Earlier this week I had an opportunity to share an interview with HATCH Collection’s curator series, chatting the evolution and future of In My Bowl and Tallulah, my approach to whole body wellness, and what life’s really like just days away from my third trimester. I’ve continued to count myself as one of the luckiest in that I’ve had virtually no ‘pregnancy symptoms’ (sans a few weeks of subtle nausea, an ongoing and devout commitment to seltzer water, and my evermore occurring 8pm bedtime), but when asked about my experience with cravings, an aspect I’ve been more than eagerly waiting on to manifest (I mean, how fun would it be to crave pretzels smeared in nutritional yeast and pickle juice – no one could say a darn thing about it!), I know there are many women who struggle to find that balance between eating intuitively and eating mindfully. What I’m deeming my Superhuman Banana Bread, a completely unprocessed and wonderfully nourishing, yet indulgent slice of breakfast heaven, this is just the sort of munch that any mama bird deserves. Invigorating your and your little babe’s health throughout pregnancy’s nine months, this simple one bowl superhuman loaf is made with ripe bananas, almond and rye flour, and lower glycemic coconut sugar and pure maple syrup – so you can have your craving and eat it too.
HERE’S WHY YOU SHOULD BE MUNCHING
Almond Flour: during pregnancy, 33% of a mama’s total calories should be comprised of healthful fats, used as an energy source for baby’s growth and development as well as for enhancing the bioavailability of fat soluble vitamins. Rich in ‘good’ fats (think mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids), belly filling protein and fiber, and numerous other vitamins and minerals like iron, vitamin E, calcium, and potassium, almond flour (essentially ground up almonds), is an excellent addition to any prenatal diet. Used in this recipe as a substitute for white flour, almond flour can also be stirred into porridges and oats, or blended into your favorite smoothie.
Almond Milk: calcium is essential during pregnancy, not only assisting in longterm maternal bone health, but in your little babe’s skeletal mineralization, with intake needs peaking during the third trimester. Being sure to reach for a calcium fortified and unsweetened option, almond milk is high in calcium (providing nearly your daily calcium requirement in one glass!) as well as zinc, and vitamins A, B12 and D. Not to mention all the creamy dreaminess of milk, sans cow.
Bananas: during pregnancy, 45-65% of total calories should be comprised of unrefined and unprocessed carbohydrates- vegetables, fruits, and whole-grain options also rich in (‘regularity’ enhancing) fiber, phytochemical, antioxidants, and other essential nutrients. Bananas are an excellent and natural source of carbohydrates and potassium and have also been shown to help reduce nausea symptoms (see yah morning sickness).
Chia Seeds: used in this recipe as a substitute for eggs, chia seeds are a plant based source of omega-3 fatty acids, essential for your little babe’s neural growth and development. Often found in fish, fish oils, and seafood, chia is not only mercury free, but once soaked, assists in making your smoothie thicker and creamier without contributing too much of its own taste.
Coconut Oil: coconut oil is and another amazing source of healthful fats (see: almond flour) and is also rich in immune boosting lauric acid. Known for its anti-fungal, antiviral and antibacterial properties, this creamy oil keeps mama’s immune system strong, helping prevent colds, flu and other viruses during pregnancy. Used in this recipe as a substitute for butter, coconut oil can also be used in smoothies and desserts, and as your oil of choice when stir frying.
Coconut Sugar (and pure maple syrup): unprocessed and lower glycemic alternatives to white sugar, both coconut sugar and pure maple syrup, though still sugars, provide that indulgent sweetness while keeping blood sugar levels more stabilized. Though research is still mixed, it’s thought that these lower glycemic alternatives may reduce mama’s risk of developing gestational diabetes if munched on in moderation and in substitution of white sugar.
Rye and Rolled Oats: during pregnancy, 45-65% of total calories should be comprised of unrefined and unprocessed carbohydrates- vegetables, fruits, and whole-grain options. Both considered whole grains, rye and rolled oats are rich in ‘regularity’ enhancing fiber, and are excellent sources of iron and B vitamins like folic acid, preventative against maternal anemia, reduced fetal growth, and congenital abnormalities such as neural-tube and brain and heart defects.
Superhuman Banana Bread [serves 8]
1 tablespoon chia seeds
3 tablespoons filtered water
3 medium ripe bananas, mashed
¾ cup unsweetened almond milk
¼ cup coconut sugar
¼ cup pure maple syrup
3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 ½ cups rolled oats
1 cup almond flour
1 cup rye flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon seal salt
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ cup nut based granola
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, rack in the middle. Lightly coat a 9×5 loaf pan with coconut oil and line its bottom with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, whisk together chia seeds and filtered water. Set aside at room temperature for a minimum of 10 minutes, or until mixture forms a gel-like consistency.
In a large bowl, whisk together now gelled chia seeds with mashed banana, almond milk, coconut sugar, maple, coconut oil, and vanilla until well combined. Stir in rolled oats, almond and rye flours, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon until mixture is just combined. Transfer batter to prepared loaf pan, sprinkle with granola, then bake for 60-75 minutes, or until loaf is golden and feels firm.
Remove from oven, allow loaf to cool to room temperature before slicing, then serve and enjoy!
Nutritional Information [per slice]
360 Calories, 17g Fat, 49g Carbohydrates, 7.5g Fiber, 20.5g Sugar, 8g Protein
For my memory and your back pocket: 27 weeks pregnant