At Birth Roots we talk a lot about the lesser known, hormonal opposite of adrenaline, called OXYTOCIN.  The hormone of love, community, bonding, and relaxation.  It is so incredibly important in so many of the processes around pregnancy, birth (literally makes contractions!) and parenting. One way to increase oxytocin is to have an experience that is pleasing to the senses and eating yummy food, especially among friends, definitely, fits the bill.

Each class we take turns bringing in snacks which is practical, community building and oxytocin producing. Birth Roots has a few favorite recipes that usually make an appearance sometime during a Bridge Package, baked Yours Truly, Emily Murray. We hope these make it to your own family cookbooks and that you fondly remember your Birth Roots classes when you make a batch.

This is our favorite Banana Bread Recipe adapted from so many sources and, honestly, usually a little different every time.

I also play around with kinds and ratios of sugars and oils/yogurt. You could probably make this vegan and go all oil or all butter and no oil if you prefer no oils. Less sugar makes it more of a breakfast item, go all sugar and a little extra for a more dessert-y option. 

Preheat oven to 350

WET INGREDIENTS: In a large bowl mix together the butter, oil and sugar. Stir in the eggs, vanilla and mix until just combined. Set aside.

DRY INGREDIENTS: In another bowl mix together the flour, baking soda, salt and spices. Whisk or fluff with a fork to make sure you don’t have pockets of soda or spices.

Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet while stirring. Use the dry ingredient bowl to mash up the bananas (SUPER mashed so you don’t have big banana lumps – unless you like that, Eeeew – but I’m not judging 😊 ) and then stir in the Greek yogurt. Stir gently into the other mixture along with any additions until just combined.

Spray or grease two large or 3 medium loaf pans, evenly split the batter. Bake for about 35-40 minutes for medium and 50-60 minutes for large. Check about 5 minutes early just in case our ovens have different opinions of 350.  You can also test by pressing your fingers on the top – should be springy (but hot!) or sticking a butter knife in the middle – should come out clean. Keep adding 5 minutes until done.

Freeze one loaf by cooling completely, wrapping in wax or parchment paper, then placing in a freezer bag. Pre-slice if you want easy postpartum snacks.