What is it about bitching that is just so good? The combination of the storytelling, the incredulity, the horror, the laughter, the guilt and the sharing of woes is a recipe for comfort, and an indulgence of the highest degree. No day feels complete without it. I swear, it releases some happiness-inducing chemicals in the brain. It’s evil how sweet it is.
I could say the same thing about a couple of other ritual indulgences which, when combined, form a misery-melting combo. I’m talking, of course, about cacao theobroma and coffea arabica, sinful substances better known as chocolate and coffee. These partners in crime contain alkaloids that act on the human body in a similar way to a cathartic bitching session, and I am willing to bet that they make you feel just as good. Go ahead, shower a kind friend in a sorry story or two. What are friends for?
Whether or not you set aside time today to bitch, and whether or not you have a sympathetic ear, this chocolate-coffee banana bread is mandatory eating today and every day. Vegans, bitch all you want. I made this treat for you. Eat your hearts out.
BITCHIN’ BANANA BREAD
1 cup rye flour
½ cup white spelt flour
½ cup whole wheat pastry flour (or you can use 1 cup white 1 cup whole flour of any kind)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp cardamom (optional)
4 ripe bananas
2 tbsp ground cacao nibs (best) or unsweetened cocoa powder OK too
1 tbsp psyllium husk powder or ground flax seed
½ cup strong, fresh coffee
¾ cup maple syrup
¼ cup coconut oil
½ tsp vanilla extract
Brew the coffee—a french press is best. Use way more coffee grounds than necessary. Grind your nibs in a coffee grinder (if using), and mix the cacao powder with the psyllium/flax in the pressed coffee. Let sit aside until thickened. Then add the active ingredients (that’s your coffee and chocolate, friends) to the banana in a medium bowl and mash until smooth.
Preheat the oven to 350. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper or grease with coconut oil. Melt your coconut oil into your maple syrup in the warming oven. Mix your dry ingredients in a large bowl, and add your syrup-oil mixture and the vanilla to the dirty banana mixture. Then fold the dry into the wet until just combined. Do not overmix.
Pour your batter into the pan, smooth the top with a spatula, and pop it until the oven. It took an hour and 20 minutes for my loaf to finish baking. You will know you baked long enough when you insert a toothpick into the very heart of the loaf and it comes out clean. Best when eaten warm, in solidarity.