I cannot take all the credit for this awesome recipe, however I did tweak ever so slightly on just a few things, and will talk you through exactly how I made this awesome, wonderful, amazing banana loaf!
So first of all you will need to gather together all of your ingredients:
3 Ripe bananas
2 Cups of oats (normal or gluten-free or whatever oats you prefer to use or pre made oat flour)
12 Big juicy pitted medajool dates (I use the tesco organic ones you find in the fruit and veg section, usually with all the nuts)
1/2 cup of non dairy milk (I used rice milk)
2 tbsp of flaxseed or chia seeds (I used flax)\
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
Cinnamon (kinda just poured a load in, maybe 2 tsp)
Mixed spices (same as above)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
A loaf tin
OPTIONAL – Raisins, dark chocolate chips, crushed nuts.
PRE HEAT YOUR OVEN TO 150!(Make sure you bake this on a lower heat and for a longer time than it says on the original recipe, which I have linked at the bottom of the post)
First of all: Take your flax seeds and mix them with 6 tbsp of cold water and set to one side.
Then – Take your oats and grind them up in a food processor or blender, or use the nutribullet milling blade. Once you have done that it is important that you sieve the oats, seive them as much as you can and you will be left with some gritty bits. Just chuck them away or feed them to the birds (tweet tweet) :O) It does take a little while but I feel it is quite an important part for creating the end result.
Add the other dry ingredients – spices, baking soda, baking powder and mix.
Next step – Take your blender. I use a Magimix food blender. Add the banana, the dates, milk, flaxseed/water mixture, apple cider, and blend until smoooooooooth.
Then all you need to do is combine the dry, the wet and mix well. I used a wooden spoon and allowed air to get into the batter. From here add crushed nuts or dark chocolate chips or dried fruit.
The mixture is quite a thick batter, you will not be able to just pour the mixture into the tin, you will have to use a spoon, so you are not looking for a really runny consistency.
Then all you need to do is stick it in the oven. I do not have a fan oven. I baked it on around 150 for 50 minutes, then I checked it and re set the timer for another 20 minutes, checking it periodically. You will know when it is done because a knife will come out clean and the top goes really crispy and brown.
Leave to cool – or if you are like me, don’t leave to cool!! because it smells to freeking nice, I just couldn’t. It was straight out the tin and into my mouth. P.S This loaf cut perfect the next day when it was totally cool, it wasnt sticky or under cooked.
Perfect tea loaf, or breakfast loaf, or whatever time of day loaf :O)
The concept of time is made up by Man to make sense of the world around him. Without Man, the universe will proceed with or without structured Time. It is man that came up with the concept of a Day, who then proceeded to divide that into hours, mins and seconds.
I quite often get asked how I find time to eat the way I do. To which I don’t really understand, people find time to eat whatever they eat, it all comes down to a matter of choice and what we choose to eat. My meals take no longer to make if not are considerably quicker to make than any other meal.
Food is our life source it is something we have to do to survive and be healthy. We must prioritize in other ways and make time for the things we do around eating. I don’t feel like eating and making food is something I need to make time for because it is a part of my day.
A lot of this is habit, and creating a lifestyle that is sustainable and simple. Don’t complicate your mind with breakfast, lunch and dinner, or eating after a certain time, or eating too many carbs or not enough protein, or feeling like you must have breakfast ect. Eat food! get up in the morning and eat once your are hungry and make it a meal that will give you energy, even if its oats in a tub that you take to work with you and eat at your desk of on the go or just a large selection of fruit, and eliminate the things you know you aren’t good for you, because most people are aware of the initial things they need to stop or change.
Look at how you do your food shopping and the things you choose to buy each week, this may need to change for you to start creating change in your life around nutrition. It literally takes 10 minutes to chuck a huge salad together with avocado and beans or tofu and some brown rice pasta. It takes 2 seconds to stick a jacket potato in the oven and set a timer and let it cook, use 10 minutes to prepare a nutrient dense salad to have with it and when it’s cooked chuck in some mixed beans or mashed avocado. The muesli in the picture below took me about 60 seconds to make and it is nourishing and full of goodness and energy. Whatever shifts you work or hours you work, however big your family is or how manic your life is it all boils down to choice. An apple or a kitkat. Jacket potato or oven chips. Grapes or skittles. Microwave meal or wholemeal pasta with veg (both of these probably take the same amount of time to make, one just being far more healthy)
If you are overweight or unhappy with your nutrition, then keep a food diary of everything you eat and see how you are finding time to eat the things you do eat. Doing this will give you perspective.
To change we have to be open-minded and invite new things and ideas into our life with open arms and embrace it. We have to take responsibility for our own choices even amongst having a family, a husband or kids. We can’t always expect them to take on board the changes you want to create so we need to adapt our mind.
You want to create something sustainable and ongoing, something that can slowly evolve into a new normal.
Do all mum’s cope all the time doing this on their own? Do all mums feel the way I feel doing this on their own? All I ever see is a window on social media of single mums coping, and the same goes for people looking in my window, all they see a strong women who is living her dreams, and that she is coping.
I wonder if they ever think, how is she coping? what is she doing that I am not? or, her kids must be really well-behaved, every post she posts on Facebook tells me she is coping and has the perfect children, and her life just looks so perfect, or that I am perfect!
