January 6, 2014

Breathing and Blueberry Banana Bread

Banana Bread Overhead

As I kid, I  announced new career aspirations as often as the months changed. In January, I wanted to be a veterinarian. By August, an archeologist. And come October, a mermaid.

So let’s just say commitments and resolutions have never been my thing.

Which is why each new year, I don’t make promises. I choose mantras. A word that helps define my every move for the days and weeks to come. A word that remains the same even as plans change and life does its twisty turny thing.

And this year, I picked the word BREATHE. To remind myself to stay calm when sesame seeds spill all over the floor. To confidently seek solutions when salty recipes pose a challenge. And to sit down, relax, and enjoy myself when faced with a loaf of ooey gooey moist banana bread. Runner-up mantras included: “joy,” “presence,” and “wear real clothes, not just spandex, once in a while.” Clearly the last one is laughable.

So as you ease in to 2014 and find the words that will help you navigate the three hundred and sixty something days ahead, let me give you a little treat.

First an ooey gooey moist banana bread to make low-sodium breakfasts (or impressing new office mates) as easy as slicing off a hunk. Just wait ’til one of those blueberries burst into your mouth. Flavor bombs ahoy. (Note: zucchinis can be used in place of bananas for a low-potassium swap).

Banana Bread

Banana Bread Gift Wrap

Second, please enjoy a week of ingredient swap ideas featuring our friends broccoli, banana, potato, cauliflower, and lentils. All which will appear over the next five days on thekitchn.com in a series I’ve named Old Ingredient, New Trick. Because in 2014, broccoli is the new breadcrumb, banana is the new buttercream, and potatoes are the new quiche crust. I mean, seriously, get excited. This is life (slash, brunch) changing stuff.

Potato Quich Crust

And finally, there’s a little roundup of everything you’ve ever wanted to know about canned fish (and plenty more) appearing Tuesday on Food52.com. Because, why not. This year is all about exploring, breathing, and potentially becoming a mermaid.

So please enjoy these treats. Chow on. And have a delicious start to a very happy new year, friends.

Banana Bread Front Shot


loosely adapted from Joy the Baker’s Brown Butter Banana Bread with Rum and Coconut


  • 1/2 cup coconut oil (about 8 tablespoons)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sodium-free baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup plain FAGE yogurt
  • 1 1/4 cup mashed banana (about 3 medium bananas, which you can always roast for extra flavor)
  • 1/2 cup blueberries

Crumble Topping: Mix together 3/4 cup flour, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 6 tbsp coconut oil


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. And grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan and set aside.

Melt your coconut oil in a saucepan over medium heat or a microwave in 10 second bursts until softened. Set aside to cool. Meanwhile, whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda, and cinnamon together in a large bowl. And in a smaller bowl, whisk together your eggs, vanilla, and yogurt.

In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, vanilla extract, lemon juice, and yogurt. Stir in the mashed bananas and the coconut oil. Then add this wet mess to your dry ingredients. And using a wooden spoon, begin to fold everything together, making sure all the flour gets mixed in. Add the blueberries and give it a few more gentle folds until everything looks combined and finger licking good (but don’t, there’s raw egg).

Then, spoon the batter into your baking pan and let the oven do her thing for 50 minutes. Insert a toothpick or a knife into the center of the loaf to test if it is ready — either implement should come out clean. Then, if you want to get fancy, cover it with a little crumble and place back in the oven for a final 10 minutes until the crumble turns a golden color.

Remove the loaf from the oven and allow it to cool. Serve warm. Serve cold. Serve with coconut ice cream. Save it for yourself. Do whatever you like, just enjoy!

Jennifer January 6, 2014 at 2:56 pm

Where do you purchase your sodium free baking soda? Thanks!

Jennifer January 6, 2014 at 2:58 pm

Also, what is FAGE yogurt?

Laura January 8, 2014 at 9:09 pm

Maybe your word is BREATHE?
Love the recipe idea, will swap flour for gluten free.

kate January 9, 2014 at 7:19 am

Is anyone here also eating gluten-free, no soy, and low sodium?? I do, and it’s not easy, but not impossible, and I’m looking for others to share recipies with. I’ve found sorghum flour to be good, but I cannot just sub it one for one in recipies.
here’s my email: kateLos@gmail.com

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