When I first started cooking, I was extremely intimidated by the kitchen. I had just finished my junior year of college and I headed to Maine to take care of my grandparents for the remainder of the summer. This included doing the grocery shopping AND cooking their meals. Which, I had no clue how to cook anything besides gluten-free Annie’s Mac and Cheese. I found recipes via cookbooks laying around the house or pinning any and everything that looked good on Pinterest. I meticulously meal-planned, and spent hours wandering the grocery aisles making sure I had every ingredient needed for the week’s meals. I even remember roaming the cheese section looking for Swiss Chard…which I inevitably never found.
As silly as it sounds, cooking made me nervous! I was afraid of messing up or mixing up a teaspoon with a tablespoon. I made sure to follow every recipe to the tee, never omitting or adding anything on my own.
After a few meals however, I started to get the hang of it and I even started to enjoy my nightly ritual. I YouTubed how to slice and dice an onion and gained a better understanding of how cumin could change a dish. Most importantly, I started making cooking fun. I put on music, poured myself a glass of rose, and enjoyed the process.
Over time and lots of experimentation, I realized that recipes are just a guide. Mind blown…you don’t have to follow exactly what a recipe says. I often see a recipe and then take out ingredients I don’t love and add ones I do.
That’s what I did with this recipe. It was originally sent to me from a friend who found it on goop. I don’t like maple syrup, so I took it out of the original recipe. But, I love ground flax seed and cinnamon so I added it to mine. I wanted a banana bread, not muffins, like the recipe suggested, so I made it my own. Point being, all recipes you see (including mine!) are not a set strict rules. Cook with ingredients that you love and get rid the rest!
Learning from other people’s recipes helped me gain confidence in my own cooking craft. I now can take the flavors I enjoy and create my own dishes and recipes. Cooking is now no longer a frantic, stressful, “big” event, but rather my release from the working day.
Before I knew how to cook, I knew how to bake. I usually bake late at night or throw things in my stand mixer out of boredom to see what I can come up with. I made this banana bread on a cool rainy night and I had it for a sweet (but not too sweet) dessert. It’s entirely Paleo and grain-free. I kept it in the fridge after I finished the first piece. I think it will hold and last longer that way. My absolute favorite part of this bread is the almond butter drizzle in the middle.
I hope you enjoy this bread! And I wonder…where do you get your recipe inspiration from?
Paleo Banana Bread
1 ½ cup almond flour or almond meal
2 tbsp. coconut flour
1 ½ tsp. baking soda
1 tbsp. cinnamon
1 tbsp. of flax seed
1 tsp. of vanilla extract
1 tsp. Himalayan pink salt
¼ cup melted coconut oil
4 over ripe bananas, smashed
For the filling:
1/3 cup of almond butter
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon cinnamon
*Pre-heat oven to 350
*Grease a bread pan with coconut oil
*Stir all dry ingredients together in a large bowl
*With a whisk or electric mixer, mix bananas. Add in coconut oil and vanilla.
*Stir all filling ingredients in a small bowl
*Pour the batter into the bread dish, leaving about 1 cup left over
*Spread the filling on top of the batter in a long, thick line
*Pour the remainder of the batter on top of filling in the pan
*Bake bread for 30-35 minutes on 350, or until golden brown
*I found the bread kept best the next day in the fridge
*Enjoy as a dessert or breakfast