If this is a place for readers to enjoy stories about pushing life’s envelope, living in the international and modern moment, and taking all in the world – both in a backyard and beyond – then one might think that this little writer has been only moving and never nourishing in the past months….for there have been few recipes to share for much more than how to swim/bike/run one’s ass off.
And, it’s not because we haven’t been eating – we have, in the this-and-that-plus-maybe-some-of-that-and-what-do-you-think sort of way. It wasn’t until last night that I pulled one of the beloved Nikon’s from its bag and cracked open a beer to shoot the singular recipe that has been one of the mainstays of our over the past months.
In true form, this Chia Banana Bread is a recipe that I developed two or so years ago – it was housed here on the site, but never really perfected until sometime back in March when I was in dire need of a second breakfast item for the pantry and I pulled it from the depths. Being that I had just finished culinary school when I started playing with it, I was a surprise to see how my understanding of the recipe, and the ingredients has changed -morphed and GROWN in the years since. Proof, perhaps that you can take the chef out of the heart of the kitchen, but cannot take the heart of the kitchen out of a chef.
Of all the things that have been created, this tasty loaf might be the only thing that has remained unchanged at its core; bananas, super chia, nuts, and sometimes a slather of almond butter or a cup of coffee. We packed it to take with us to ski in Montana back in February. It was what I ate for breakfast each morning when I had the house to myself for all of March. Loaves traveled to Sea Otter where my world tipped upside down and I fell head over heels in love (again) with bikes and strong legs to pedal them. I munched on slices in the dewy morning hours as morning arrived on race day at Wildflower earlier this month.
Now, in the early hours, as I’m waiting to hear about the World Championships in Spain, and watching as life unfolds into summer, another loaf is cooling. My camera is out of hiding, and soft rhythms are flowing from my headphones, and I’m excited to see what is devoured next. Perhaps bananas can be left behind for a while, but this recipe will be cataloged for certain. – xo L
** Note: Chia is an amazing ingredient that can be purchased at any health food store or at Bob’s Red Mill online. These are the same little seeds that one would slather over the surface of your Chia Pet back in the 80’s though we enjoyed little Bout their nutritional value as average Americans back then. South Amerrican cultures have been eating them for centuries for their super nutritional value and ability to hold twice their weight in water – making them super for athletes and others.
- 2/3 cup chia, bloomed in 1/2 cup water
- 1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
- 1 cup spelt flour
- 1 Tbsp aluminum free baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp finely ground sea salt
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup coconut sugar or turbinado sugar
- 3 very ripe bananas
- 1/2 cup greek yogurt
- 2 Tbsp coconut manna, or coconut butter
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup chopped nuts (we like pecans)
- Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Spray a loaf pan with coconut oil.
- Bloom the chia seeds in the water; I like to do this while I mix up the other ingredients.
- In a medium bowl, sift together the dry ingredients and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk the egg and mash the bananas. Add the lemon juice, sugar, yogurt, manna, and vanilla. Lastly, add the chia. Mix until well combined and the chia are well distributed.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until just incorporated and there aren't any dry patches.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for roughly 60 minutes. When done, a toothpick inserted into the center will come out clean.
- Let the bread stand for 20 minutes in the pan. Then, gently run a knife around the edge of the loaf. Cover the pan with a cooling rack or cutting board, invert, then revert to that the loaf is right side up.
- Cut and serve warm, or wait until completely cool before storing.