I am just going to fill you in with a little honest secret today! Being a single mum is the absolute most hardest thing I do, some may beg to differ, yet I hope other mums will relate to me when I express how difficult it actually is. I am not perfect in any way, I shout and lose my temper, I am impatient and impulsive and I find it hard.
Becoming a single mum for me was the beginning of my new beginning. A choice I made that allowed me to progress on with my life in a way that I wanted to, to be able to grow myself in the ways I wanted to and to be the kind of mum that I wanted to be. In the midst of doing the things I want to do, like studying, running, being in nature and helping other people reach their own health goals. I am a mum, and sometimes I feel like a failing mum. A mum with no patience or tolerance. A mum who sometimes just wants to run away and hide!! It sometimes feels like a vicious circle because I do the things I do for myself and for my girls, yet I have no time to refuel my heart with the patience and tolerance that they need. I do it because I love them so much, yet sometimes I forget to tell them, and I want them to see me succeed, yet them being so young they probably don’t even care right now, they just want their mummy. I want them to have a healthy mum who is achieving things, and I want to be a good role model for them, yet they will always adore me and love me whatever I do.
All I ever think about is giving them a future that they deserve, a house of our own and me bringing in a wage that I can support us on, rather than living off the benefit system, or thinking a man will come along one day and alleviate some of the pressure, because maybe he wont.
If you choose to work then everything you earn goes straight to a childcare provider, so I have ended up in a full-time job getting Phoebe out of bed at 5am to get her to a child minder for them to take her to school, and pick her up then getting paid and pretty much giving all that money to the child minder, for me to never see her and not actually be getting anywhere with my life. Yes single mums get help with benefits yet that is most of the battle! I don’t want to spend the rest of my life just working a job I don’t want to be in because that’s what the government expects me to do. So I left work and started to use the time I was using to work to learn and grow my own business, which is a very slow process, however requires consistency and time. Which in the long run will be the key to get me out of this situation I find myself in, and away from the benefit system. The more I rely on it and work with it the longer I will be inside of it for. For now I need to use it to get me by, be thankful for the small income I have, whilst behind my door work hard to become self-sufficient. I want my kids to see me in that graduation gown! a simple byproduct of hard work and determination. Not an end point!
It is so so so lonely, for me anyway, yes I feel lonely a lot. Just to have someone to make dinner, or bath the kids, or be here so I can go shopping on my own, or someone to get up in the morning with the kids so I can lay in (yet to be fair I never had this when I was married anyway) it was more like an elbow in the back when the baby cried in the night and an expectation that I should be coping because I don’t do anything other than be a mum and he’s out all day working blah blah blah! In a way this was so much harder! I get jealous of the mums who have a supportive caring partner because I never have, and I assume there are others out there who do not either, yet it was one of the main reasons why I left!
Just having someone to drown out the constant talking or crying or moaning or screaming or laughing or shouting or wanting and needing. That by the time bed time comes I sit in the quiet on my own and turn to my friends inside my laptop, on social media. I do have real friends, I have friends who I grew up with and good friends I have met on Facebook who are huge parts of my life, yet I find myself never making time to see them or do anything with them because I get so overwhelmed with things I need to do to create this wonderful life for my kids and myself that all the spare time I do get, I just want to run or curl up and sleep or go to Glastonbury or do something that I want to do, which to most probably comes accross as selfish or that I just don’t care or want to try. That is not how it is, and sometimes I wish all these people could see in my mind and the amount of times I think of them.
So inside of the loneliness and sometimes having this urge to be around people a bigger part of me just wants to be on my own a lot of the time and isolate myself. Sometimes I sit on my own in the evening and think how nice it would be for my door to go and it be a friend, then another part of me just wants to study or blog or listen to podcasts!!
It takes my family to contact me and give me perspective, I am lucky because I have that, I have my parents to say Rachael you are burnt out emotionally, and to know that all I need to do is acknowledge that fact and realize that it is OK to feel the way I feel.
Unless you realise the strain and the stress and the pressure you put on yourself being a single mum it is very easy to slip into thinking that there is something wrong with you when you are not coping, this is something I have been told in the last week and it was this bit of information that made me cry, because a lot of the time I do feel like I am not coping and that I am failing at everything, because something doesn’t go right I try to blame it on something else, then think if I could do this I would feel better. When really all I need to do is accept and acknowledge that the job I do every day being a single mum is worth that feeling and that I am allowed to feel that way, and that it doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with me, or that im depressed or that I need a doctor. I just need to rest my mind of all the pressure and take every day as a day to move forwards, and know that I am doing all I can at this present moment in time to get to where I am going. I need to stop seeing an end point, a finish line, I need to stop seeing a perfect life because in reality I already have that right now, today. I will always be moving forwards and progressing, there will always be something else to aim for.
So you may be reading this now thinking, oh my, I thought she coped I thought she was OK and I thought she was happy. Not realising that in fact you are right. The moments I share on Facebook are real moments, they are happiness and perfection. They are my beautiful children and my food lol! they are my running posts , or nature or pics of me studying. That is all very real, and it is my happiness and it is my life. Yet I just wanted to share with everyone that I am not like that 100% of the time and I do struggle and I do feel like i’m failing sometimes, and I do go through periods of time that I just want to stand on a mountain and scream, and that I do long for a man who adores me and my children. I recognise that sometimes I need to give myself a break emotionally and know that I am doing my best!! I recognise that I am a perfect mum to my girls, and I must not allow myself to get so consumed in the bigger picture, because it only leads to me loosing myself, and my girls suffer the blow.