Apple Banana Bread with Peanut Butter Swirl

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.”

The Morgan Library The Morgan Library The Morgan Library

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. 

Joyce viewing the Statue of Liberty from the Staten Island Ferry.

Joyce viewing the Statue of Liberty from the Staten Island Ferry.

Staten Island Ferry

Typical America.

Typical America.

Joyce and Martin's cousin Thomas became fast friends.

Joyce and Martin’s cousin Thomas became fast friends.

Apple Picking NYC

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.

Joyce Apple Banana Bread Lucy Apple Banana Bread

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.

Apple Banana Bread with Peanut Butter Swirl
Serves 9
Perfect for dessert or brunch, this simple banana bread is studded with chunks of apples and topped with walnuts. The decadent peanut butter swirl is a not-to-be-missed addition.
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
1 hr
224 calories
43 g
0 g
4 g
5 g
1 g
118 g
438 g
20 g
0 g
3 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 224
Calories from Fat 37
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 4g
Saturated Fat 1g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 438mg
Total Carbohydrates 43g
Dietary Fiber 3g
Sugars 20g
Protein 5g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  2. 1/2 cup sugar
  3. 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  4. 1 medium apple, peeled and finely diced
  5. 1 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  6. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  7. 1 teaspoon salt
  8. 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  9. 1 tablespoon chopped walnuts
  10. 1/4 cup peanut butter, melted
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 12x12 square baking pan.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, mash the bananas. Stir in sugar, applesauce, and diced apple.
  3. In a small mixing bowl, stir together the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
  4. Gently stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Mix just until combined. Pour mixture into the prepared pan.
  5. 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.
  6. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until top is golden. Let cool before serving.
  1. 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.
Adapted from Pop Sugar
Adapted from Pop Sugar
Craving Sustenance

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5 Responses

  1. Amy Lou says:

    Oh Jill I’m sorry to hear you’re having a harder time than you anticipated untangling some of these health things. Let me know if you want to connect. I’d love to host a dinner again at my place. Maybe some sweet potato spoon bread? 🙂 🙂

  2. Molly says:

    Jill, I’m so sorry you’re in limbo, both location-wise and health-wise. I believe your next awesome experience is just around the corner. In your honor, I plan to make the Apple Banana Bread later today!

  3. Coralie says:

    The only problem with that Apple Banana Bread is that it’s gone! Maybe come back and whip up another batch? 😉