Chocolate Banana Bread

First, a reflection on what I’m doing here. Because this blog isn’t what I thought it would be and, six months in, I still can’t find the rhythm.

For the record I can make a damn good buttercream-frosted, red velvet full fat cupcake, all from scratch. And a sickeningly decadent double chocolate vegan cookie. I used to buy a giant rice krispie bar every day from Erbert’s and Gerbert’s after my film theory summer course at the University of Minnesota, and I used to drink caramel macchiatos on the daily.

But I bear this torment of being what a friend described as “aggressively curious.” Often I see someone fulfilled or moved by a choice I haven’t explored and it starts a little tremble in me. It grows and shakes me until I move to calm it. I read about the ways sugar and gluten and animal products affect my body and I can’t just say, “What’s the point of cake if it’s healthy!?” I dive into self-reflection (my emotional ties to food), purge my cabinets of all things processed, start culturing vegetables. I get all scientific method on that curiosity; deduction and induction until I’ve hypothesized and experimented the hell out of it. With food, like most things, I draw lines and then cross them and then move them. I’m still playing with those line and probably will be for a long time.

I suppose what I’m doing with this blog is posting some results from my curious pursuits in food and health (in addition to my travel adventures). Maybe this whole process I go through in exploration explains the erratic rhythm of my posts. Would overheadspace be more or less staccato if I included a wider range of my aggressively curious pursuits (which go straight to the journal, the guitar, the mailbox with your address and a stamp on it)? Chewin’ on it…

Ook, recipe time.

Our freezer has bore the weight of bananas (some were rescues from the first class snack basket) too long. Now that I’ve stocked some essential gluten-free baking materials I’m freer to experiment with (comparatively) nourishing baking. I based my recipe on this one, substituting flours, removing the added sugar, and adding spices and flavorings like cocoa and fresh lemon and ginger. The bread is not super sweet the way banana bread usually is, but it has a lot of flavor and I found the chewy moistness really awesome. I had two heavy pieces fresh out of the oven, warm with a slab of melty coconut oil over the top.

– 3/4 cup brown rice flour
– 3/4 cup sorghum flour
– 1/2 cup tapioca flour
– 1 1/2 tsp. guar gum
– 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
– 1/2 baking soda
– 1/4 tsp. salt
– 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
– 1/2 tsp. cardamom
– 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
– 1/2 cup non-sweetened cocoa powder
– 2 tbs. flax seed, blended with 1/2 cup of water until gooey (good ol’ vegan eggs!)
– 4 bananas
– 2″ raw ginger, grated or blended roughly
– 1 tsp. vanilla
– 1/2 cup olive oil
– squeeze of fresh lemon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a baking pan (I used non-hydrogenated palm oil for this). Mix all dry ingredients. Blend the bananas with the flax eggs (or mash them in by hand) and mix in vanilla, olive oil and fresh lemon. Fold dry ingredients into the wet mix. Bake for about an hour.

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