add 1 cup chocolate chips.
Check out the mixture. If it looks like wet like a runny egg, add a little more GF flour.
Pour into your greased pans. I usually get 6 muffins and 1 loaf of bread from this recipe. Plenty to eat yourself and give away.
Place into the oven and bake for 22 minutes. Pull the muffins out, but leave the bread in for another 15-20 minutes until a knife inserted into the middle comes out fairly clean. Let rest on the counter for an hour.