Apple Banana Bread with Peanut Butter Swirl
During one of our afternoons in New York City, Martin and I visited the Morgan Library with my cousin and her 16-week-old daughter. On display was a new exhibit of Ernest Hemingway’s letters and early drafts of stories. Having visited his house in Key West and recently finished reading Mrs. Hemingway by Naomi Wood, naturally we had to go.
At the exhibit, I read a letter Hemingway wrote to his father in which he described what he wanted to accomplish with his writing:
“I’m trying in all my stories to get the feeling of the actual life across—not to just depict life—or criticize it—but to actually make it alive. So that when you have read something by me you actually experience the thing. You can’t do this without putting in the bad and the ugly as well as what is beautiful. Because if it is all beautiful you can’t believe in it. Things aren’t that way.”
While many moments over the past 15 months on the road have been beautiful, right now is not one of those moments.
Right now, I feel like we are floating in limbo. I am listless and restless. We keep bopping from one couch to another every few days. We have big ideas of what we want to do next yet are unable to make any concrete plans. If leaving the country with a one-way ticket isn’t difficult enough, I have a health mystery going on, which means a plethora of doctor appointments and tests…in Minnesota. I am so ready to leave Minnesota.
So so so ready to leave. So much so that we did leave for a couple of weeks despite needing to stay.
We drove the van from Minnesota back to its home in Florida. Then we flew to New York City and spent a week with my cousin, her husband, and their new baby before flying back to Minnesota a couple days ago.
My cousin gave me full reign over her kitchen during our visit, which was just the positive distraction I needed. Plus, when I wasn’t cooking, I got to play with her adorable daughter.
One beautiful moment from this past week was this vegan Apple Banana Bread recipe.
If Banana Bread isn’t good enough, spice it with chunks of apples and swirl in decadent peanut butter. Everyone was a fan.
I don’t know what next week holds for me. I don’t know where we are going next. I don’t know when we will be able to leave Minnesota.
While I’m unhappy about my current location and situation, I do find comfort in my Vipassana meditation teacher’s words:
“With patience and persistence, you are bound to be successful.”
And so I wait. Even though it is hard.
- 2 ripe bananas, mashed
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 medium apple, peeled and finely diced
- 1 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon chopped walnuts
- 1/4 cup peanut butter, melted
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 12x12 square baking pan.
- In a medium mixing bowl, mash the bananas. Stir in sugar, applesauce, and diced apple.
- In a small mixing bowl, stir together the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
- Gently stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Mix just until combined. Pour mixture into the prepared pan.
- Drizzle the melted peanut butter over the batter. Run a knife through the batter to swirl the peanut butter throughout the bread. Sprinkle with walnuts and gently press into the top so they don’t fall off.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until top is golden. Let cool before serving.
- Granny Smith apples are delicious in this recipe, but feel free to choose a sweeter variety. If your peanut butter is still really thick after being melted, add a splash of coconut oil to loosen it up.