I do not need to be cured, I have diagnosed myself with an acute case of everything is fine. That was really my attitude when this chapter of my life began which I’ve named “Gina was attacked by an avocado” the exact words written by a specialist I was seeing on the back of a piece of paper. While the choice of words is hilarious, the situation is much less funny. Yes, I tell myself the obligatory, “It could have been worse.” And it could have, but lets deal in the present – It under no uncertain terms is a pain in my $%&. I am not patient at all, I want to move at lightening speed, I want to cook, explore new recipe ideas, ground myself in the kitchen where new treats can be enjoyed. For me cooking and baking are one of the demonstrative ways I show my love. Not everything that comes out of the kitchen is perfect or amazing but one thing Ginny (my incredible 101 year old grandmother/BFF) taught me over the years was how to read a recipe. Not just reading for directions sake but to determine if it is a good recipe. From there she taught me how to do recipe research – examining similar recipes to determine how to assemble the best possible recipe. It is a process that has contributed to my passion for cooking/baking today. I believe it is a gift I will treasure all my life; it is something special we share. And for now, in my one-handed ninja state of being, it is what is carrying me through this cooking drought in my life.
I am sure this will be a blip on the radar a year from now, but I assure you it will not be forgotten. I do believe I should take this time to learn so something new about myself and I believe one lesson is to learn to hear with my eyes. I am not trying to sound all ‘Alison and Wonderland’ but to really watch and observe those around me. To hear the unspoken words that their actions reveal. What I hear with my eyes so far is that I am loved. I see it with every gesture for help and every meal prepared. I see that I have a lot to be grateful for…down to this post. Earlier this week my mother had offered to help me do anything I needed, I craved baking; she hates baking. When she arrived I told her that there was this recipe I’d been working on for a few weeks and I desperately wanted to recipe test it. Despite her admonishments, “I really hate baking. Can’t I do something else?!” Her loved prevailed and he did a great job of testing a new recipe. When I originally posted a photo of this treat I received so much interest in this recipe that I bumped it up on the list to publish. I hope you will rush out and make it for those you love.
Blueberry Banana Buttermilk Oatmeal Bread with Coconut Butter Streusel
1 cup well mashed bananas
1 cup buttermilk
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 cups flour
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
2 tsps baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 cups whole fresh blueberries, washed and gently dried
Streusel Topping Ingredients
½ cup coconut butter, room temperature (I used Tropical Traditions Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup flour
1 tsp cinnamon
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Coat a 9×5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray. In a large bowl whisk bananas, buttermilk, eggs, sugar and oil until well combined. In a medium bowl, add cinnamon, flour oats, baking power, baking soda, and salt. Whisk to combine. Using a wooden spoon mix dry mixture into buttermilk mixture. Gently fold in blueberries. Pour batter into prepared pan.
To make streusel combine all ingredients a medium bowl and mix with a fork until well blended. Using hands separate and drop by clumps onto the bread batter. Place loaf pan on baking sheet to cook to avoid coconut oil drippings hitting the bottom of the oven; it creates an unpleasant and smoky oven.
Bake 1 hour and 10 minutes. Allow to cool 20 minutes before serving.
Disclosure: I received a free Tropical Traditions Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil for recipe development. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.