Let me start by admitting that yes I know it’s June, and banana bread is typically a fall/winter sort of thing, but despite the fact that the weather for this June started out really cold for CT, I just wanted some home-y comfort food. Why? Well, I feel a little embarrassed writing about this, but I’m still having a hard time reconciling the fact that I’ve left the college life (over a year ago) and entered the working world / #corporatelife. The reason this is embarrassing for me is because I’m beyond grateful to even have a job when so many others do not. What I’m going through is the classic passion vs. money conundrum. The whole thing sucks, in my opinion, because if you get a boring, well paying job, you’re selling out to “the man” and giving up your dreams, slowly dying at a cubicle while life passes you by. But if you follow your passion, you are deemed unrealistic and illogical, and you might even get name-called by certain media outlets. (I’m not a yuccie!!) Now, there is middle ground between these two extremes, but the opportunities are few and far between, and the people who get to follow their passion and have a steady income are in the vast minority.
Now let me back up for a second and explain my situation a bit. Growing up, I was interested in everything. My parents fostered my love of reading at an early age, and I devoured books like they were candy. (Due to this, I am a font of useless knowledge and am great at trivia. But that’s another story). My interests were so varied that I wanted to be a professional painter and a subatomic particle physicist at CERN in the same year. I would paint with acrylics and oils by day, then read Stephen Hawking and Michio Kaku at night. Every summer before high school, I would go to some type of camp – those ranged in topic from Japanese language/culture, electricity camp (I can create a circuit using flashlight batteries and tin foil, teehee), improvisational acting, advanced math, art history, and so on. And as much as I envied those kids who could relax and watch TV and hang out with their friends during the summertime, now I really am grateful to my parents for providing me with such a well-rounded education. Unfortunately, it turned me into a huge nerd and I didn’t really have many friends in school. But it’s okay, I know origami.
ANYWAYS, the point I’m trying to make is that I’m intensely, profoundly interested in the world. Even in college, I changed majors three times (Economics > French > Linguistics > International Business). Yet here I am, working in CORPORATE FINANCE, a field that I had never intended to be in – running a VEGAN FOOD BLOG on the side. How did I end up here??
If you asked me, right now, what my dream job would be… I don’t know if I could answer you. I know for certain that one day I’d love to have my own cookbook. I also know that I don’t want to be stuck at a desk for the rest of my life. But who am I to have these dreams, when I am SO FREAKIN LUCKY to have a job that keeps me provided for? Does anyone have an answer?
So it was this mental struggle and cognitive dissonance that let me to eschew my internal turmoil, forsaking troublesome thoughts to bake some banana bread – something that is very calming, I might add.
A quick note on the banana bread – this is my own, plant-based twist on the classic loaf, with just a taste of rich espresso to liven things up a bit. I think it tastes best when warmed and served with a refreshing glass of iced coffee + almond milk, but my mom gobbled up a whole slice straight out of the refrigerator so I don’t think we have any complaints there.
- 5 Medium Bananas, mashed (approx. 2 cups)
- 2 Cups Whole Wheat Flour
- 1 Cup Nuts + Seeds, chopped (I used walnuts, almonds, and pepitas)
- ¼ Cup Almond Milk
- ⅓ Cup Coconut Oil, melted
- ⅓ Cup Maple Syrup
- 1 Tbs Espresso
- ½ Tbs Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1 Tsp Baking Soda
- 1 Tsp Baking Powder
- Preheat over to 350 degrees F.
- In a bowl, mash approx. 5 bananas. The consistency should be fairly smooth but slightly chunky!
- Add in dry ingredients to bowl of bananas, and mix once or twice until just combined.
- In a separate bowl, mix wet ingredients (almond milk, melted coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and apple cider vinegar).
- Add mixed wet ingredients to the bowl with the dry ingredients + banana, and stir in (but try to stir as minimally as possible!).
- Finally, fold in 1 cup nuts and seeds until evenly mixed. I used walnuts, pepitas, and almonds, chopped, but you can use any blend you like!
- Pour batter into a bread pan lined with parchment paper. If desired, sprinkle any leftover nuts + seeds on top of the batter.
- Bake in the oven for about 30-40 minutes. At 30 minutes, stick a toothpick in the bread to ensure it comes out dry. If not, keep in the oven for a few more minutes.
- Once finished baking, let bread cool for a few minutes.
- Slice and serve - it's delicious on its own, but is fantastic with almond butter or chocolate hazelnut butter!
Song of the day:
In My Room – The Beach Boys