Chocolate Banana Bread
This weekend was, honestly, pretty good, despite some lows in my mental and emotional sanity. Not to worry, it's mainly to do with being cooped up and stir crazy, much like the rest of the world, and some to do with things I will dive a little deeper into later this week. All things considered, I'm doing well, my family is well, and I am very fortunate and grateful for the life I've been blessed with. Damn quarantine is just getting to me lately.
I set up a date night at home, this weekend, since I've really been missing getting to go to out to restaurants. Go ahead and be jealous of my dollar tree table cloth and wine glasses. We fancy as hell. Shawn had also bought me those flowers the other day when I was feeling particularly down, so I added those in for good measure. He's a keeper, y'all. After dinner we played another round of Hunt a Killer, which we still love, then settled down for a movie before bed.
We rented Just Mercy, which I LOVED. Shawn and I are both big fans of anything law related, so this one immediately stuck out to us when it came out in Redbox. It's based on a true story of an African American lawyer, fresh out of Harvard Law in the late 80s that starts up the Equal Justice Initiative to fight for wrongly convicted death row inmates in Alabama. The story centers around a particular inmate who was convicted based on the testimony of a convicted felon who had received a lighter sentence in exchange for his testimony in the case. It's definitely worth a watch.
Shawn was finally able to get off work a bit early yesterday, so we took advantage of the extra time and went for a hike. We stayed in town here, but hiked up the mountain a good bit, and gave Tucker some time and space to run out all of his pent up energy. We made it back down just in time for a little rain storm to hit. After the hike, we went to Walmart in search of some board games. We picked up a couple classics- Scrabble, Sorry, and Uno. We had a blast playing games for a few hours, and maybe doing a bit too much shit talking. It was a great way to unplug for a while, and just focus on whooping the other person's butt. The good news is that Shawn was not harmed in the playing of yesterday's games.
This week, I am choosing to change my attitude around and get excited about working out. Sometimes I overwhelm myself with the mindset of "needing to workout," when I should be approaching it as something that I "get to do." My mantra has always been to keep it fun. When it's not fun, it becomes both difficult to sustain, and impossible to stay motivated. I started this morning out with this little burner:
10 strict pull-ups
40 jumping lunges
10 strict pull-ups
*rest 3 minutes between rounds
It felt good to move and sweat, and my body felt recovered and ready to roll this morning. I'm looking forward to some nice weather and some workouts outdoors this week.
With all the emotional crap I was dealing with this weekend, I was in need of something chocolate BAD. Like to the point where if I didn't get some, I was fixing to go to the grocery store, buy a bag of oreos and eat the whole damn thing in my car on the way home. Instead, I checked myself at the door, looked at the brown bananas on my counter, and said "boom: chocolate banana bread."
Chocolate Banana Bread
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup dutch processed cocoa
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 large, extra-ripe bananas (mashed)
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup coconut oil (melted)
4 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life) + extra for sprinkling on top
1. Preheat oven to 350, and grease a bread loaf dish or pan.
2. In a small bowl, mix together all dry ingredients and set aside.
3. In a large bowl, mix together all wet ingredients, stirring until smooth (lumps from banana should be minimal).
4. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet until well combined.
5. Fold in the chocolate chips.
6. Pour batter into the loaf pan. Sprinkle the top with more chocolate chips (optional, but recommended!)
7. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean (aside from melted chocolate chips!).
8. Remove from oven and allow to cool in the dish for 15 minutes. Then, scrape sides with a knife, and remove the loaf from the pan onto a wire cooling rack to finish cooling process.
9. After fully cooled, slice your bread up and serve!
10. You can leave this bread out on the counter for 3-4 days or freeze it!
**Note: you may like this particular dish a little more on the gooey side, especially if you plan to enjoy it like a dessert. If you're shooting for that gooey brownie texture, bake on the lower end of that time domain, and don't worry about a little gooeyness in the middle.
**I topped my (warm) slice with a scoop of vanilla halo top ice cream, and it was like having a brownie sundae. So dang good.
Trust me, you want to save this one and give it a try when you can. Everyone needs a little chocolate in their lives from time to time. Chocolate is the curer of all things. Plus, this is WAY more satisfying and better for you than that bag of candy you might be inclined to reach for. Enjoy!