Paleo Banana Bread
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 is 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 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?